Friday, August 03, 2012

Good Advice + Hard Work

Do yourself a favor this morning, and read this: How to Have a Career: Advice to Young Writers. Everything in it is spot on. My favorite part: 
Money. Learn to live on air. Buy the best health insurance you can afford. If you have roommates, work in the library. Run and do calisthenics instead of paying for a gym membership. Invest in ear plugs, good sneakers, and a coffee machine. Buy oatmeal in bulk. Learn to cook simple, nutritious meals. Save and eat leftovers. Cafes are a waste of money, calories, and time; leave them to the tourists. Buy books used, perform periodic culls, and resell them. Wasting money on clothes is the stupidest habit of all. You will only ever need two good outfits.
And this one, too: 
Kindness. It should go without saying that you must be kind to everyone you meet. People have long memories. Bad behavior should not be returned in kind. When people forget their manners, take it as an opportunity to practice yours.
The whole thing is worth a read, whether or not you're a writer. 

And speaking of writing, it's August, as we've already established, and I am unofficially back to work as a TA. At the end of this month, I'll once again receive paychecks from the university (thank god!) in exchange for teaching young, undergraduate minds the finer basic things about fiction. Which means that until school starts, I will be feverishly working on my syllabus and trying to get a head start on reading assignments, in the hopes that I will remain ahead of my students. I'm a little nervous about teaching this semester, as my load will be twice as big as last year's (29 students, as opposed to 10 - a big jump!), and I'll have to balance my TA duties with my own three classes, my new part time job at the wine store, and getting married. It's going to be a crazy semester, so if I periodically disappear from blogosphere, please don't take it personally. In the meantime, I'm sure the toughest moments of the semester will inspire me to re-read the Advice link I posted above, especially this part: 
Work. Be relentless. All over the world, people are working harder than you.
And now, I better get to work. Okay, fine. Coffee, a six mile run, and then work.