• The basic thing is to be humble, and pretend you're a bartender in the tavern of life. Don't get too comfortable and don't really listen to anybody else. Don't stand around with a bunch of writers and talk about writing. You know when you see plumbers at a plumbers convention, usually they're not talking about plumbing: they're talking about whatever it is that two men happen to talk about. They're talking about sports, their wives and children. I just tell my students, don't talk about writing too much, just go out and do it. Find out whatever you need to get to the mainland.