And I think we should celebrate.
So, dear readers, I'm challenging you today to take a leap. Two, actually. I'm offering two leap-worthy challenges. One for teens and one for writers. Pick one. Or both.
To our teen readers, here's the leap I hope you'll take today:
A leap of faith.
Push those doubts aside--take a running leap away from them--and accept yourself. Love your individuality. It's not always easy, I know. Believe me, I know. I spent four years of my teenage life trying to erase anything that made me different. And now? I've spent the last twelve years trying to retrace the imprint of the outline the eraser left. There are parts that disappeared completely, and I grieve for them. Don't make that mistake.
So today? Do those things that scare you. Take a long look in the mirror and love the person staring back at you. Talk to that boy or girl you've been thinking about. Enjoy that hobby your friends don't quite understand. Do what makes you happy. Yes, definitely do that last one.
Believe in yourself.
If you haven't already, try it today. Take that leap. And then push it through the rest of the year.
Through the rest of your life.
And to our readers who write?
Guess what! You can take your leap without even getting off the couch.
Here's what I want you to do: Take your leap with your current draft.
Veer away from your outline if you have one. Push your characters into that place you've thought about in the back of your mind but have been afraid to go. We all have those areas. The ones we think could be cool, but that we don't have the skill to write.
To which I say: PSH.
Do it anyway. If you're smart enough to come up with it, you're smart enough to write it. Push yourself. Leap over the easy options--let's be real: we all know how nice and simple those are to write--and find the one that will make your work stand out above the rest.
And then let today be the day that starts the habit of constantly pushing yourself further in your craft. Take this leap and make it a long jump.