Nothing like beginning a year with a solid pep talk. The following have been gleaned from this article in The Guardian. Enjoy.

Shostakovich could not have composed with the telly on.

The afternoon is the worst time for creativity.

 It’s a bit like having children: you don’t interfere with the birth, but as your child grows up, you don’t let it run wild.

~ Mark-Anthony Turnage, composer

Listen to a song enough times, and it provokes a Pavlovian response that helps you get back to the place you’re writing about.

Masturbate frequently. You’ll probably do that anyway, but you may as well make it a rule.

~ Anthony Neilson, playwright and director

Get an alarm with a long snooze function and set it early. Shallow-sleep dreams have been the source of many of my best ideas (sadly, small children are no respecters of prospective genius).

Love the effect over its cause.

~Rupert Goold, director

If ever a character asks another character, “What do you mean?”, the scene needs a rewrite.

It’s OK to use friends and lovers in your work. They are curiously flattered.

Reveal yourself in your writing, especially the bits you don’t like.

Accept that, as a result, people you don’t know won’t like you.

~ Lucy Prebble, playwright

It doesn’t always have to make sense.

~Susan Phillipsz, artist

Leave the house. Or better still, go to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and rescue a staffie.

~ Polly Morgan, artist

Alcohol and singing are not a good combination.

~ Kate Royal, soprano


~ Wayne McGregor, choreographer

3 thoughts on “Words of Wisdom

  1. ‘If ever a character asks another character, “What do you mean?”, the scene needs a rewrite.’
    uh-oh…back to the drawing board….sigh.

  2. TRP, god yes. It’s like I’m incapable of writing unless I have a deadline breathing down my neck. Sheesh.

    Purnima, I think Prebble also says that you should discard any rule that doesn’t work for you. If she didn’t, someone else did. That’s the beauty of artistic types — they think of loopholes before they think of the rules.

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