Ask Emily | Would-be author concerned about friends’ response

October 19, 2013 

Dear Emily,

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.

Dear Author,

Go for it. I think that would be absolutely amazing. My advice to you first is to start blogging. Personally, I blog just to get things off my chest and to have an outlet for some things I am thinking even if my blog is not viewed by many.

It’s a great source to start documenting things that are going on in your life and even things in your past. Blogging may give you a sense of what you want to start writing about exactly in the book that you could potentially be writing in the future. I think starting to write a book about the things you’ve gone through would be amazing and refreshing. If you put it out there and let other people or friends read it, then it could really hit home for someone and help others out.

Writing the book will help you get closure on many things and help you feel better about the situations you’ve been through. It will also help others by having them likely connect to the stories and situations you share. I would start scribbling down some ideas and start a Word document on your computer or get a notebook to write down your thoughts and start creating the book that you hope to accomplish. As for your friends, their opinions do matter to you, but don’t let them make the decision for you. In the topic of writing things down and documenting your story, I don’t believe that your friends really need to be a factor on what you decide to do. Do what you feel passionate about and run with it! I hope to see your book on the best-sellers list someday.

Dear Emily,

Social media is really stressing me out. Twitter and Facebook have started consuming me and I have noticed my grades dropping, and it has added so much stress. What can I do to fix this?

Dear Social,

I think the most simple answer would be to get rid of your Twitter and Facebook, but unfortunately, in today’s society, that is unlikely to happen.

With that being said, if you have a smartphone, start by at least deleting the apps off your phone and just keeping them on the computer. This hopefully will stop you from checking your phone during class and not enjoying others’ company. Getting good grades is much more important than seeing who is posting a picture of the Starbucks coffee they are drinking.

I admit social media at times can consume me, but I do take time out of my day to put my phone away and doing something stress-relieving and calming. It’s important to get away from things such as Twitter and Facebook, especially because they are not necessities. Having social media is not going to make or break you, but good grades and a healthy mind and body will. If getting rid of your accounts completely, or maybe even setting a specific amount of time that you will allow yourself to check them, will cause you to relax and get your grades back up, then that is probably the answer to your problem.

Emily Chertow is a high school student in central Pennsylvania who writes a monthly column offering nonprofessional advice from the point of view of a teenager. You can send questions to her at or mail them to Ask Emily, c/o Centre Daily Times, 3400 E. College Ave., State College, PA 16801.

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