Notes to a young writer

I was recently asked how one balances writing with the rest of one’s life. It’s a great question, and something I don’t always feel I do well. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized there were a few things I wish I’d known and put into practice early on. Here, then, is my advice:

* Figure out what time of day you do your best work, and cordon it off with velvet ropes.

* Go for walks. Other exercise is good too, and important, but walks are special. Walking makes your brain go.

* Feed yourself. Not just food, although that’s important, but whatever you need to keep your mind and spirit full. Books, music, conversation, landscapes, friends, experiences. Laughter. Art. That’s the well you have to draw from. It’s deep, but it needs to be refilled occasionally.

* Get enough sleep.

* Get enough silence.

It all kind of boils down to “take care of yourself”, I guess. That seems obvious, but it’s always the first thing to go when the going gets stressful.

Speak, friend!

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