Feed and cultivate your interests and obsessions. Write tons. Read like there’s no tomorrow. Don’t wait around for ideal writing circumstances, because they don’t often occur and you have to write anyway. Try to find interesting living writers to befriend who understand your work and aspirations and whose work you admire– via school, or chance meetings or working on magazines or through correspondence or collaboration or writers’ groups or whatever; and persevere, because the rejection thing happens to everybody. You have to make your peace with it, it never goes away. Rejection doesn’t mean you’re not a good writer. There’s a weird sustaining faith in oneself and one’s work element, and sometimes that’s hard to maintain. Sure, some writers are confident extroverts, but a lot of us are nerdy, quiet-ish, self doubting, hang-back types who take rejection real hard. It’s not personal. Lot of times the rejection is not even about you or the work. Don’t be scared of revising. If you write a great line and it doesn’t fit in the poem, maybe it will fit in somewhere else. Maybe not. That’s ok. Be tough with your work, because you want it to be as good as it can possibly be.

Amy Gerstler’s advice for struggling writers, as told to Freddy Garcia for Chaparral (via bostonpoetryslam)

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