Sarah Cook is homeschooling teen who is a talented Youtuber and Blogger. She is the perfect homeschooler to feature this month, because she is also a serious bibliophile! (I do not think IT is too long for you, Sarah.) I met her at the SEA Conference this year, and, yes, she is as charming in person as she is when she writes. I cannot wait to read a novel written by you Sarah.

How long have you been homeschooling?

I’ve been homeschooled since preschool!

What is your favorite part of being homeschooled?

Sleeping in! Also, being able to stay in my pajamas for as long as I want. ☺

What are your passions?

Writing! I want to be a published author, and maybe even a writer for television and comics. My favorite genres to write are fantasy and horror.

How has homeschooling affected your ability to work on those?

As a homeschooler, I have more time on my hands that I can devote to writing. I’ve also been able to take online creative writing courses to help me improve my abilities.

What does a typical day look like?

I take online classes through Harari College Worldwide, so a few times a week I take live classes. I try to get as much homework finished in the mornings as I can so I can dedicate the rest of my day to reading, writing, and wasting time erm….using the internet. For educational purposes. I promise.

Do you have any advice for other homeschooling kids?

For so many years, I really desperately wanted to go to public school. A lot of my friends were in public school, and I felt that I was missing out on something. If you feel the same way – trust me, you’ll come to realize just how much better homeschooling is in the long run. Just think of all the extra time you have to devote to things you actually care about, like writing stories or making YouTube videos or painting portraits of elephants named Steve! Just think of how much less drama you’ll have in your life. I went to a two-week pre-college program over the summer, and being surrounded by 50ish high school kids for an extended period of time made me realize just how exhausting public high school must be…

And hey – my public school friends were all so jealous of me being homeschooled. As a homeschooler I could “eat snacks whenever I wanted” (something that a little public school boy once told me). Although, one girl did try to convince me that public school was better because sometimes there was free candy… Jokes on her, I can eat candy at home whenever I want! 😉

What is your favorite way to connect with friends?

A lot of my friends have already graduated and gone off to college, so I don’t see them very often. However I try to keep in touch with them via email and social media, and we get together whenever possible. Last weekend I met up with a friend and we went to a high school football game!

I know you love to read. What are you reading right now?

As it’s getting to be that time of year, I’ve been reading a lot of horror recently! I just finished reading the first volume of a graphic novel series by Joe Hill called Locke and Key, and am currently halfway through the novel Roses and Rot by Kat Howard! It’s also highly likely that the next book I read is going to be IT by Stephen King, if I can get over its size…

I’m very excited because later in October I’m going to get to see both Joe Hill and Kat Howard, and a bunch of other local horror authors, at a Halloween book festival. ☺

You have your own YouTube channel. What prompted that?

I’ve been mildly addicted to YouTube for years, going through phases watching tons of videos from a variety of types of Youtubers. I was so fascinated by the idea that someone could just sit in their bedroom talking to a camera, and make that their career! Clearly there is a lot more to it than just that, but I was obsessed with the concept. I had to do it too!!

I am currently on a hiatus, however, for two reasons! #1, to focus on other projects. #2, to learn more and improve my ability to film and edit videos. But because I didn’t want to completely vanish, I decided to revive my blog! (https://wonderfulmeep.wordpress.com/)

What one piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to start a YouTube channel?

Try not to compare yourself to other Youtubers. Sometimes you may think that nobody will want to watch your channel because this other channel is way more professional or entertaining than you are. Everybody is different – that’s what makes YouTube, and the world, so fascinating! Try to be 100% pure, unadulterated you in all of your videos. Nobody wants to watch another Zoella, we already have Zoella for that. Viewers want to see you!