How to Raise and Encourage Your Young Writer


Hello, Five J's readers. I'm Jeff, Joy's husband. I'm insinuating myself onto her blog (with permission!) to start a new series of posts concerning raising and encouraging the young writer in your household—through both the struggles and the joys. I've been a writer for most of my life and I've been through the ups and downs of the writing life. I recently published my first novel, The Foundlings, and it was one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had.

Writer's are a different breed, and surviving and thriving as a writer can be hard. Being a parent to a writer can be challenging and often confusing. This series will tackle several subjects related to the art of writing and what you can do as a parent to help encourage your young writer.

Topics I will cover include:

  • The care and feeding of your writer
  • How to critique your writer
  • How to give your writer space to create
  • Recommendations for writing software
  • Recommendations for writing curriculum
  • How to help your writer learn self-discipline
  • Watching out for publishing scams
  • How to properly self-publish a book (both ebook and print)
  • How to help your writer promote himself/herself
  • What to do when your writer wants to give up
  • Resources to help you and your writer
  • And many more!

Before we tackle those issues, I'd like to hear from you. What questions do you have about writing and self-publishing? Please let me know in the comments, and I'll be sure to address your questions in subsequent posts.

Read more posts in this series: How to Raise and Encourage Your Young Writer.

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  1. says

    Hi there,
    My husband is writing a book. He is ready to begin finding a publisher and is lost with all the possibilities and $$ requirements. Any suggestions? My daughter, 10 yrs. old also loves to write and I would love for her to take this course. Thank you! Can't wait to hear more!
    Thank you,
    Dawn Gray


    Jeff M. Miller Reply:

    @Dawn Gray, let me give you a word of caution. Your mention of money in relation to finding a publisher set off some red flags for me. As a general rule, having your book published by a publisher should NEVER cost the author money. Money always flows to the author, not from the author. A company that charges an author to publish their book—unless they're a self-publishing company—is almost always a scam. Here's a great blog to check out if a publisher is shady or not:

    If your husband want to be traditionally published, the first step is finding an agent. One of the best ways to find an agent is to buy a copy of the current Writer's Market guide, and then do some research about agents online.

    Now, if your husband is considering self-publishing, it can cost money, but it doesn't have to. I'm writing a series on self-publishing on our other blog at Five J's Design: and I'll be covering most of the ins and outs of self publishing.

    Thanks for reading.


  2. Polly says

    How can you make writing fun for a child that literally hates to write?


    Jeff M. Miller Reply:

    @Polly, how old is the child, and what are your writing goals for them? Always keep in mind that some people are just wired differently and will never find an affinity for writing.

    If you're mainly worried about the mechanics of writing, have them write about things they love. If the goal is just trying to get them to put words on the page, get them to write about something they talk about all the time. Use that interest as a vehicle to teach them how to write better.

    Writing is hard. I'm a writer and I love writing, but I have to be honest and say that there are days when I hate it. There are days I avoid it because it is so hard. Keep that in mind with someone who doesn't enjoy it. Good writing is hard work.

    I hope this blog series will give you some ideas that help.



  3. says

    Jeff, I'm looking forward to the series so I can share with my sons and help them in their writings. I think it is going to help me too with my own writing. Since you are taking requests, I would like to see topics that address how to bid your work out to a graphic artist or musician or videographer so they can do splash pages, cover designs, screen savers, and downloadable itunes music to go with the book.

    Last night my son read your short novel 'wishing for spiders' – he was suitably creeped out. It didn't hurt that he has a phobia of spiders, heh, heh.

    – Jonathan Harris


    Jeff M. Miller Reply:

    Hi @Jonathan Harris, I hope the series will be of help. I have to be honest up front and say that I don't know a lot about how to bid your work out, especially to a musician or videographer.

    As far as bidding out to a graphic artist for cover design, I can only tell you what Joy and I do at our business. I'll be mentioning things as I go along when I feel they're relevant. To see how our business model works, you can take a look at

    I'm glad your son enjoyed Wishing for Spiders, if "enjoy" is the right word. That story was my first ever attempt at something on the creepy side.

    Thanks for reading.


  4. Jennifer says

    Hi- this series is an answer to prayer for me :) I have been working on a book for a year now- I'm a homeschool drama teacher, and have found that there aren't many resources out there for homeschooling (Christian) co-ops to use as far as teaching theatre in a non-threatening environment. Alot of the material out there is geared towards older kids, featuring extremely mature content, or otherwise it's cheesy and way too simple! So I've been writing my own small plays geared towards co-ops, as well as developing exercises to use in a classroom setting. But now that I have it all together, I have *no* idea what to do next- looking online seems to only confuse me more. I'm also curious about the whole 'blog' format, where I maybe start up a homeschool drama blog, offer some material for free, and charge a very small amount for the e-book….it seems like alot of people are going that route these days.

    Looking forward to your posts!


    Jeff M. Miller Reply:

    Hi @Jennifer, glad to have you along. I hope the series is helpful to you. Feel free to ask questions as we go along.


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