Lucy and Tessa, Christmas Eve 2012, Santa Cruz, CA
No matter what, you should head over to the Huffington Post, where the lead story on the "Women" page is none other than MY AWESOME WIFE giving you the 10 Things [She] Knows About Work Now That [She's] In Her 40s. I do hope it contrasts nicely with the Wurtzel article I mentioned a few days ago, because Tessa writes in a way meant to be commiserative (rather than isolating).
I gave my own concise career advice some years ago on the blog, and while I have made it an ironclad rule never to repeat myself - not even the early entries nobody read - I will paraphrase it here for you.
Keep in mind this was written for artists, but it might work for other jobs as well. So here's...
Uncle Daddo's 7 Rules for Startin' Your Artistically-Fueled Career:
1. Form your own work-obsessed community of like-minded souls.
2. Stop fucking drinking. You can drink when there's something to celebrate.
3. Do not attend any social event to "further your career". No leads ever come from meeting someone at a party unless you were there for other reasons.
4. Put yourself in the way of things happening. Go to other people's shows, read other writer's work, help build something with your hands. You need the input of strangers and you get better at your craft every time you set foot in a foreign room.
5. Build up your social circle. When it is large enough, take a retreat somewhere to work on your endeavors, and always bring along one or two people whom you don't entirely know, so kinetic energy can gather. Be the ride everyone wants on.
6. Listen to the advice of people you thought were stupid. Listen to the critique from people who have nothing to do with your field. Gems lie hidden within.
7. Be very, very good. Don't worry about being precious. Dork out. Spend hours obsessing. Be persistent. Find your hidden trump card, your side entrance, your secret password. Once your foot is in the door, immediately force your body in. This is not a rehearsal; this is it.
Posted by Ian Williams at January 10, 2013 11:26 PM