Throughout the years, people will give you advice that can change the course of your life. Being open to receiving them will give you a different perspective and can alter your outlook. Over time, you will learn how important it is to interpret these advice, sticking to those that positively impact you.
Today, I’ve curated a list of advice from some of our favorite authors. As you read them, reflect on how they relate to your life. Some pertain to the art of writing, while some might grant greater meaning to your everyday life.
Henry Miller’s advice has been integral in my day-to-day life, especially now. Previously, when I had a task or project to complete, I worked long hours because I either had a deadline to meet or it was a task I was passionate about. Upon reading Miller’s words, I’m reminded to slow down and dedicate chunks of time to my work and personal life. Organizing my time, while slowly and intentionally immersing myself in important activities, is so rewarding, and I encourage you to do the same. If you know you have a deadline for a project in a month, pull out your agenda and carve out time to work on it each day. Once you get closer to the deadline, you’ll only be editing and putting the finishing touches.
I absolutely love this advice from Zadie Smith. It speaks to my childhood. As I was growing up, my parents encouraged my sister and me to read often. You might think I hated reading because my parents urged me to do it regularly, but I loved it. My favorite thing to do as a child was going to the library. I’d run straight to the children’s fiction section and browse each of the shelves in awe like a kid at a candy store.
Why is reading a lot so important, anyway? Well, reading inspires imagination. The more you read, the more you expand your knowledge and open your mind to new possibilities. It also taps into your creativity and unleashes a wealth of vocabulary. The new words you pick up by reading regularly will naturally improve your communication skills.
Neil Gaiman’s advice is a practical one for anyone looking high and low for inspiration to write. When I was an undergrad and had to write a few essays, I sometimes struggled to find the words. To help myself, I divided the work in chunks, organizing my tasks into steps like brainstorming, researching, prewriting, etc. Once I did this, it was easier putting “pen to paper”. I challenge you to do the same. Work in manageable blocks of time and stay focused. Knowing that you have a due date for an essay will allow you to create an organized “to-do” list and help you determine how much time it takes to complete the short tasks leading up to the final draft. Additionally, The Pomodoro Technique will cut down on interruptions and maximize your efficiency. Once you get into the zone of writing, you’ll notice the words flow right through you. Before you know it, you’ve completed that 5-page essay your teacher assigned.
As you face challenges in your life, you will lean on family, friends, and teachers for help. Most of them, if not all of them, will try to work out solutions with you. On the other hand, you might have people in your life who will simply listen. Ernest Hemingway’s advice is the perfect reminder that just as we will lean on people to confide in, people will go to us for support, so it’s important to be present and practice active listening.
What is active listening? It’s the taking in of information that someone says and then processing it. By actively listening, you’re understanding what the other person is saying, and even though you might not have insight, you can still relate or try to be there for them in some capacity. It also highlights your thoughtfulness, whether the issues you come across are about school, family, or personal. Throughout your life, you will continue to actively listen, taking in all key information and sharing insight in meaningful conversations.
There you have it! The advice above might pertain to your life at the moment, or they might not be relatable at all. As the reader, you can interpret each advice how you feel best, so always remember to stay true to yourself.
Cirillo Consulting (2020). The Pomodoro Technique. Retrieved on April 27th, 2021 via https://francescocirillo.com/pages/pomodoro-technique