Wednesday, September 13, 2017

How Teen Writers are like Spider-Man - Guest Post by Stephanie Kehr

I'm so excited to introduce to you my friend and fellow author, Stephanie Kehr! Stephanie and I "met" a few years ago through the blogging community, but we didn't officially meet face-to-face until recently. We roomed together at the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference and soon discovered how much we had in common -- our passion for YA fiction and to encourage teen writers, our dream to have a writing ministry, a diagnosis of autoimmune disease, etc. Needless to say, we clicked immediately -- which is why I'm thrilled to have her stop by my blog today!

Stephanie is a professional writer and journalist living outside of Buffalo, New York, where it probably snows a lot. She’s pursuing publication for her first novel, Reaching Home, and she spends her quiet moments writing poetry and blogging about her adventures with God. Stephanie has a heart for sharing real stories and encouraging authors to write for Jesus and love what they do. She’s a big believer in hard work, audiobooks, and chocolate, and can usually be found changing the world somewhere. 

Twitter: @stephiekehr

I am completely captured by writing. I think it’s great. When I was seventeen, I became so charmed by it that I signed a contract on my first book. Tessa and I have this in common. We both started writing seriously in our teens, and our parents had to sign our contracts with us.

As exciting as it is to be a young writer, there are also a lot of unique responsibilities that come along with it. Responsibilities I didn’t consider when I scribbled my name across that dotted line.

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A few weeks ago, I went to see the new Spider-Man: Homecoming movie. Although I tend to be more of a chic flick type of gal, I enjoyed this film a great deal. Mid-way through, I began to identify with Peter Parker in a way that surprised me. Outwardly, Parker was living the life of a normal high school kid, but inwardly he was carrying the burden of a heavier responsibility. Just like a teen writer.

Here are some ways that being a teen writer is like being Spider-Man:

1. You’ll Miss Out on High School Fun

Peter Parker chose to skip out on parties and everyday teen life because he knew saving the world was more important. In the same way, writers choose to value their ambitions over a little teen fun. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to relax now and then, but it does mean that sometimes you’ll have to meet that deadline instead of hang out with friends.

(Your friends will understand.)

2. Revealing Your Secret Identity Could be Devastating.

Although I enjoy telling people about what I do, revealing my author identity isn’t always in my best interest. I am an introvert, after all. Not a lot of people know any real authors, so when they find out who you are, they might crowd you. “What’s your book about?” “Is your character anything like you?” and “When can I read it?” are all common and predictable questions you’ll receive if you become a professional writer. Though these questions are genuinely appreciated, they might wear you out fast. You have a responsibility to yourself to make sure you don’t get overloaded by people’s opinions and expectations. Keep it simple. Be discerning. If you don’t feel comfortable telling someone the intimate details about your novel’s inner workings, it’s okay to cut the conversation short.

3. You’ll be fighting More Than Bad Guys

In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker isn’t only battling The Vulture. He’s also fighting against his own teenage heart, and he’s facing the world’s cruelty head-on. Every day, he looks at levels of evil that his peers don’t even know exist.

As Christian writers, our task is to ultimately share the gospel through our work. Believe me when I tell you the enemy will be attacking you like crazy. Especially during big events in your career, expect the adversity to be there. Not only will you be responsible for meeting those writing deadlines (fighting The Vulture), you’ll also be carrying the weight of the world at times (everything else).  

Do you remember in the beginning of this post when I said I was completely captured by writing? I am. That’s something Spider-Man and I have in common, too. Peter Parker was so passionate about Spider-Man’s mission that he was willing to sacrifice everything. As a teen, I chose to be a writer because I know that despite the unique challenges and responsibilities, writing is something I’ll always be willing to sacrifice for.

~ ~ ~

Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie!

Readers: What have you found to be the most challenging aspect about being a teen writer?


  1. I guess words do carry great power, and with great power comes great responsibility, which is also relevant... ;) And Spiderman is also full of quips and one-liners! Which I... wish I could do in real life, but only ever manage [occasionally] in my writing. With edits.

    Still. I'm Spiderman. ;P

    Thanks for the post, Stephanie! :D
    Jem Jones

  2. Such a great post! Thank you for sharing! :-)

  3. This was a great post, Stephanie! Teen writers are totally super heros...God has called you to something amazing! Don't ever give up!


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