Arts East Asks: How Would You Advise Aspiring Writers?

  1. What do you care about? Write about that. 
  2. Who are writing for? Write for them. 
  3. Why? Yes, know why you are writing. 
  4. Know thyself, do your homework (as in studying the tradition in which you write) and seek authentic voice. Ask what that means. 
  5. Forget about making piles of money with writing. It most likely won’t happen. 
  6. Forget about fame. Oprah won’t call. Visibility equals vulnerability anyhow. 
  7. Forget about awards or accolades - just one or two more lines extra in your obituary.. 
  8. Have friends besides writers. 
  9. Repeat: My life is my most important work in progress. 
  10. Serve the work not yourself, but know what you think 'the Work' means. 
  11. Tend your spirit first but try to nurture a generous spirit not a competitive one. 'Right Intention' matters. 
  12. Keep asking what means excellence. Know you could be wrong. 
  13. Limit facebook and twitter time! Energy and breath - we only have so much. 
  14. With regards to number 13, do as I say not as I do. 
  15. Be grateful. If you are lucky enough to be writing and persist and find readers - wow. Be grateful. What a gift. But...really try not to get your knickers in a knot about selling and publishing what you create. Easy for me to say after many years, I know, but process of creation matters. I have way more pieces rejected and in un-finished file folders than I do published works. Explore. Risk. Create. Go for walks.

~ Interview with Arts East December 2010