The universe is made of stories, not atoms: Things I wish I’d known when starting out (2)









Further things I wish I’d known when starting out:

Writing is the greenest profession – everything is used and recycled. Nothing goes to waste – not even the large sections you edit out.

 Be the best you can. 

Know what kind of writer you want to be but also be prepared to adapt and change – always be open for a new challenge.

Creativity comes from solving problems. 

Write the play you want. Write what you are passionate about. Never try to write what you think ‘they’ want. ‘They’ want passion, freshness, a new perspective, talent and hard work.

If work starts to eat at your soul, no matter how financially rewarding it is, get out before the iron enters your soul.

Be prepared to be ‘discovered’ many times.

Try not to be cynical. Grow a thick third skin (second isn’t thick enough). 

Don’t take it personally if a script is criticised, or disliked. Be professional. Listen. You may learn something. 

The play is not you. It came from you, but it is not you. 

Never forget how fortunate we are to be doing what we are doing.

Remember; ‘The universe is made of stories, not atoms.’              (Muriel Rukeyser, poet)  


8 responses to “The universe is made of stories, not atoms: Things I wish I’d known when starting out (2)

  1. my favorite line
    “Creativity comes from solving problems.”
    I enjoyed reading this (~_*)

    • Thank you! I’ve found that when I’m stuck – and there is a ‘problem’ to address, the process of solving can create new work, or shape the aesthetic – so perhaps we should see ‘problems’ more as opportunities rather than obstacles?

  2. is never too late to get a “word” of advice as that cold water you need in your face to wake up; Never too late to stop the too much and start with something.-

  3. I’m just starting out…writing all my life, but starting out in public…it’s scary, so the advice is much appreciated! I love the Muriel Rukeyser quote…

    • Good luck Lisa – and I really hope some of my thinking about process and learning can be of support to other writers. It’s one reason why I set myself the task of writing the blog this year – I know by planning to put something up in the public domain will also encourage my own reflection. It’s great to know it can be useful to others, as I hoped.

  4. Kaite O’Wise One. I agree. A third skin, yes. A fourth is sometimes useful, so I’m finding. Just read the preview notes for my regional theatre’s new production: it has exactly – I mean exactly – the same (very specific for cast and audience) setting, premise and tone…arrgh! Especially galling as I sent a synopsis a while back and they didn’t mention their own work-in-progress. I’m not cynical, no. No, no. Ach no. Not at all, no…

  5. Ouch… Rhino skin wouldn’t be enough to shield from that kind of prick… I’ve been fortunate as I’ve never had a suspicion-arousing experience like this – theatres and their gate-keepers have always been valued allies, working with impressive integrity. But I have heard many similar stories – which is why when pitching I only give enough to conjur the potential play, and not its full DNA, if you follow – and I’m so sorry to hear this,

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