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Umberto Eco’s Advice to Young Writers

Umberto Eco was an Italian Philosopher, Novelist, Essayist, Literary Critic, Semiotician and Professor emeritus at the University of Bologna. He is very well known as an academic for his contributions to semiotics, philosophy, and linguistics and as a Novelist for his Best-selling novels including ‘The Name of The Rose’ (1980).

In this video, he advises young writers to be humble, to go step by step, to work hard, and to have the pleasure of taking their time composing a story.

1. Be Modest

“Do not believe you are an artist; Do not take yourself seriously; Don’t think like you are inspired.”

2. Work Hard

“Genius is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.”

3. Take your Time

“I can’t understand those Novelists that publish a book every year. They lose this pleasure of spending 6, 7, 8 years to prepare a story.”

4. Go Step by Step

“You cannot become a general without being before a corporal, a sergeant, a lieutenant… So go step by step. Don’t pretend immediately to receive the Nobel Prize because that kills every literary career.”

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