Eighteen things I have learnt about writing & life in eighteen years

Saturday, March 24, 2012

  1. In the grand scheme of your life, numbers are never as important as people make them out to be (your marks in high school, for example). Numbers like how much you weigh are totally irrelevant.
  2. External circumstance will not bring you self-confidence or happiness, no matter how many people tell you how brilliant you are.
  3. The process is just as enjoyable as the result.
  4. Most people are fairly indifferent to you. This isn't a bad thing. You can live your life however you like, and most people won't mind.
  5. The most important thing in writing is to write what excites you, what you are passionate about, what you would love to read, and to enjoy it. Publication only complicates this.
  6. Everyone has a different perspective, and everyone has stories only they can tell.
  7. There are a lot of good and kind people in the world who want to support you and see you succeed, and these are the people to spend time with and focus on, rather than trying to change the minds of your detractors.
  8. Maybe creating something that will outlive you is not the purpose of life. Maybe just enjoying life and being a good person is.
  9. A supportive and loving and fun family is the best thing anyone could wish for.
  10. Getting enough sleep is very important.
  11. It isn't hard to be nice and make life easier for other people. Smiling requires a minimum of effort but makes you feel a lot better.
  12. Public speaking is really not that hard or terrifying.
  13. Being judgemental doesn't get you anywhere.
  14. The internet can be a wonderful thing, in small doses. The physical world is even better.
  15. Writing is maybe not the single greatest profession in the universe (dance and music and curing disease and lifesaving are all pretty wonderful), but it's a pretty special one. Words have a lot of power. Fan mail is the greatest.
  16. There are always a lot of things to be grateful for, even when the current task seems insurmountable.
  17. There is no one proper way to live life, and no matter what you do you will be missing out on something. There are infinite possibilities and opportunities available to you, and it's not necessary to conform and live the way everyone else seems to live if you don't want to.
  18. Kindness and respect and compassion (for everyone and everything) will always be more important than success and money and book smarts. Sometimes I lose track of that.
(Feel free to share your own writing/life lessons, or a list of your own - one thing for each year of life! Unless you are about eighty in which case feel free to cut that down a bit.)
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