1.) Don't Collaborate on anything that you think you can maybe do on your own if you push yourself.

2.) There is a difference to be elucidated between the Ecclesiastic writer and the Ecstatic writer. This division has to do with the nature of fascination and Ecclesiastics and Ecstatics are cut from all cloths, exist in all classes, and perdure in all history. An Ecstatic is one who believes in the power of fascination to impart some sense of immediacy on the work. The Ecstatic believes that work must fascinate first. The Ecclesiastic is one who looks down his nose at immediacy and fascination. He is more concerned with doctrine and the nature of convention, and believes that the work of its own merit will draw the reader if the reader is worthy of the work. It is better to be an Ecstatic than an Ecclesiastic.

3.) There is a difference to be elucidated between Commerce and Art. This is a treacherous road to be negotiated by everyone; it is a slim bridge of rotten wood stretched over a chasm of peril at the bottom of which live the ghouls who write Kirk/Picard Slash Fiction. Particularly the ones where Kirk is the top. As if. Picard would totally make Kirk his bitch.

4.) Being in this for the money is gauche and gross. If you get lucky, realize how lucky you are. Don't act like a dick.

5.) Never describe yourself to someone you've just met as "a writer." You're only a writer when you're writing: you are the furthest from writing when you're standing in a bar trying to get people to think better of you than you deserve.

6.) Never write a list of directives for other writers when you're an unknown nobody still trying to get his first novel and first poetry collection published.

7.) Reports of the Death of the Author have been somewhat premature. It may seem sexy and French and cool enough to help you nail some nubile young grad students to be spending your time [writing doing] the kind of nonsense John Cage perfected in the early Sixties (PSSST! That's over FORTY years ago, hippy!) where "the reader has to be engaged in the creation of the meaning of the text because even the writer is always already the reader etc etc." But in 2006 Language poetry is what old people did before we were born, it's mostly boring, and you aren't cool enough anyway.

8.) When in doubt: What Would Uncle Ludwig Wittgenstein Do?

9.) The oft mentioned by me here Ron Silliman has a point when it comes to his School of Quietude vs. Post/Avant division. He's also spent the last twenty years writing a single, long, multi-volume poem. Which, while it's fine, is a little off kilter as far as projects go. So take stuff he says with a grain of salt. School of Quietude doesn't always mean bad just like Post/Avant doesn't always mean good. Sturgeon's law applies to both, it's just that in the School of Quietude's case, way more than the usual 90% of the stuff is crap.

10.) If you don't read anything other than Poets & Writers magazine, don't write. There are too many like that already. We don't need more in the club.