DEAR ABBY: I am 17 and I want to start writing a book about things I have been through in my life. My family is all for it, but my friends are against it. I am torn about what I should do. I feel if I write this book it will help kids my age who may have been through some of the same things I have.
Should I go through with it or not because my friends think it's a stupid idea? I know I'm not exactly the smartest person and getting a publisher is difficult, but does that make it a stupid idea to try? What should I do? -- CONFLICTED IN INDIANA
DEAR CONFLICTED: Your reason for wanting to write a book is a valid one and you should proceed with it regardless of what your friends think. It will help you organize your thoughts, and if you show your chapters to your English teacher, you can effectively sharpen your writing skills.
Worrying about a publisher now is putting the cart before the horse. While it might be helpful for other teens to read, I promise you that even if the book isn't published, it will become a treasured time capsule containing the thoughts that were important to you during this formative period of your life. Some people your age start writing in diaries or journals and continue doing it throughout their lives.