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Posts tagged "advice"

Mar 17, 2014
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Kurt Vonnegut Once Sent This Amazing Letter To A High School


  What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.
  
  Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.
  
  Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?
  
  Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals [sic]. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

Kurt Vonnegut Once Sent This Amazing Letter To A High School

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.

Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?

Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals [sic]. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

Feb 27, 2014
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Harold Ramis’s advice to young artists

via Mother Jones > @janetpierson:

You have to live your life with a certain blind confidence that if it’s your destiny to succeed at these things, it will happen, if you just continue to follow a straight path, to do you work as conscientiously and as creatively as you can, and to just stay open to all opportunity and experience. There’s a performing motto at Second City…to say yes instead of no. It’s actually an improvisational rule…It’s about supporting the other person. And the corollary to that is if you concentrate on making other people look good, then we all have the potential to look good. If you’re just worried about yourself—How am I doing? How am I doing?—which is kind of a refrain in Hollywood, you know, people are desperately trying to make their careers in isolation, independent of everyone around them.

And I’ve always found that my career happened as a result of a tremendous synergy of all the talented people I’ve worked with, all helping each other, all connecting, and reconnecting in different combinations. So…identify talented people around you and then instead of going into competition with them, or trying to wipe them out, make alliances, make creative friendships that allow you and your friends to grow together, because someday your friend is going to be sitting across a desk from you running a movie studio.

Ramis is quoted in the “Stand Next To The Talent” section of Steal Like An Artist.

Feb 24, 2014
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RIP Harold Ramis

Always thought he seemed like a real mensch. In a 2005 Fresh Air interview, he had such a good piece of advice that I put it in Steal Like An Artist:


  Find the most talented person in the room, and if it’s not you, go stand next to him. Hang out with him. Try to be helpful.


I can’t believe Egon is dead. He’s who I wanted to be when I grew up:

RIP Harold Ramis

Always thought he seemed like a real mensch. In a 2005 Fresh Air interview, he had such a good piece of advice that I put it in Steal Like An Artist:

Find the most talented person in the room, and if it’s not you, go stand next to him. Hang out with him. Try to be helpful.

I can’t believe Egon is dead. He’s who I wanted to be when I grew up:

Feb 13, 2014
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Everybody wants to have a goal — I gotta get to that goal, I gotta get to that goal, I gotta get to that goal. I can finally get to that goal. Then you get to that goal, and then you gotta get to another goal. But in between goals is a thing called life, that has to be lived and enjoyed — and if you don’t, you’re a fool.

Jan 08, 2014
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Dec 04, 2013
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Rilke, you old dog you

Well, here’s something Rainer Maria Rilke never mentioned in his Letters To A Young Poet:

He financed his career as a poet by seducing a series of rich noblewomen who would support him while he wrote his books. One princess let him live for a while in her Castle Duino near Trieste, a medieval castle with fortified walls and an ancient square tower.

It was in that castle in the winter of 1912 that he heard angels talking to him and started The Duino Elegies.

To be fair, his last letter to the young poet was in 1908. You can imagine what he might’ve written had they kept up their correspondence:

My dear Mr. Kappus,

My advice: Find some rich broads to give you money.

Yours,

Rainer Maria Rilke

“Hold me, touch me!”

Nov 27, 2013
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Nicholson Baker’s writing advice

The writer shares his advice, most that I’ve blogged before: write every day, write about the best thing that happened to you today, and copy favorite passages into a commonplace book.

I like how even someone of his caliber will make excuses:

I fudge a lot where I think, “OK, did you write anything, did you write a text? Did you write an email? Did you write just notes on a scrap of paper? Did you write something?” So that’s how I get around it sometimes, by stretching the definition.

Filed under: Nicholson Baker

Aug 15, 2013
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Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.
— William Munny, life coach

May 13, 2013
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Be contemporary. Have impact. Strive for it. Be of the world. Move it. Be bold, don’t hold back. Then the moment you think you’ve been bold, be bolder. We are all alive today, ever so briefly here now, not then, not ago, not in some dreamworld of a hypothetical future. Whatever you do, you must make it contemporary. Make it matter now. You must give us a new path to tread, even if it carries the footfalls of old soles. You must not be immune to the weird urgency of today.

May 10, 2013
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Following your bliss is useless. People are passionate about a lot of stupid things. It’s not a great mantra. Meaning, I think, comes from doing a full accounting of your limitations and assets, your passions and your weaknesses, your belief system and your fears, and then rubbing up against the things that cause you to panic, like an allergy skin scratch test, and find out what your reactions are. Once you figure out how you can contribute to the greater good, once you’re able even to define that, you take that information and pour yourself into one direction. Regardless of discomfort or regrets or what-ifs. (And then doing that over and over again, until death.) That does not fit on a T-shirt. That to me is more important than bliss, which would really just lead me back into bed, maybe with a bowl of corn flakes…
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