Eco’s passing adds some poignancy to a video he recorded just last year, on behalf of The Louisiana Channel, a media outlet based, of all places, in Denmark. In the clip above, Eco gives some counsel to aspiring writers: Keep your ego in check, and your ambitions, realistic. Put in the time and the hard work, and don’t shoot for the Nobel Prize in Literature straight out of the gate. That, Eco says, kills every literary career. And remember that writing is “10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.” They’re truisms–you discover after spending decades as a writer–that turn out to be true. That confirmation is one of the gifts he leaves behind.