How to Be Patti Smith


Drink lots of coffee. But not more than fourteen cups per day, or it may interrupt your sleep.

Read lots of books, preferably dead poets and those dubbed Classic Literature.

Have romantic notions about said dead poets and beloved authors.

Visit gravesites of great writers (see above).

Cultivate a pithy wit.

Place a lot of significance on certain objects. Lose these objects in hotels and airplanes.

Work hard.

Write every day. It helps to sit in the same place each time where someone can refill your coffee cup.

Believe in the surreal, and in mysticism. Know there is no coincidence, but there is meaning.

Join obscure clubs that require you to travel internationally.

Cultivate an interest in something purely for aesthetic’s sake.

Take lots of photographs. They don’t have to be “good” to be meaningful.

Hold your opinions strongly, but allow others to hold theirs as well.

Support your fellow artists. Allow them to support you.

Wear mostly black, but not in a morose way. (You’re too optimistic for that.)

Find the beautiful in the ugly.

Don’t place too much meaning in objects. They come and go anyway.

Allow yourself to grieve lost objects. After all, they had meaning.

Marry the love of your life, then call them your boyfriend even after they are gone.

Allow space for the magical to unfold.

Routine is helpful.

Allow time and circumstance to have its way with you.

Let your dreams speak to you.

Never be ashamed of being an optimist or a romantic. People need your hope and light.

Bring beauty to the mundane.

Do not always do. Allow yourself to just be.

Write many lists.


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