What motivated teenagers, Aidan and Mia, to set up The Young Press blog? Find out about their individual views and experiences below.
I am captivated by the real world and finding out facts. I don’t read fiction books, apart from set texts for school. I have realised that I prefer reading articles and shorter pieces of writing to novels. I also enjoy looking at maps, world flags, reading recipes, food packets and learning about sports teams. I like to read the daily news from around the world, and since the EU referendum in 2016, I have grown an interest in politics. I would encourage everyone to explore different texts – it doesn’t matter what you read, start with your interests, and take it from there.
Recently, I thought that journalism might be of interest to me, so I entered ‘The Guardian Young Sportswriter of the Year’ competition. I wrote about Mohamed Salah (a footballer for Liverpool and Egypt) and was one of two runners-up. This spurred me on to write more, and partly why I wanted to setup a blog. I hadn’t developed a writing style, or one topic that I wanted to focus on, so I thought writing a blog would provide me with the opportunity to explore different styles of writing and topics of interest.
In September 2019, I set up a blog with my sister Mia, called The Young Press. I write about a range of topics, including, inspirational people, food, travel, sport, neurodiversity, and since lockdown, I started to write my own poems – the list is growing. I still haven’t discovered the way I like to write. However, the blog has given me the opportunity and freedom to try different styles of writing, whilst improving my writing and editing skills.
Mia and I are interested in different topics, so our blog will hopefully appeal to a wider range of people. However, it is not about getting thousands of people to read our posts. The blog is just the start of our writing journey and hopefully a springboard for the future. Even if it isn’t, we are learning, whilst exploring the world, forming opinions and having fun.
Aidan, 13 years old
When I was younger I wanted to be an author so I tried writing stories. Writing on the blog allows me to write about a variety of topics, whilst having the flexibility to write as little or as much as I want – it doesn’t seem as big a task as writing a whole story! I would love to write a book in the future but at the moment I am happy gaining experience from the blog.
At first, I was unsure about setting up the blog, as I didn’t think anyone would be interested in what I had to write about. I realised that as I’m an avid reader, working on the blog could improve my writing skills, whilst allowing me to share my opinions on books that I have enjoyed, and hopefully inspire people to read.
I discovered that recommending books, and writing small reviews of stories that I love, was really enjoyable. I also have an interest in the environment, food, animals and travel, so I plan to write about these topics in the future.
The blog motivates me to write more, explore different genres, whilst increasing my writing confidence. I am learning to be more concise and not to go off on tangents. My journey with the blog has had some ups and downs, as to be expected with anything new, but I have found something that is fun and rewarding. I also enjoy editing Aidan’s and my posts before we publish them. This is helping to develop my editing skills, which I have not had the opportunity to do much before.
One of the best returns that I have got from the blog was when I got two replies on Twitter from one of my favourite authors. This was really exciting and although it wasn’t about my writing, it inspired me to continue with what I was doing.
I think that writing is a great way to express yourself and anyone can do it…just start with a topic that you enjoy.
Mia, 13 years old