Recipe for Good Writing: Serves 8

by Kana Wiens, Age 16, Canada


Although it is natural for us to be ravenous for knowledge and perfection, it’s probably best to accept that sometimes there is no magic formula. While there are many successes in writing, there are infinitely more failures. Based on my own experiences with writing and reading other stories, though, I’ve created my own recipe for good writing.

Serves 8 

1 ¾ cup determination:

Determination is desperately needed when it comes to writing. Your piece, whether it’s a short story or a poem, will always have some overlooked flaws which can be understandably discouraging at times. I have had a fair share of essays and stories returned covered in red scribbles. Nevertheless, persevering through the rough patches of your story can be rewarding, something I can definitely tell you from experience.

3 tbsp passion:

Passion and confidence play a key role in each story. If you don’t absolutely believe and love your writing piece, don’t expect the readers to. The author’s emotion, especially their enthusiasm for the story, is usually revealed throughout the piece.

Pinch of vocabulary:

Much like salt, it has a small role in the recipe. It is not necessary to have a wide variety of words in your vocabulary bank to create a beautiful and inspiring piece of writing. That said, words like “happy”, “sad,” and “mad” can be expressed and portrayed in so many other specific ways. I like to read my stories through the protagonist’s perspective to deeply feel and relate to their emotions.

Secret Ingredient:

This ingredient is what makes your writing YOURS. With the other millions of stories out in the world, you need a little originality to create an individual, distinctive piece. Creativity and imagination are essential to any story.

Now mix up all the ingredients together and throw them in the oven. What are your results? Either you have made a beautiful, delicious-looking cake or, more likely, an unappetizing piece of garbage. Just like any recipe, it takes several attempts to get it down perfectly, and even then you might still occasionally end up with a disappointing outcome. Writing is unpredictable. The important thing is to continue writing even when you have had a discouraging streak of failures and to keep it from capping your imagination. In the end, at least you had some fun and maybe gained a better grasp on what makes good writing.


“Thank you so much! This is one of my first steps in my writing career, and it’s nice to have some encouragement.” – Kana

Kana Wiens is a 16 year old Canadian writer. Kana says, “As a voracious reader from an early age, writing has always been my outlet to express my thoughts and ideas and share them with others. As an aspiring writer, I am currently trying to gain more experience in the business.” Read Kana’s blog.


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