What tips or advice do you have for writers?
“You might as well forget the ambition to be ‘discovered.’ It’s more important these days to write beautifully and steadfastly. This is what I have always believed about my spirit, about my creativity. I believe that human creativity is a vital force that bounces wildly through this world and sometimes hits us in the back of the head when we’re not looking. It expresses itself through us (or at least me). I believe that raw, naked talent (the vital force by which human creativity gets manifested in the physical world through your hands) is a mighty, wonderful and very Holy gift.
“I believe that, if you have a talent (or even if you just think you do, or maybe even if you just hope you do) … have a talent for working with your hands, that you should treat that talent with the highest reverence and love. Get a job working with your hands--maybe become a carpenter or a massage therapist. You should probably leave writing to the people who know what the hell they are doing. And ‘no’ I am not going to proofread your manuscript or hand-deliver it to the editors at Penguin.
“In other words, don't flip out and murder your gift through narcissism, insecurity, addiction, competitiveness, ambition or mediocrity. Frankly, don't be a writer! I’ve known a lot of writers and they are all like that. You should just get busy, get serious about your career, get down to it and write something down, for heaven's sake. Try writing an autobiographical essay. Then staple it to an admissions form from your local Community College.
“You can find success. Try to get out of your own way. Just try. Creativity itself doesn't care at all about results -- the only thing it craves is money and adulation. Learn to love the money and let whatever happens next, just happen, without fussing too much about it. Work like a monk, or a mule, or some other representative metaphor for drudgery. And if you want to visualize it as a monk riding a mule, well just go ahead. Just try! Or a mule riding a monk, I guess that works too.”