AP reports Walt Whitman’s 117 year old advice, recently discovered by The College of New Jersey’s Nicole Kukawski.
Chris Newmarker writes (excerpt):
“First, don’t write poetry; second ditto; third ditto,” Whitman says. “You may be surprised to hear me say so, but there is no particular need of poetic expression. We are utilitarian, and the current cannot be stopped.”
Whitman advised them to carry a pencil and piece of paper to jot down daily events. He even suggested they get their hands dirty in the mechanics of printing.
“Whack away at everything pertaining to literary life — mechanical part as well as the rest. Learn to set type, learn to work at the `case,’ learn to be a practical printer, and whatever you do learn condensation,” Whitman said.