Write Your “Teenage Nonsense”

I recently read a book where one character said to another that she was not filling her journal with “teenage nonsense.” Instead she was writing about “truly important” things, things she was learning about God and passages of the Bible that had become especially meaningful to her.

I despised that bit of dialogue with every ounce of my being. How dare she sneer at how the typical teenage girl uses her journal just because she happens to think it silly?

For one thing, I am sick of adults acting like our problems don’t matter. They matter to us every bit as much as their adult problems matter to them. Our problems seem every bit as real and life threatening to us as theirs do to them. No one has any right to make light of things that important to a group of people – particularly when thery are not apart of that group of people, and you will notice that its almost always adults who talk about us in that snide, insinuating way.

For another, journaling is one of the best things a person can do. It should be encouraged and encouraged in all its various forms.

Its rare enough to find teenagers who want to write without making them feel stupid about it by stereotyping.

Write about your teenage nonsense. Write about how you don’t fit in. Write about who you have a crush on. Write about your grades. Write about your relationship with your parents. Write about your insecurities. Write inside jokes that will never make sense to anyone but you. Write about life.

Write about anything. Write about everything.

If embarrassment about what people would think if they read it holds you back, make sure no one ever does.

Don’t limit yourself to writing only the important stuff. The unimportant stuff is important, too. Just write.

For many teenagers, trying to only write what the rest of the world deems “important,” would mean not writing at all because that’s not how they write. They don’t know how to write that way. They wouldn’t know what to write. And let’s face it, writing that way is hard.

We all know how exhausting it is to constantly be trying to be something you’re not. It’s hard to write like a mature, sensible adult when you’re not.

Be yourself when you write. Don’t pretend.

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7 thoughts on “Write Your “Teenage Nonsense”

  1. Cait @ Paper Fury says:

    Yessss to this! I sometimes feel embarrassed about what was important to me as a teen, but then…like why?! That’s what was important to me at that time of my life. It doesn’t matter if it could be considered “angst” or “unimportant”. What you write as a teen is what’s happening in your life and it’s totally wonderful to record it and process it. I really hate it when adults sneer at teens too. 😦 Basically anyone belittling someone else is very not acceptable. *sighs sadly*
    Lovely post!!

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  2. storyanddarkchocolate says:

    Thanks so much, Cait! This post has been lingering in the back of my head for a long time and then that book just brought it all very sharply into focus and I had to write it! It was totally a cathartic experience. 🙂

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  3. Elisabeth says:

    I see “nonsense” as a gateway to “masterpiece.” No one starts out writing good stuff, no one. So if a kid wants to compare their biology partner’s eyes to the sky for six pages, who cares? Besides, crap makes great fertilizer. Just write all the things and worry about writing “good” some other time, whether it’s thoughts or ficiton.

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  4. Miss March says:

    Very true. We none of us should sneer at other people’s problems. They may appear unimportant to us looking from the outside, but to the person dealing with them they’re very real. (I won’t say I’ve never sneered, though, because I have a feeling I probably have. It’s crazy how quickly we forget what it was like to be a child, and how we fail to realize that the problems we now consider small and insignificant would totally have been MAJOR problems to us when we were young.)

    “Don’t limit yourself to writing only the important stuff. The unimportant stuff is important, too. Just write.” Yes. Writing with truth and honesty and fun, is worth a lot more than writing according to a script which someone else has declared to be “important”. After all, you can only really write about what you know. Otherwise it’s not your words, but somebody else’s.

    “We all know how exhausting it is to constantly be trying to be something you’re not. It’s hard to write like a mature, sensible adult when you’re not. Be yourself when you write. Don’t pretend.” Exactly. We can only write from the place where we’re at. There’s a time for writing about childish things, teenage things, adult things…all in their proper order…and all equally important for that time. 🙂

    Excellent post, Kayla! Thanks for sharing.

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  5. storyanddarkchocolate says:

    Haha, RIGHT??? I find myself sneering AT MY OWN WORK only a couple of years after I wrote it!!! That s definitely part of whast inspired this post, you know? Acknowledging that it was OKAY, what I wrote back then. It might look silly or melodramatic NOW, but it was important to me THEN.

    Like

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