Animator’s Advice to Middle Schoolers Applies Equally to Writers

About two weeks ago, Letters of Note featured a great letter Pixar’s Pete Docter wrote to a middle school teacher who had requested advice for his students.

Docter writes:

[W]hatever you like doing, do it! And keep doing it. Work hard! In the end, passion and hard work beats out natural talent. (And anyway, if you love what you do, it’s not really “work” anyway.)”

He explains that he went from being one of the best artists in his high school class to being one of worst at a very selective art school.  He did not get discouraged.  Rather, he continued to make animations because he loved doing it, even if he didn’t have as much talent as some of the others around him. In time, they have stopped making animations while he has become one of the major forces behind some of Pixar’s greatest hits.

There’s a lesson in Docter’s story for everyone, no matter their passion: keep doing it!  Passion and hard work are even more important than raw talent.

It’s easy for writers to get discouraged by bumps in the road: writer’s block, rejections, low sales, and negative reviews.  Try not let it get you down too much, learn what you can from it (if anything), put it into perspective (a negative review really is just one person’s opinion), and keep writing.

Enjoy your weekend, too.


  1. Love his advice and thanks for sharing. It is so easy to get discouraged in whatever field you are in, especially creative ones. I definitely have to agree with this, and thanks for liking my recent post!

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