a piece of advice... for a friend.

I can't think of much worse than spending a lifetime doing something that isn't what you want to do.

I don't know that I'm really qualified to give advice. But I wasn't much older than you when I started writing and not letting anyone know that I do love writing so very much. So I decided to be a journalist, and learn how the world and publishing worked, and meet everyone I wanted to meet, and feed myself and pay my bills and pretty quickly, that is what I am doing. Seeing there was a 'shopping list' of other things I wanted to do when I am done with journalism, I carried on writing and am still slowly working my way down the list.

And they may be terribly hard fields to break into (except maybe for some other jobs which is easy to break into and nearly impossible to make enough to buy a meagre dinner with your girlfriend once a year with) but they are enormously fun ones... and talent and enthusiasm will take you a very long way. Sometimes the easiest way to do something is just to do it.

(Well, that's easy for you to say: says someone cynically reading this - you're a goddamn WRITER doing something that you actually love and have your talent on. As if I didn't start from every bit as nowhere as anyone else does?! That's how you start. My philosophy starting out was that you learn how to do it by doing it and making mistakes --- and publishing them --- and carrying on. Shut the critics. So far it seems to have worked, as much perhaps, by accident as design.)