I’m standing up for my generation.
Millennials have a bad rap. We’re called lazy, impatient, narcissistic. Generation Me Me Me.
We’re not a bunch of grown-up kids obsessed with memes and social media. We grew up with technology and treehouses, pixels and playgrounds. We know how to play nicely—and how to change the rules.
When it comes to writing, we’re no exception to the rules—our rules. It’s our attitude and open-mindedness that gets us the skills we need and to that place of success.
Sure, not everyone born between 1980 and 2000 can keep up. And it’s indisputable that many Baby Boomers and Generation Xers before us are champion writers. But our generation is bringing a new wave to the writing community—and it’s changing the competitive game of writing.
We’re Not Afraid To Make Mistakes
We Millennials don’t scribble down several drafts of status updates before we post on Twitter. We let the words flow from our fingers and hit enter before we can say, “oops.”
Then we’re exposed to instant criticism. Replies and comments slap us down a few pegs.
We used an idiom incorrectly. We spelled a word wrong. We are totally delusional to say what we said.
But that doesn’t stop us from writing.
We write because we have an audience—and we know they’re reading. We can test our opinions and witty remarks with our online focus group before shifting it to a bigger market. We’ll know if our readers want something snarky or classy before an editor picks up our work. And that gives us an advantage.
We Write With Relevancy
We Millennials get the secret to online publishing: If we want to be heard, we have to respond in real-time.
That means we’re in the loop. We stay connected with what is going on, even if that means toying around on three glowing screens.
We also don’t dwell. We know when to drop a topic and move on.
That train to success comes to the station at a precise time—and you won’t find us waiting at the station beforehand or chasing it down the tracks when it’s too late.
We Millennials enjoy writing with a team. We want to participate and we want our ideas to be valued.
No, we are not narcissists.
We also embrace the ideas from our fellow writers—and we value them.
Collaboration means brainstorming. And brainstorming means trusting that your team won’t slam your bad idea but use it as a stepping-stone to a brilliant one.
That’s why our leadership style is all about encouraging and engaging.
Writing isn’t always about coming up with great ideas. It’s about stumbling around the bad ideas and learning from those mistakes. And it’s great to be surrounded by other writers while learning such a valuable lesson.
We Are Fearlessly Determined
We Millennials don’t dream of writing the next great American novel. We truly think we can do it.
I know I will.
We want to create meaningful work. If we’re making the effort to go to a coffeehouse and open our laptop, we’re not going to write—we’re going to write the best damn thing we can.
If we don’t know something, we look it up. A lack of knowledge is an excuse we don’t accept.
We (gasp!) Challenge The Old Ways
Some say that computer games and school lessons skewed our perception of the workplace. Our childhood training was about moving up to the next level once we mastered the skills.
And we don’t let office bureaucracy stand in our way.
If the boss won’t advance us, we move on. If something isn’t done right, we make it happen. We don’t think it’s the years that bring meaning to our writing. We think it’s the time and value we put into the work during that time.
So when you see two years of experience on our resume, it wasn’t two years of plodding along. It was two years of all-nighters, on-the-edge-of-our-seats experiments, and a love/hate courtship with stress. Because we Millennials think outside the 9 to 5 by learning as much as we can and trying as much as we can.
So call us lazy because we don’t like to do meaningless work. Call us impatient because we want to make a difference now. Call us narcissistic because we think we can do it.
But we’re calling the shots. Because we Millennials have the next generation of writing in the palm of their hands. And we’re not afraid to write about it.