Motivating your teens can be a challenge. Motivating them to put their thoughts down in writing is, well, priceless. Do you have a strong writer who simply doesn’t like to write? Here are practical ways to make the writing task more appealing and motivate your teens to write.
1. It Pays to Write
Many teenagers get part-time jobs with a single end in mind—earning money that they can spend however they choose. They are even willing to do distasteful or boring jobs to have an opportunity to fill their wallets with spending cash.
So how does their yearning for earning relate to writing? Well, you can tap into your teen’s desire for cash by leading them toward writing assignments that pay.
- Some online publications and blogs pay for submissions.
- Check your local library for poetry and story writing contests that award cash prizes.
- Stone Soup, a publication written entirely by young people, pays writers for work that is published in the print magazine.
2. Words Matter
Does your high school student have a heart for a cause? Writing assignments take on new meaning when they’re fueled by passion. Non-profit organizations are always on the lookout for volunteer help. Your teen can help compose social media posts, write a personal testimonial, or draft copy for for promotional flyers or brochures.
Call the local headquarters of your favorite nonprofit or missions organization and see how your teen can help as a wordsmith.
3. Have Byline, Will Write
Having their name in print can motivate some teens to write. For children who prefer to tell it like it is, writing news stories for a student-run newspaper might be exactly the inspiration they need. A small local newspaper might be interested in featuring the work from prospective young journalists. Or perhaps your homeschool group has a yearbook staff. If so, that’s another way your high schooler can to put journalistic skills to use.
4. Take a Novel Approach
NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, held each November) gives kids accountability to stay on task and keep writing. The event also stresses creativity over editing, so your student has permission—and consequently, the freedom—to create.
The NaNoWriMo Young Writer’s Program, developed specifically for writers ages 17 and younger, has all the pizzazz of the adult event without the word count requirements. Word count goals are left up to the individual writers, so participating is fun instead of work! Writers can even pair up with a fellow writer and collaborate on the next great novel.
5. Be Positive
Motivating your teenagers to write can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. The best way to get teens writing—and help them to keep the words coming—is to create a positive environment for them to do so.
When editing their writing, always note their strong points first and try to keep critiques positive and constructive. Then, offer pragmatic suggestions, gently and with respect. And, remember, teenagers are vulnerable before they even write one word. A positive attitude can do wonders, and your encouragement can help them find their voice.
If you’re looking for a homeschool writing curriculum for your teens, take a look at WriteShop I and WriteShop II.
From bite-size writing assignments and family-friendly schedules to writing games, graphic organizers, and checklists, WriteShop lessons can inspire your middle and high school students to become successful writers.