After reading Patti Smith’s amazing letter about her friend, Sam Shepard, who died a few days ago, I picked up her book Just Kids. I’ve been reading it non-stop since then, whenever I have a free moment. When I wasn’t looking, she has become one of the most natural, clear, big hearted writers in America. It’s no surprise, then, that her letter about Sam Shepard is at least partially about how, when they were together, they would work hard at the craft of writing. They would practice together. These things don’t happen by accident.