Camp Pep: Change Your World with Writing

Camp NaNoWriMo is nothing without you, our incredible participants. Today, Rylee Kazort, a fellow Camper and member of the Young Writers Program, offers you some pep:

Let me first say that writing a story, or anything at all, is not easy. I am a dyslexic teen writer with an anxiety disorder, so it’s safe to say that I can relate when writers say that just putting words down can be stressful. After all, as a writer, you spend half your time wondering if the words on the page are good enough—you constantly want to look over your writing and have it mean something to others. But don’t let the anxiety of worrying about what to write stop you from writing. I use writing as a powerful means of communication for things I might be afraid to say in person.

We use writing to portray our true thoughts and feelings. With anxiety it is hard for me to communicate who I am to everyone else; I am a kid who stays in a corner and doesn’t talk to many people. I don’t normally get the right words out when I am talking, and I often don’t know what point I’m trying to make, and I get flustered and frustrated.

Writing takes out the stress of saying the right thing—because you can craft sentences to fit the picture you have in mind. When I’m writing, I know I can take my time and think it through in a way people don’t normally allow for while talking. I see so many people around me writing, but they don’t feel like they’re really saying anything. Words have more power than people think. They changed my life. I can talk about the things I wouldn’t normally tell people through writing. I strongly believe every word has a purpose, no matter how small.

“Never underestimate the power of empathy; someone might be going through something very similar to you, and your story just might be what they need.”

In writing, you can change perspectives and outcomes—you can even change reality itself. There is something so special about being able to craft characters and settings from scratch or inspiration. When you’re writing, the people and places don’t need to be perfect, because the world isn’t perfect. Don’t be afraid to show the darkness in your world or the world around you.

Then show everyone who lives in a world like that one that there is a character who can overcome the darkness. Writing is special and unique in that you can give your reader hope with only a few words.

As a writer, don’t be scared to get the first few words out—even if they don’t look perfect. If they are what you feel, they will be perfect. There is untapped power in the art of crafting a story, especially when you can influence people to do something. Change your world, like a character would in a book.

My advice to those of you who are starting to write your own stories? Don’t censor the world you decide to show your audience. The best writing comes from the heart. Don’t feel bad about it; it is what you feel, and writing should show just that. Never underestimate the power of empathy; someone might be going through something very similar to you, and your story just might be what they need. So don’t be afraid to create a story that gives the characters hope and gives you hope—you may just inspire your reader to do something great!

Rylee Kazort is a teen writer with dyslexia who started writing in freshman year of high school. In the three years since then, Rylee has written 14 stories, 11 of them being novel length, one of these being longer that 100,000 words.  Rylee’s favorite book so far is Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.