A student in my Advanced Placement class just asked me for a “snazzy quote about the important of perseverance as a writer” to augment his research project about what it takes to be an author.
This particular student is a brilliant writer himself and also a nice person. He’s the kind of young man that makes a teacher glad to work the job. The future of our world is in good hands with the likes of him, and of all my students.
The pressure to come up with an original snazzy quote is more than I can bear on a Tuesday morning at the end of the semester, however. Here are ten mediocre quotes. Hopefully one will be good enough.
1. If rejection discourages you from writing, by all means stop writing. Really. If it’s possible for you to stop writing, then stop writing. There is no reason to subject yourself to this torture if you aren’t compelled to write.
2. Don’t make time to write. Make time to brush your teeth and do your homework and take out the garbage. Write like you breathe. Write because it’s impossible not to.
3. Don’t ask for writing advice from people who don’t write. This includes teachers. If they aren’t writers, they can’t help you.
4. Ask for writing advice from other writers, but don’t take it, necessarily. Most advice is crap, now that I think about it.
5. Read as many books as possible. Read cross-genre. Read all the time. Read when you are supposed to be doing other things. Reading is the most important thing to being a writer whose work isn’t terrible.
6. I am writing right now when I am supposed to be teaching you. Sometimes you are writing when you are supposed to be learning from me. That rocks.
7. Consider maybe not sharing your work with loved ones until after it’s published. Some people disagree with me on this one but they are wrong.
8. No one cares if you write. You’re constantly stealing time from work, family and friends as a writer. You are a robber pirate of time by being a writer. So? Sorry not sorry. Robber pirates have no time for sorry.
9. The image of a drunken writer is stupid. Stay away from alcohol and drugs. Fall in love, though. Travel. Go on adventures. Show courage.
10. People who say publishing isn’t important are all published. Don’t listen to them. Of course publishing is important.
People will also tell you publishing isn’t as great as you think it will be. This is also not true. It will be even greater. I can’t wait to read your novels. I can’t wait to see you at bookstores at your book signings and tell everybody in the line that I was your teacher.
I was your teacher. That was pretty great too.
This is my book, if you want to have a look. Hey, I rhymed: