Tag Archives: writing

“Dear Adult Me” Summer Series Guest Submissions

25 May

Up to this point, The Hindsight Letters has brought readers weekly Letters of advice written by Adult writers to their Teenaged selves. This summer, I’ll be flipping that concept around for a limited run Summer Series that will share Letters of advice written by Teenaged writers to their Adult selves.

I’m currently welcoming Letters from writers between the ages of 11 and 20 addressed to their Adult selves. Share some of the things you dread about becoming an adult (Jobs, Marriage, Families, Bills). Share some of the things you’re excited about (Independence, First Apartments, Finishing School). Discuss lessons you hope you will have learned by then. Give advice about qualities you hope you won’t lose. This is really a no-rules/all-fun kind of project. Just let your creativity roll with it.

The Hindsight Letters has readers spanning many different age groups. My hope is that this Summer Series will highlight the talent of our adolescent readers and allow them to share their stories in a completely different light.

If you’re a teenaged HL reader, or if you know anyone that might be interested in contributing, please feel free to send me an email at kyra@thehindsightletters.com or just submit your Letter on the About The Site page, preferably before June 15th. No matter what your story, skill set or background, I would love to read your Letter!

Take care, and happy writing!

Kyra

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*GUEST SUBMISSION* Letter 49: On The Cusp Of Coming True

2 May

Nikole writes:

Dear me at 17:

The Author at 17

People say you are an amazing writer.  They have high hopes for you.  You are impatient.  You want to get published.  More than anything you want the love and acceptance you feel is missing from your life.  Don’t deny it!  Don’t let it become the driving force behind your writing and whatever you do DON’T read your stories to mom.  She is looking for your “daddy issues”. Her screaming about your creative writing story will hamper your writing for years.

This letter in your hands is from a paying magazine.  Rewrite the story per their instructions and resend it.  Marion Zimmer is well read.  They pay well.  Your dream is on the cusp of coming true.  After you rewrite your story ride your bike to the post office and mail it.  Don’t let it sit for two months on your desk buried underneath all that unfinished homework.

Also, you need to get serious about your schooling.  This year you are the new kid in a new state.  Your new friend has a car.  You occasionally ride with your new friend instead of riding the bus.  I know that you want badly to go to prom and you’ll take the necessary steps to persuade this good-looking Italian guy to ask you, but your prom will not live up to your expectations.  In fact, the only good thing that will happen is great conversation with a learned boy over delicious Italian food.  Don’t even think about Senior Night.  After they close the pool, you’ll end up sitting on the lounge chair all night wishing you had stayed home.  Your prom date will walk by with his friend and nod to you, but otherwise, you’ll have no one to talk to all night.  Your friend with the car will have gotten married and moved to Georgia.

Your last year in High School will be better than the first four years.  I know it’s hard struggling with the issues in your head.  You still stand in the mirror railing against your father.  He didn’t abandon you.  You just think he did, but the truth will come out when you find him years from now.  It’ll hurt at first, but God always has a reason.  You’ve got to trust Him.  Your stories will only help so much before reality enters and you are forced to face your “daddy issues”.  Your science teacher says she will help you get your first science fiction book published, but she will succumb to a life threatening illness.  Please make a copy of that assignment before you hand it in, or you’ll never recover it.

And my dear, Nikki, when you get out of high school do not under any circumstances open any credit cards!

Nikole is an author and an outdoor enthusiast who just so happens to love Starbucks.  You can find her on the web at http://www.thehahnhuntinglodge.com

*GUEST SUBMISSION* Letter 27: How Good And Beautiful You Are!

29 Nov

Sabriel writes:

Dear me at 17:

I know how the halls seem to be silent even when you can see people talking. I know how the night seems darker than black, and waves of hopelessness that crawl under your skin can feel all-consuming. I want you to know that there is light.

The Author at 17

Stop talking to your band teacher. He is a bad man and will only hurt you. Drop out of band and take choir or drawing. You are good, worthwhile, beautiful and wanted, without a middle-aged, bleached blonde teacher to tell you so. Do not base your opinion of yourself upon what he thinks of you.

Drop your razor; you are precious. I know that hate, frustration, anger, bitterness, and confusion course through your veins and you feel as though this is the only way to release the pain. I am here to tell you that this is not the only way; that you are beautiful.

Your father loves you even though he looks upon you with empty eyes and a hateful tongue. There is pain inside of him that even he doesn’t realize.

Max, on the other hand, does not love you. You feed off each other’s pain and frustration; he will only confuse you more. I know his eyes are intoxicating and he seems to understand you, even if he does not try to help you. Forget him, you hate yourself when you are with him, and his life is empty. When you do eventually break up with him, stay strong, your peers will turn against you. But they don’t understand, they see so little, and you know who you are.

Work hard in school. You are a talented writer and can go so very far. Take your passion and use it. High school is important, so please, please, graduate! I know it seems pointless now, but it will make life so much easier if you just stick it out and graduate. I know the girls are malicious and you have no one to talk to after dumping Max, but things will get better, you know they will.

You have a great and terrible fire within you, do not forget what your heart tells you. Do not be bogged down by the pain and pettiness of the world around you. One day soon you will find a man who sees the beauty within you and tells you that he “loves you through all the oceans of the world”. How good and beautiful you are! God loves you and I love you.

Sabriel Parker is an aspiring writer, jewelry designer, and child. You can visit her blog at tallasgrass.blogspot.com to see more of her work.

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If you liked this post, you’ll surely love this one and this one!

Freshly Pressed Hindsight

23 Nov

The Hindsight Letters as a Featured Blog on Freshly Pressed!

 

As some of you might know, The Hindsight Letters was featured on the WordPress Freshly Pressed homepage  yesterday. We are so absolutely honoured to have been highlighted among 500,000 some posts yesterday on WordPress.com.

This project has been such an inspiring journey.

The thing that has continuously impressed me with The Hindsight Letters is the courage of our contributors in sharing such personal and heartfelt stories. We’ve discussed love, heartache, abuse, body image, and coming out. We’ve shared the moments that defined us. We’ve discovered that, often, they are also the moments we might rather forget.

Most of all, we’ve learned that we all just wish that we could go back in time and give the awkward, lonely, insecure, teenaged version of ourselves a great big hug. We just wish we could send them the message that everything will turn out just fine.

There is something so powerful about the love and forgiveness that comes across in the letters we are privileged to share here.

We would like to thank all of our contributors for sharing their stories. We are always accepting new submissions, and would love to add to our list of incredible contributors. Please take a peek at the About The Site page for more information.

We are so completely touched by the support of our readers. We value each and every one of you for taking the time to read our posts. Thank you so much for joining us on this journey! I truly can’t wait to see where it will take us…

Sincerely,

Kyra Evans-Schultz

Letter 16: Yes, but what do YOU want to be?

13 Sep

Dear me at 18:

Your Mom really, really wanted you to be a doctor.

Like, really badly.

Your Dad is a doctor, so he probably would have gotten a kick out of it too. Although he’s such an easy-going dude, he’d probably be alright if you became a trapeze artist or a mime.

You struggled with this doctor issue. You liked the idea of taking care of people all day. Making people healthy. Keeping people healthy. But the idea of spending ten more years in school made you want to poke your eyes out with a fork. And the fact that you had just gotten 19 percent in Grade 12 math wasn’t helping you either.

So there you stood. What to do?

You started to explore other “MD-like” options. Like psychology. What if you got your masters and did some counselling? Slightly less schooling… Still would make Mom happy… So yes, that must be it. Yes, let’s do that.

You felt like you could breathe a little sigh of relief. Your life path had finally been established. Now all you needed to do was stay the course.

But then something funny happened. You took a creative writing course in your final semester of high school and you really, really liked it. You liked it so much that you left with a 94% grade. On the last day, your teacher inquired about your post secondary plans, and essentially told you “F*#$ psychology. You need to write.”

Huh.

“Thanks a lot, a-hole. Way to ruin my life path,” you thought to yourself.

You shoved this comment to the bottom of your soul and kept moving forward. You told people you were excited to become a psych. major and you almost believed it.

But try as you might, your teacher’s words kept bubbling to the surface. Become a writer? A what? Do people actually get paid for that?

The answer is yes. And no.

Some people get paid to write. They are a very lucky, very small group. It’s a very competitive industry. The ones who thrive have to be very keen, very driven, and very talented.

But you, you are none of these things, right? You are a psychology major. You like writing, and you may have a talent, but certainly you could not make a career out of it.

You were again at a crossroads. And again you decided to take the middle ground. Instead of transferring to the Creative Writing or Journalism program, you decided to major in English.

You will spend years reading other great writers’ work. You will fall in love with every word. And your little heart will leap every time you are handed a creative writing assignment.

Here is the thing: You are making a big mistake.

You have found what you love to do, and instead of just doing it, you are allowing your fear of failure and concern over other people’s opinions to guide you.

Yes, it’s tough to make a living as a writer. For each project won, there would always be one hundred other writers nipping at your heels to take your place at the next. As Hunter S. Thompson wrote about a similar industry, it’s “a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”

So maybe it’s a tough nut to crack. Maybe you’re not driven enough. Maybe you’re not keen enough. Maybe you’re not talented enough.

But maybe you are.

And then what?

In nearly 10 years time, you will be writing this letter while your beautiful baby sleeps. This rare “sleeping baby” event will have given you some time to rediscover your passion for the written word. And you will once again sit at the crossroads, again wondering whether to take the dive and follow your dream.

So I guess I’m talking to both of us here, when I say: “Just do it, already.”

Just take the leap. It might be scary. It might be tough, but who knows where it might take you? You are a smart cookie, and if you put your mind to this, you can absolutely do it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go upstairs to see about the stirring baby. I’m busy teaching her to read, you know, so that someday this blog might have a little more traffic.