advice to me

If I could travel back in time and talk to myself at age 29, the year I decided I was going to write seriously, this is what I might say to me:

  •  You’re going to live to be at least 60 – wear sunscreen.
  •  So Martine, all that bad stuff you’re writing? Ya, you just have to get that out of your system. It’ll take a few years, but have some faith in yourself.
  •  You’re going to have days when you’ll want to give up. Don’t. All wannabees give up. All real writers do not give up. Think about it.
  • The minute you stop trying to write like the newest big name, or write what’s in style, or write what you think people want to read – the moment you start writing the book you want to read, that’s the moment you’re going to start making headway.
  • I know you want to be published – the ultimate affirmation. But Ann Lamott is right: publishing is like plastic surgery – almost everything you hope it will do for you is an illusion. You will find out this is true on the day you publish your first book and you still have to clean the toilets.
  • Don’t worry, none of your children will grow up to be juvenile delinquents, in spite of your chosen profession.
  • Oh, honey, you’re going to be poor. But you won’t have any regrets. Promise.
  • There’s this funky little school called Vermont College of Fine Arts – go there.
  •  In a couple of years there’s going to be this little company called Apple. Go empty your bank account and buy some shares at $16 each…


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10 responses to “advice to me

  1. Martine…my heart is singing reading your post! It is actually just the kind of advice and reminder I need on this day. Thank you, thank you…and long live the true writers from VCFA!

  2. So true, all of it, especially that worry about children-as-delinquents.

  3. This is wonderful, Martine! Everyone should read this!

  4. Wonderful post. This is the one I needed most today: “You’re going to have days when you’ll want to give up. Don’t. All wannabees give up. All real writers do not give up. Think about it.”

  5. skvanzandt

    Wise words, Martine. Love the one about our funky little school. I miss Brigadoon. Miss you, too.

  6. Oh, Martine. This 29 year old needed to read that…

  7. K.A. Barson

    Wear sunscreen–got it. Best part about this post: I could hear your voice in each wise word, Martine. Thanks for the pick-me-up.

  8. Oh, Martine, I smiled at your wise words, especially the ones about the toilet cleaning that never stops and the Apple stock one should have bought.

  9. I think I was closer to 40 when I decided I was going to write seriously. Sure am glad I found that funky little school…

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