Advice

Remember, I tell young people, that the three things you want to do in art are take a step ahead of what others have done, produce major work admired not just by your benefactors and friends but strangers—the addition of strangers is crucial--and survive professionally. Every other success is nice, but it's never more than everything else. Education and internships, as well as how you live your life, should prepare you for these three long-term goals. In both respects, don't forget that art and writing are highly competitive worlds. Avoid self-defeating traps. Even short-term successes can be a distraction.

“Avant-Garde Brown University Around 1960” (2010)

What recommendations would you give to people who aspire to pursuing non--mainstream art/writing? Don't do it unless you like to do it--no, love to do it--because the chances of succeeding, or even surviving, are so slim, given the competition, but that is the same advice you would give, or should give, to any young person who is serious about a sport or about rock music. You'd be a fool to think about possible success as a prime reason for doing it. There are so many easier ways to earn money, to impress women, to acquire power, to live in New York or to do whatever else or extra you think necessary to make your life complete.

“Epistolary Interview with a Stranger” (1990)