What is the best piece of advice you have received?
To me personally the best would be, “Don’t waste your time writing short stories. No one reads them.” Now, did I listen to this advice? Not for a very long time. I wouldn’t say that I regret the time I spent working on my stories, I certainly improved as a writer doing so but I think my time could have been better spent. I find that I no longer read short stories, even in The New Yorker. I just skip them and read articles about Ebola. It is strange and when I stop and think about doing such a thing I do not have a good reason for doing so. The articles are more interesting and rewarding than reading the short story. This is rather depressing to me.
The best piece of advice I have heard that was not directed specifically at me is, “Never half-ass two things always whole-ass one.” Mind you this is from the show Parks and Recreation but I think the advice is solid nonetheless. I am guilty of violating this advice on a near daily basis. There is always a “good reason” for doing so but at the end of the day the reason always falls short. If I spent less time on videos and short films and more writing I would have better, finished work that I do not currently have. And vice versa. Instead I bounce between the two and everything takes much longer to complete because the rhythms and flows are constantly being disrupted.
So there it is, don’t waste time on something that no one wants (if your purpose is to sell it and have a career based of these works) and focus on doing one thing well. Now if I could only live by this great advice…