Summer's almost over. Is that groaning I hear? No more sleeping in or freedom to plan your days. But heading back to school isn't all bad. There's shopping for new gear and clothes, reconnecting with friends you haven't seen since June, making new friends, feeding your brain and sharing your creative passion. In my county, school starts next Tuesday. You have one last week to hit the beaches, malls and movies with friends before your minds are called to greater challenges.
Picturing the school year ahead, I focused today's LikeWise on a plethora of links. Plethora. Sorry, I love saying some words, even if it's just in my head. You can check the links out all at once or peek at them whenever you feel the urge.
First up is Study.com's 40 Best Websites for Teen Writers. This is an awesome list, including communities and courses (some of them free), grammar and reference, creativity boosters and publishing advice.
For inspiration, visit The Academy of Achievement's Arts Page. You can match your personality with the world's most respected achievers, watch podcasts and browse a list of recommended books.
Teen Ink's Art and Photography Resource Page offers art, photography and museums links. Their site also features links for:
And a General Resource Page. Besides art, photography and writing sites, you'll find environment, reference materials, volunteer opportunities and a fantastic summer camp and courses list, so you can daydream about next summer.
Finally, here's a list of teen blogs for artists, writers and readers:
The Metropolitan Museum of Arts Teen Blog
The Whit Blog from The Whitney Museum
Contemporary Austin's Teen Blog
YA Author's Cafe
The YA Blogosphere, a directory of YA book related blogs.
Enjoy the last days of summer! And it's okay to admit you're a tiny bit excited about going back to school.
When I grew up, we didn't go back to school until after Labor Day. Now, school starts in August and here in Florida that means slogging through a fat layer of heat and humidity to get to bus stop and classes. So in honor of students everywhere who are trying to shake off summer and switch on their learning brains, here's my Start-of-School Survival Guide for Creative Types:
1. Journal and draw, every day if you can. Put all that stuff you can't talk about (good and bad) into words or art nobody but you needs to see.
2. Find new authors to read, new protagonists to relate to, new books to add to your favorites' list. Books are not only great escapes, they're great companions.
3. Dream a dream and then live it. Start a novel or picture book, enter a contest, submit to an art show, a magazine or other publication. Write book reviews on sites like Goodreads or Teenreads. Volunteer to write or create art for a cause you're passionate about.
4. If you don't have a mentor, try to find one. Someone who believes in your work, encourages you and challenges you to reach for the stars.
5. Find your tribe. They're out there, other creative minds who think and dream like you. If you already have a tribe, keep an eye out for artists wandering the halls alone. We artists spend so much time in our heads, it's sometimes hard to connect to the world. But without doubt, we need to.
6. Read, watch and listen to artists of every discipline. Discover new visual artists, musicians, dancers and writers. Don't analyze, just enjoy them and trust your subconscious to absorb and process what it needs.
That's all my heat-zapped brain can provide at the moment. Except to say, someday the memories you create this year will show up in your art. You may even become a MG or YA writer or illustrator. Then you'll search your brain for every scrap of memory from your middle grade and high school years to provide believable characters and plot.
I write middle grade and young adult books with a magical twist. And creatures, always creatures. I'm represented by the fabulous Leslie Zampetti of Dunham Lit.
Baggott, Asher & Bode
Rear in Gear
Kate DiCamillo on Writing