I would give them (aspiring writers) the oldest advice in the craft: Read and write. Read a lot. Read new authors and established ones, read people whose work is in the same vein as yours and those whose genre is totally different. You've heard of chain-smokers. Writers, especially beginners, need to be chain-readers. And lastly, write every day. Write about things that get under your skin and keep you up at night.
I grew up in a home where animals were ever-present and often dominated our lives. There were always horses, dogs, and cats, as well as a revolving infirmary of injured wildlife being nursed by my sister the aspiring vet. Without any conscious intention on my part, animals come to play a significant role in my fiction: in Three Junes, a parrot and a pack of collies; in The Whole World Over, a bulldog named The Bruce. To dog lovers, by the way, I recommend My Dog Tulip by J. R. Ackerley -- by far the best 'animal book' I've ever... Read more »
Chekhov used to correspond with aspiring writers, and once he gave this advice to Maxim Gorky when he was encouraging him to pare his wordy sentences: "When someone expends the least amount of motion on a given action, that's grace." The short story, by definition, embodies this notion of grace, because it requires such forceful compression to achieve its effects.
When I read students’ attempts at creative writing it is obvious immediately that most of them have not read much or widely. The aspiring writer must read everything he or she can to appreciate the myriad ways words are used and to what effect.
My advice to aspiring actors and writers is that your career's success is totally your responsibility. You need to make it happen. There is no end point to an artist's work, no set time line you have to live up to.
Most aspiring child actors or child stars have a passion for it. But as easy as it is for me to say that I wouldn't put my kids in it, if I saw that they really, really wanted to do and they had the drive, then I would fully support it. As long as there's balance at home, then they could do whatever they wanted to do.