Wednesday, 3 April 2013

C is for Coming of Age (And IWSG)

Isn't it funny the way things work out. I had planned a while ago that I would tackle the topic of stories about coming of age in the A-Z challenge, forgetting that C would fall on the 3rd of April.

Which is today. Which is my 21st Birthday.

Reading Young Adult books, as I do, the topic of crossing over that line between being young and becoming an adult is something that I come across a lot. I would argue, however, that it's a bit hit and miss. It's thrown around wildly in the blurbs on the back of books, sometimes unnecessarily. Someone who I think covers that 'stuck in the middle of teenager/adult line' is John Green. However, it's in the trilogy/series books that I find sometimes the growth is lacking. Authors get caught up in 'How many books can I squeeze out of this story' rather than focusing on the characters that everyone fell in love with in the 1st book. This happened for me in the Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray. I enjoyed the first two, but the final one was so indecisive and full of pointless story that I almost couldn't finish it. And some of the characters seemed to regress back into petty children rather than progress into the young women they seemed to be becoming in the earlier books.

What's the best coming of age story that you've read?

Now, onto my insecure writers support group post! Very appropriate post this week:

My age is something that, when it comes to writing, is something that I'm both secure and insecure about. If that makes sense. 

I'm 21. Most people on the YA scene are late 20's to 40's so on one hand I have plenty of time. I also probably need to live a bit more. Experience life. Experience crappy underpaid jobs and ungrateful bosses. That's my logical, optimistic answer.

The pessimistic side of my brain likes to remind me that there are lots of people my age and younger who have written full length novels, some of whom have been published and I get really jealous. I feel like, if they can do it, why can't I? And for those who are successful younger than me, I wonder if I've wasted the time I've had so far? You never have as much free time as you do when you're young. Have I wasted my opportunity on games and bad TV?

I'm graduating in the summer with no word yet on whether or not I've gotten onto the teaching course for September. If not I'll have to go and start the arduous process of finding a job while I re-apply to teaching courses for 2014. I've already had to move back home for financial reasons. I'm not sure what I want. Is teaching just something that I'm trying to get into because I know that I'll have a lot more holidays than your average person for writing? And if I really wanted to be a writer wouldn't I have a bit more to show for it by now than a handful of started novels and a few badly written fan fictions? 

I feel like I'm in limbo. And I guess that's exactly how every coming of age story starts. 

I guess I may be of age. But my coming of age story just hasn't started yet.

Sarah x


  1. If I tell you my favorite coming of age book, you have to promise not to laugh. "Are You There God, It's Me Margaret" by Judy Blume. I LOVED that book when I was a tween. Yeah, I'm that old =P

    IWSG co-host

  2. Happy birthday.

    Try not to compare yourself too strictly to others - there are some writers who achieve a decent amount at a young age, but don't progress too much farther, while others struggle for years before breaking through into superstardom - JK Rowling and Suzanne Collins, for instance. Just work at being the best you can be, and enjoy the journey!

  3. Happy birthday to you!
    Happy birthday to you!
    Happy birthday, writer Sarah,
    Happy birthday to you.

    And remember, the more you write, the better you get, no matter what your age! Never let anyone take away your dreams. Now blow those candles ... and dream!

  4. Sarah, I wish you a very happy birthday! I hope you've had a brilliant day and had much fun with family and friends.

    I feel like I'm in linbo land as well. But I'm ten years your senior. It is a never ending battle, but that's why having amazing goals like being a published writer is helpful to get you through the limbo-land moments. Have fun with life. and you'll make it there.

    I rather enjoyed the Shiver series by Maggie Stiefvater. The characters seemed to grow throughout the series, not digress. I'd recommend it, for sure.

  5. Hope you had a wonderful birthday. Love your cv and site. Will check in often.

  6. Happy Birthday. You do have plenty of time. And as a teacher, I think you'll find you don't have near as much time to write as you imagine, especially in the early years of your career. Unlike other jobs, in teaching you very often take work home with you. Good luck with it all.

  7. Here from the A to Z Blog Hop!

    I'm 30 and I still feel as though I'm wading through the soup of uncertainty. I think everyone has this at some degree so don't lose hope. I'm a teacher in the US - Secondary Chemistry - and if you really love to write, even if all you have are ideas, fanfic and a dream, you'll find time to fit it into your schedule. Just Keep Moving Forward.

    Good luck!


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