Don’t give up the day job…
What’s the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you? I’m asking this because I read a profile of the playwright Penelope Skinner in the Guardian newspaper and her creative writing teacher had told her: “You can’t predict what people are going to like: no matter how bad it is, there’s always going to be one person who likes it. What you have to do is find that one person.”
I love that quote. It reassures me that if only one person turns up to see my play but they laugh their head off, it doesn’t matter. Or if 100 people watch the play and only one person laughs, it still doesn’t matter. OK , I may be tweaking a few lines here and there because of the audience reaction, but nothing too drastic – a play is a work in progress after all!
The worst piece of advice I ever had: a history tutor told me a long time ago that I would never be a journalist. I don’t think he liked me very much. I’ve since had a long and successful career in journalism. But he taught me never to listen to anyone who tells you you can’t do something – as long as it’s legal of course!
And the best piece of advice? From a former boss of mine, who is now a poet. He told me you have to work to pursue your dreams. Fit your passion around your career. But keep doing it. Mmmm, now where’s the time to start that second play?
What was the best piece of advice you were given – or your worst and how did you deal with it?