Dear American Girl,
I love writing more than anything, and I want to be an author when I grow up. But there's a girl in my class who makes fun of me for this. She says writing is "boring" and "lame," and she says I'll never be an author. Her comments hurt my feelings, and it makes me want to find something else to dream about. How can I keep my goal in sight if someone puts it down?
Here's your advice:
Try not to pay attention to the things this girl is saying. She might not share your passion for writing, and that's why she doesn't understand why someone would aspire to be a writer. Don't change your dream to please other people.
-Anoushka, age 12, Illinois
If this girl says something unkind about your dream to be a writer, here's one way to respond. You could smile and say, "Thanks! What do you want to be when you grow up?" It could catch her by surprise, and she might not know how to respond.
-Annie, age 10, Texas
Keep your head up and continue to remind yourself that writing is what you want to do. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.
-Juliana, age 12, Kentucky
This girl might not be the right person to share your dreams with, especially since she's making fun of you. Talk about your writing with friends who lift you up instead of tearing you down.
-Abigail, age 11, Texas
The more this girl puts you down, the more you should write. Stay confident, and if she sees that she isn't affecting you, she might give up.
-Julia, age 10, Maryland
This girl's opinion isn't important. What is important is that YOU love to write. Don't let one rude person's comments get you down.
-Clarissa, age 8, Nevada
Just because someone says writing is boring and lame doesn't make it true. Ignore this girl's comments and move forward with your dream.
-Amanda, age 10, Michigan
This girl isn't the one who will choose your destiny. You are the only one who can do that.
-Abby, age 13, Tennessee
Spend as much time as you can with people who encourage you and help you to believe in your dreams.
-Alexandria, age 11, Wisconsin
Respond to this girl's criticism by saying, "What's boring to you is fun for me. I enjoy writing, so I'm going to stick with it."
-Elizabeth, age 8, South Carolina
Don't push away your dream of becoming an author. If you back down and throw away your goals, you're letting this girl win.
-Jessica, age 10, Connecticut
Think of it this way: When you grow up, people might criticize your writing then, too. View this as your training to withstand negative comments you may receive in the future.
-An American Girl fan, age 13, California
Don't give up. I also have a dream to be an author someday. To me, writing is everything and it makes me feel alive. Some of my friends used to make fun of me for wanting to publish my own books. Every time someone put down my dream, I ignored the comments and wrote about it. That helped me to forget the critics and focus on my goals. Never stop writing!
-Kamin, age 12, Pennsylvania