In various parts of the world, there are age limits or age restriction for certain activities. There is a minimum age for driving, drinking, smoking, watching certain movies and so on. Let’s take a look at age restriction on different activities in different parts of the world.

UNITED STATES
In the US for example, the minimum age for driving is 16. The minimum age for drinking is 21 and the minimum age for taking tobacco products is 18. These are seriously enforced by the police.

GERMANY
Driving – In Germany they have different age limits for different types of vehicles.
Smoking – 18
Drinking – The legal age is 16, but for spirits.

NIGERIA
Driving – In Nigeria the minimum age to apply for a driver’s license is 18.
Smoking – 18
Drinking – 18 but rarely enforced being a lawless country.

CHINA
Driving – 18
Smoking – The minimum age is 18.
Drinking – 18

CANADA
Driving- 16
Smoking – 18
Drinking – 18 in Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec. The minimum drinking age for the rest of the country is 19.

SOUTH AFRICA
Driving – 18
Smoking – 18
Drinking – 18

NEWZEALAND
Driving – 16
Smoking – 18
Drinking – The legal minimum age to purchase alcohol is 18 but in some cases, people under 18 may be allowed in licensed stores to buy alcohol.

INDIA
Driving- 16 for learner’s permit, and 18 for permanent license.
Smoking – 18
Drinking – The minimum age for purchase is 18 but the minimum age for consumption is 21.

Now while there is a minimum age for getting a driver’s license, minimum age for drinking, and a minimum age for smoking, there is none for writing books, and there should be none. Doing so is caging people’s talents. Doing so is holding people hostage.

While on the road a lot of situations that demand making instant decisions do arise. Any wrong decisions or delay in making such decisions could make things worse. Because of this, the various governments of the world are making sure such decisions are rightly made thereby minimizing accidents. Things do happen. That does not mean that there will be no road mishaps. Having an age limit for driving for example will just make things better and safer. You cannot compare the decision capability of a fourteen year old and that of a sixteen or an eighteen year old.

Now what other activities should require minimum age restriction apart from those mentioned? Maybe writing. Earlier I said there should be no such restriction. Continue reading for more details.

Should there be an age restriction for book writing, this raises the following questions:

Should age restriction be extended to book writing?
Should there be a minimum age requirement for writing in general, not for writing specific books for either adults or young children? The answers to both questions is no. Before getting into details, first, this.

I never at any time thought about age restriction when it comes to writing a book until I met a woman who told me a story about her daughter who has a penchant for writing. That thought never crossed my mind because I never felt that age should be a hindrance for anyone who wants to write, the age notwithstanding. I never thought it was necessary. Actually it was the woman’s story that prompted me to write this article which I hope will provide inspiration not only to this woman’s daughter, Chinemerem Vivian Anyadike but so many other young talents out there. By the way, there are so many of them. There are so many of them who at times are scared of making their desire to write known because of adults or others around them. Such younger minds need to believe in their ability and of course need all the support they can get. They also need to be believed by those around them.

Now the woman’s story

The woman said that her daughter has written two novels, still manuscripts.

“What did she do with them”? I asked her.

“We handed them over to a man of God,” she said.

What a mistake, I thought.

“Now, what happened next?”

“The man of God who has not attempted to write said she was too young to be writing, she has to wait till she is grown,” she said.

“How old is your daughter?”

“Twelve,” she said.

I told her no, that she has to take the manuscripts back from him.

She eventually did.

Writing a book at times is about creative imagination and maybe that is why Albert Einstein said that: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
The man of God was putting a restriction on the child’s creative imagination, the man of God was putting a restriction on the child’s thinking, the man of God was putting a restriction on her daughter’s basic right to self expression.

Putting age restriction on writing is denying people access to all kinds of information, putting restriction on information is denying people the right to think about any conceivable topic or issue.

No one individual or age group can do it all. No one individual or age group represents the experiences or opinions of the rest of us. So many things about our lives are different.

Here are examples of books written and published when the writers were just teenagers.

The man of God who has never attempted to write did not know that Daisy Ashford born in 1881 wrote The Young Visiters at age 9. It was a novella (short novel or long short story) first published in 1919. All her juvenile spellings and punctuation were retained.

The man of God did not know that Barbara NewHall Follett born in 1914 wrote her first novel,The House Without Windows at the age of 8. The manuscript was destroyed by house fire, but she later retyped it at age 12. The novel was published by Knopf Publishing House in January 1927.

In Anambra state, Nigeria, we have a 19 year old Michael Chineme who started writing the history of his Local Government Area called Ayamelum only when he was 15. The 542 page book was launched at Anaku, the local government headquarters.

Miss Onyeka Promise Kosisọchukwu from Ụmụikwu Anam in Anambra state was 10 when she wrote The Brilliant Child.

Miss Aishat Ibrahim from Kebbi state wrote The Girl Who Loves Her City, when she was a teenager. The book, published by Grandeur in 2016, though is about mistakes teenagers make in the process of growing up is for adults as well.

In Johannesburg, South Africa we have Michelle Nkamakeng who wrote her first book, Waiting for the Waves when she was only 7. According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia she is the youngest author in South Africa in particular and Africa in general. She is a multiple awards speaker, reader, and activist.

Age should never in any generation be a determinant in what goes to become a book, fiction or nonfiction notwithstanding.

Moreover, restricting writing books based on age is just trampling on people’s fundamental human rights.

Furthermore, age restriction stifles people’s creativity. They need all the support they can get moreso in this age when the cellular phone is now the new novel. The effort of such young minds is a tremendous effort towards reversing this dangerous trend brought about by cellular phone.

Last word!

Do you have a teenage son or a teenage daughter, who is sharing his or her desire to write with you? If you do, this is for you:

All your teenage son or teenage daughter needs from you is to believe in him or her, belief that he or she has a viewpoint, belief that his or her viewpoint is relevant, and can make a difference in the lives of his or her audience..

Writing should not be based on age, it should be based on relevance. At times writing a book is a matter of what should be.

Any type of age restriction on writing is a restriction on individual freedom.WRITING BOOKS AND AGE RESTRICTION
by Paul Chika Emekwulu

In various parts of the world, there are age limits or age restriction for certain activities. There is a minimum age for driving, drinking, smoking, watching certain movies and so on. Let’s take a look at age restriction on different activities in different parts of the world.

UNITED STATES
In the US for example, the minimum age for driving is 16. The minimum age for drinking is 21 and the minimum age for taking tobacco products is 18. These are seriously enforced by the police.

GERMANY
Driving – In Germany they have different age limits for different types of vehicles.
Smoking – 18
Drinking – The legal age is 16, but for spirits.

NIGERIA
Driving – In Nigeria the minimum age to apply for a driver’s license is 18.
Smoking – 18
Drinking – 18 but rarely enforced being a lawless country.

CHINA
Driving – 18
Smoking – The minimum age is 18.
Drinking – 18

CANADA
Driving- 16
Smoking – 18
Drinking – 18 in Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec. The minimum drinking age for the rest of the country is 19.

SOUTH AFRICA
Driving – 18
Smoking – 18
Drinking – 18

NEWZEALAND
Driving – 16
Smoking – 18
Drinking – The legal minimum age to purchase alcohol is 18 but in some cases, people under 18 may be allowed in licensed stores to buy alcohol.

INDIA
Driving- 16 for learner’s permit, and 18 for permanent license.
Smoking – 18
Drinking – The minimum age for purchase is 18 but the minimum age for consumption is 21.

Now while there is a minimum age for getting a driver’s license, minimum age for drinking, and a minimum age for smoking, there is none for writing books, and there should be none. Doing so is caging people’s talents. Doing so is holding people hostage.

While on the road a lot of situations that demand making instant decisions do arise. Any wrong decisions or delay in making such decisions could make things worse. Because of this, the various governments of the world are making sure such decisions are rightly made thereby minimizing accidents. Things do happen. That does not mean that there will be no road mishaps. Having an age limit for driving for example will just make things better and safer. You cannot compare the decision capability of a fourteen year old and that of a sixteen or an eighteen year old.

Now what other activities should require minimum age restriction apart from those mentioned? Maybe writing. Earlier I said there should be no such restriction. Continue reading for more details.

Should there be an age restriction for book writing, this raises the following questions:

Should age restriction be extended to book writing?
Should there be a minimum age requirement for writing in general, not for writing specific books for either adults or young children? The answers to both questions is no. Before getting into details, first, this.

I never at any time thought about age restriction when it comes to writing a book until I met a woman who told me a story about her daughter who has a penchant for writing. That thought never crossed my mind because I never felt that age should be a hindrance for anyone who wants to write, the age notwithstanding. I never thought it was necessary. Actually it was the woman’s story that prompted me to write this article which I hope will provide inspiration not only to this woman’s daughter, Chinemerem Vivian Anyadike but so many other young talents out there. By the way, there are so many of them. There are so many of them who at times are scared of making their desire to write known because of adults or others around them. Such younger minds need to believe in their ability and of course need all the support they can get. They also need to be believed by those around them.

Now the woman’s story

The woman said that her daughter has written two novels, still manuscripts.

“What did she do with them”? I asked her.

“We handed them over to a man of God,” she said.

What a mistake, I thought.

“Now, what happened next?”

“The man of God who has not attempted to write said she was too young to be writing, she has to wait till she is grown,” she said.

“How old is your daughter?”

“Twelve,” she said.

I told her no, that she has to take the manuscripts back from him.

She eventually did.

Writing a book at times is about creative imagination and maybe that is why Albert Einstein said that: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
The man of God was putting a restriction on the child’s creative imagination, the man of God was putting a restriction on the child’s thinking, the man of God was putting a restriction on her daughter’s basic right to self expression.

Putting age restriction on writing is denying people access to all kinds of information, putting restriction on information is denying people the right to think about any conceivable topic or issue.

No one individual or age group can do it all. No one individual or age group represents the experiences or opinions of the rest of us. So many things about our lives are different.

Here are examples of books written and published when the writers were just teenagers.

The man of God who has never attempted to write did not know that Daisy Ashford born in 1881 wrote The Young Visiters at age 9. It was a novella (short novel or long short story) first published in 1919. All her juvenile spellings and punctuation were retained.

The man of God did not know that Barbara NewHall Follett born in 1914 wrote her first novel,The House Without Windows at the age of 8. The manuscript was destroyed by house fire, but she later retyped it at age 12. The novel was published by Knopf Publishing House in January 1927.

In Anambra state, Nigeria, we have a 19 year old Michael Chineme who started writing the history of his Local Government Area called Ayamelum only when he was 15. The 542 page book was launched at Anaku, the local government headquarters.

Miss Onyeka Promise Kosisọchukwu from Ụmụikwu Anam in Anambra state was 10 when she wrote The Brilliant Child.

Miss Aishat Ibrahim from Kebbi state wrote The Girl Who Loves Her City, when she was a teenager. The book, published by Grandeur in 2016, though is about mistakes teenagers make in the process of growing up is for adults as well.

In Johannesburg, South Africa we have Michelle Nkamakeng who wrote her first book, Waiting for the Waves when she was only 7. According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia she is the youngest author in South Africa in particular and Africa in general. She is a multiple awards speaker, reader, and activist.

Age should never in any generation be a determinant in what goes to become a book, fiction or nonfiction notwithstanding.

Moreover, restricting writing books based on age is just trampling on people’s fundamental human rights.

Furthermore, age restriction stifles people’s creativity. They need all the support they can get moreso in this age when the cellular phone is now the new novel. The effort of such young minds is a tremendous effort towards reversing this dangerous trend brought about by cellular phone.

Last word!

Do you have a teenage son or a teenage daughter, who is sharing his or her desire to write with you? If you do, this is for you:

All your teenage son or teenage daughter needs from you is to believe in him or her, belief that he or she has a viewpoint, belief that his or her viewpoint is relevant, and can make a difference in the lives of his or her audience..

Writing should not be based on age, it should be based on relevance. At times writing a book is a matter of what should be.

Any type of age restriction on writing is a restriction on individual freedom.

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