My semester teaching literature at MIT finishes up this week, I’m really going to miss my students. Over the weekend I started to think about what kind of advice I’d like to pass on to them – which manifested into this post. These are a few hard learned gems from my own journey that I hope will contribute towards the fresh paths being forged by new writers all over the globe:
1. writing is 9 parts living 1 part writing
2. protect and treat your gift with honour
3. people who don’t ‘get’ your work are not the people you write for
4. people who do ‘get’ your work are your teachers in this life
5. define what you are writing towards and diversify your skillset accordingly
6. only share drafts with people who have earned your respect
7. everything you write has a place in this world: some words are just for you: some words are for us all
8. recognise your path is unique to history: keep moving forward so that others might follow
9. there will be times when there are no words left in you, rest and enjoy life, your voice will return with new energy
10. trust that the culmination of your experiences, your values and your passion, the abundant spring of your soul’s truth – will always find its way through your words and onto the page.
Some of us want to write bestsellers, some of us want a loved one to read our poetry quietly. I wish you the greatest success in achieving whatever your writing goals might be.