In 2006, high school students wrote to their favorite authors to persuade them to visit their school; only Kurt Vonnegut wrote back. He declined to visit (“I don’t make public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.”), but shared what he would say (emphasis his):
Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.
This story comes from a book titled Letters of Note, coming to the US next spring. It’s definitely going on my must-read list!