Eight Pieces of Advice from My Sister, the Sage.

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This Wednesday: 8 pieces of advice from my sister, the sage.

My sister Elizabeth Craft is a sage. Every time I talk to her, I keep a pen and paper handy so I can write down her words of wisdom. I quote her constantly. She’s a TV-writer in Los Angeles (now writing for The Vampire Diaries), so that gives a certain flavor to her advice, but many of her observations are more universal than they appear at first glance. Here’s an assortment of some of my recent favorite lines:

1. When I was fretting because I hadn’t heard back about a proposal, she told me, “’Yes’ comes right away; ‘no’ never comes.” This observation turns out to be true in a very wide variety of situations.

2. “Everyone who moves from New York to L.A. gains ten pounds, because they’re doing so much less walking.”

3. “Your lack of planning is not my emergency.” Okay, she didn’t make that up, but she quoted it to me, and it’s a great line.

4. “No one has an opinion until someone else has an opinion.” This is so, so, so true.

5. “Every cliché you’ve heard about L.A. is more true than you could possibly imagine.”

6. When I was considering doing a project in collaboration with someone else, and was fretting because I hadn’t received a commitment right away, she advised: “Move on to another potential partner. You need volunteers, not recruits.”

7. “If you move to L.A. to get a job writing for TV, don’t expect to get a job for the first three years.”

8. When I was fussing about something related to my book publication, she said: “Remember, this is what you wanted.” This reminder comes in handy more often than you’d think.

Now, she ain’t the Buddha, but she has really helped me think more clearly and productively in a lot of situations.

I recently bullied encouraged her to start using Twitter, so follow her @elizabethcraft.

It’s very handy to have a sister who is a sage. What words of advice have you received from your sister or brother — or anyone else?

From 2006 through 2014, as she wrote The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, Gretchen chronicled her thoughts, observations, and discoveries on The Happiness Project Blog.

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