At a recent library visit, a young reader asked me the following question:
What is the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?
I love this question, but it’s sort of massive, when I think about it. I mean, the best advice ever? Wow. My first thought was that Don’t run into traffic was pretty decent advice once upon a time, when I was five-ish. Now, though, it sort of seems like pointing out the obvious.
Since my library visit was an author thing, I answered in terms of writing. I said that the best advice anyone ever gave me was to read as much as possible and to write just as much--all while being persistent about going after my dreams of having my writing published.
This is the best piece of writing advice I’ve received. Without a doubt. But on the way home from my library visit, I kept remembering other bits of wisdom thrown my way: My grandmother warning me to NOT get too involved with a certain guy (because, she thought, he had a weak handshake), my mother advising me about the pitfalls of blindly following a crowd, a sales lady pointing out that wearing yellow or orange of any shade would not be a good idea for me, other voices pointing out the benefits of staying away from certain drinks and junkfood. All great pieces of advice that rescued me at one point or another. Still, since writing is my love, I think I'll stick with my original answer as the best piece of advice ever. Being persistent about going after your dreams isn't such a bad idea, is it?