Wednesday, September 1, 2010
How Can You Write For Teens When You Don’t Like Them?
This question was posed after a particularly colorful rant I had the other day. I was in a grumpy mood to begin with, but then I’d been hearing my coworkers complain about their selfish teenagers. I’d witnessed lazy teens in the waiting room giving their parents attitude for no reason, while their pants hung below their butt-cheeks. I’d started listening to a book (I won’t mention the name) where the main character was whinny, hateful and just an all around little sh*t.
This sparked a rant like I’d been channeling a crotchety old man—minus shaking a cane at the neighborhood kids to keep them off of my lawn.
So when the question was asked: How can you write for teens when you don’t like them? It stopped me in my tracks. The coworker who asked this has read my work. She looked at me like she was completely confused.
That’s when I had to step back and rewind all the things I’d said in my head. Yes, I guess it would sound like I don’t like teens, but nothing could be further from the truth. I actually love that age group. The immediacy of everything and the intensity, but what I probably love the most is the new experiences, straddling the lines of child and adult. I loved being a teenager. (I wouldn’t want to go back, but…) I loved high school and this is why I write for teens.
What I explained to my coworker is that my rant should have been aimed at selfish people, at whinny people, and mean-spirited little sh*ts because that’s who I really dislike. And as we all know, those personality flaws are prevalent in all ages.
So even though no teens were harmed during the production of my rant, I apologize. I love you teenagers. Rock on! lol.