From Open Culture: Advice from Oscar Wilde

Finding letters penned by writers in the 1800’s is always an interesting thing. But when they give advice to aspiring writers, it’s even better. Experts recently found a letter penned in 1890 by Oscar Wilde. In it, he addressed a Mr. Morgan, and gave two points of interesting advice.

“Make some sacrifice for your art, and you will be repaid, but ask of art to sacrifice herself for you and a bitter disappointment may come to you.”

“The best work in literature is always done by those who do not depend on it for their daily bread and the highest form of literature, poetry, brings no wealth to the singer.”

Read more about the letter on Open Culture, and check back to see what more of the 13 page letter will be revealed.

From Open Culture: F. Scott Fitzgerald Advice on How to Write Fiction

It is always great to receive advice from someone who is an expert at their craft. F. Scott Fitzgerald, for example. Ernest Hemingway once described his talent “as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on butterfly’s wings.” Open Culture recently released Seven Tips from F. Scott Fitzgerald on How to Write Fiction, pulled from quotations from the book F. Scott Fitzgerald on Writing, edited by Larry W. Phillips. Some of them include:

  • Start by taking notes
  • Don’t describe your work-in-progress to anyone
  • Be ruthless.

Check out the rest as well as its companion article from Fitzgerald’s friend and rival, Seven Tips From Ernest Hemingway on How to Write Fiction.

From Brain Pickings: Sage Advice From Today’s Top Graphic Designers

If there is anyone we should take advantage of the advice we are given, it is people in our dream profession who have already graduated from college and experienced what it is like to be in the “real world.” Take, for example, the new book, I Used to Be a Design Student: 50 Graphic Designers Then and Now. Compiled by Billy Kiosoglou and Frank Philippin, the two authors “set out to reverse-engineer the power of personal history by tracing the creative evolution of influential designers, who reflect on their education, profession, and how their preferences in everything from reading to food to modes of transportation have changed since their university days.”

The book features several “comparative grids,” short and sweet sage advice, and some of the designers’ most precious valuables and how these have shifted from “technical tools” to “existential anchors.”

Example of the “comparative grids” of the graphic designers from Then and Now.


From Lifehacker: Advice for Job Seekers

For those of you graduating in May, or even searching for jobs at this moment, this post is for you. We hear over and over again “I wish I had known this” from people in the workforce. Thorin Klosowski with Lifehacker brings us the advice he wishes he would have been given before his first job.

With advice ranging from “stay organized” to “ask questions,” Klosowski covers all the bases that somebody new to the workforce needs to know. He says it’s all about balance and not setting your expectations to high. What advice are you hoping somebody tells you before your first job? Read on, your questions may be answered.

From Writer’s Digest: Advice for Writers

Sometimes the best writing advice can be things you never considered. Like rewriting and cutting the adverbs out of your piece. Or never writing for more than three hours at a time. Writer’s Digest brings us seven pieces of writing advice from author Douglas Brunt in their reoccurring column “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far.”

Brunt also tells readers to grow a thick skin in order to take criticism, and learn what criticism is worth your time, and what criticism to ignore. Read the article to find more advice from Douglas Brunt, and try using it the next time you sit down to write!

From Open Culture: Writing Wisdom from Toni Morrison

When Toni Morrison talks, you listen. Like her novels, “her voice draws you in, and before you know it, you’re part of a world all her own that she has given you the privilege of joining for a short time.” Open Culture recently wrote an article about some wisdom Ms. Morrison gave to aspiring writers during an interview with The Paris Review. Some include:

  • “Write when you know you’re at your best.”
  • “Don’t write with an audience in mind, write for the characters.”
  • “Be yourself, but be aware of tradition.”

Check out the rest of her writerly wisdom and be sure to read her interview with The Paris Review.

From Open Culture: Neil Gaiman Delivers Advice to Aspiring Artists

At the most recent Connecticut Youth Forum, Neil Gaiman was part of a panel of artists that allowed students the chance to ask questions regarding just about anything in their field of work and expertise.

When asked the question, “I want to be a director, and I’ve been told that there are enough artists in the world, and that’s not something I should pursue. Do you [agree with that]?” by a young woman, he gave her some wise advice that every aspiring writer, director, actor, etc, should listen and take heed to if they’ve ever been discouraged to follow the path they wish to take in pursuit of their dreams.

Watch the video to find out what Neil said and remember it the next time someone tells you something you can’t do.

If you’re looking for more fantastic advice from the popular fantasy writer, watch his commencement speech to the class of 2012 graduates from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Source: Open Culture