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5 Reasons Me and Teens are a Match
two person sitting on rock staring at body of water during daytime

Last week, I submitted a book proposal for a dating memoir titled Chronicles of a Dating Dummy. It was about—guess what—my many bad decisions made during my Dating Dummy days. In the proposal, I submitted two short sample chapters that I thought were pretty funny and engaging. When asked who I thought my target audience was, I stated matter-of-factly “women aged 18-35.” “First of all, that’s way too broad,” Mr. Powerful Publishing Man said. “Second of all, this book is hilarious—and is for teen girls aged 15-19.” As soon as the words came out of his mouth, I knew he was exactly right. My dating memoir wasn’t for jaded 20- and 30-somethings. It was a wild ride for teen girls who had most of their Dating Dummy days ahead of them—not behind them. Mr. Publishing’s assessment of my book’s target audience was confirmed when I submitted my “11 Signs He Is In Fact Your Boyfriend” post to Loveawake, a dating site disproportionately visited by teens, and it got 25,000 views in a week! That’s the same number of views as my top 10 posts combined here on my blog! I’ve since submitted other posts, most only getting about 1000 views, but I still learn a lot about what teens think and care about from the 400+ comments they have left on my posts on Datingish thus far.

So why do me and teens go together?

1. Teens are very into dating—and so am I.

For some reason, being interested in dating seems to be a rather taboo subject among late 20-somethings. Perhaps because we’re marrying age or something. I don’t know. It seems that everyone acts like it’s a very big deal to outwardly discuss dating and the ups and downs involved in it.

2. I’m less private than most people my age.

Most of my peers are very concerned with their public and online images, since they want to work for large corporations which might frown upon reams of information about them floating around on the internet. Teens, on the other hand, are truly digital natives, who grew up with Facebook as an integral part of their adolescence. The person they are online is the same person they are offline, so there is no need to draw such a big boundary between the two.

3. Teens are more emotional.

I named my blog “CrazyGirl Nation” for a reason. Sometimes, I feel like I’m going crazy! I know that I’m sane in the medical sense, but I definitely get swept away by my feelings and emotions—be they good ones or bad ones. Teens are infamous for being “emotional” and I like that they are expressive and in touch with their feelings. Me and teens could stand to put some distance between our emotions and our actions, but for now, we can be crazy together.

4. Maybe they don’t know any better.

Plenty of people don’t agree with my advice. (They especially love to tell me so after they’ve had a few drinks). Maybe I’m catching teens when their minds are soft and impressionable. Maybe my dating advice is like a gateway drug into even more crazy, off-the-wall advice! First, I’m telling teen girls how to make their boyfriends miss them. Next I’ll be telling them how to sell all their possessions and move into a tree house! (sounds kinda fun…) Actually, I don’t think I’m tricking anyone. I stand by my advice, and I appreciate that teens are so responsive to what I write. Not all of them like it, but they tend to be much more engaged with what I write.

5. Maybe I provide answers they are looking for.

I get lots of direct emails from teens asking me to provide advice on their personal dating situation. Although I can’t answer most of them directly one-on-one, I try to write posts that address their concerns. The teen years are interesting in that you feel like you know everything, but you also begin to have a lot more questions about everything too—especially when you enter college and are plucked out of the world that you grew up in. Maybe when everything else is changing and becoming unclear and confusing, my posts provide a little clarity in a blurry world. Whatever the reason is, I love that teens connect with my writing. Cheers to the teenagers!
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