Advice to the Young ~ Patti Smith
By Maria Popova
“To be an artist — actually, to be a human being in these times — it’s all difficult. … What matters is to know what you want and pursue it.” Patti Smith
Caution Strong language.
On finding your purpose and doing what you love:
“A writer, or any artist, can’t expect to be embraced by the people [but] you just keep doing your work — because you have to, because it’s your calling.”
On maintaining creative integrity and not compromising:
The best advice she ever got, from none other than William S. Burroughs (who typically offered the young advice of a more politically incorrect nature), which stayed with her all along:
‘Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises, don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful — be concerned with doing good work and make the right choices and protect your work. And if you build a good name, eventually, that name will be its own currency.’
On relinquishing the false god of perfection and instead learning to ride with life’s ebb and flow:
To be an artist — actually, to be a human being in these times — it’s all difficult. … What matters is to know what you want and pursue it.[…]
[Life] is like a roller coaster. It’s never going to be perfect — it is going to have perfect moments, and then rough spots, but it’s all worth it.