Pearls of Wisdom from author Robin Black

It’s not quite time for my regular weekly post (have I even gotten to the point of regular yet?), but I had to share a link to Robin Black’s “Twenty-One Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Writing …” up at Beyond the Margins.

If you’re a writer, no matter what stage of the writing and publishing game you might be at, there are so many things on this list that will make you nod in agreement or are just plain good reminders that maybe you haven’t consciously thought about but know on a more intuitive level. And, of course, some may surprise you altogether. (A big shout out to Erika Dreifus and her most excellent weekly post “Friday Finds for Writers” for this great recommendation. If you’re not familiar with Erika, check her out. She also publishes an informative free monthly newsletter “The Practicing Writer.”)

At every graduation at my alma mater, Vermont College of Fine Arts, there is a tradition where two graduates read a list called “Pearls of Wisdom,” wise (and often humorous) tid-bits collected by students from their written advisor feedback. Robin Black’s list reads like such a list of pearls. Even if you’re not a writer, there are pearls of wisdom here that cross-over into the realm of being human, not just being a writer. Here’s an example:

Don’t expect perfection of yourself. Do your best. Feel bad when you screw up, apologize if necessary, and don’t let it make you hate yourself. A lot of writers seem awfully prone to self-hatred. Try to cut yourself some slack.

I’d say that not only a lot of writers are prone to self-hatred, but a lot of People are too. And this:

The best you can do is the best you can do.

So there you have it: be good to yourself. And have a happy weekend!

4 Comments on “Pearls of Wisdom from author Robin Black”

  1. Just in case my previous comment didn’t “take”: I wanted to thank you for linking to the Friday Finds & for the kind words about the newsletter. I agree that Robin’s post is filled with “pearls of wisdom.” And I really enjoyed learning about the VCFA commencement custom. Fascinating and inspiring!


    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Erika. I’m happy to link to the Friday Finds, and I’m sure I’ll be linking to more of your posts in the future. You do such a great service for the writing community. Thank you!


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