June 10, 2015

Caitlin Moran’s Inappropriate advice for creatives

This is paraphrased from Caitlin Moran’s Hiive talk that I found on YouTube. I thought she said some super interesting stuff about writing and creative processes. Any writers out there will find this useful, I think. Full video embedded below the text.*

*Also: as I went on a search for a photo for this blog, I thought WAIT A MINUTE, there’s that one from the GLAMOUR Awards in which I waited behind Caitlin whilst she finished her conversation and then I leapt out and squeezed her without giving her much warning, let’s include that!

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 22.27.51

Caitlin Moran’s 9 Pieces of Inappropriate Advice for Creatives:

1. Nerd your arse off.

You cannot be too obsessed with what you want to do for a career. You can’t research it enough. If you want to be a writer, you need to READ. You need to read your rivals and read the past. Steal ideas and inspiration from three or four hundred different people. You’ll look innovative but actually you’re just stealing off a dead Granddad from the past. Bring in lots of different influences to your work. (But don’t plagiarise).

2. Write the story that is already in you.

Not all stories have to be about a teenage boy with “a force” or a radioactive spider. Caitlin had a sudden revelation of actually let’s write about the stories that don’t yet exist. Make a list of the stuff that hasn’t been talked about and write about that. Invent the future.

3. Don’t let anger show.

Lots of people do things for revenge and everything is a big sub-tweet. Use that anger as a fuel but don’t let it take over. Don’t write in anger. If you communicate in anger people won’t hear what you’re saying. People will hear emotion and respond emotionally back at you – then you’re not talking about the issue, you’re just shouting. Tell jokes and people will “relax their buttocks”.

4. Be lovely to everyone.

It doesn’t matter how much you think someone is a douche, you should keep it in. {This is HARD, but it is very very good advice}. Even though everyone looks the same, you will “always meet these fuckers again”. And if you’re gonna have a bitching sesh, do it in the toilets but check under the cubicle first. “Saying someone is lovely makes you look lovely!” Oh and don’t bitch on social media about your job.

5. Classical conditioning, with chocolate.

If you have to make a difficult phone-call or get anxious eat a packet of Malteasers. You will associate doing that job with eating, sugar and nice chocolate.

6. You don’t have to be the most interesting person in the room.

In the media industry, Caitlin says a massive mistake you can make is to believe you have to be the most fascinating person in the world. You don’t have to walk into a room and blow people away. You don’t have to be “kooky” and legendary, it’s exhausting. Simply remember to yourself. And be nice.

7. Have a cup of tea and a biscuit.

It’s easy to confuse a genuine break down with just needing a Hob Nob.

8. Everything is material.

There are two things to write about: things that are amazing at the time, and bad things that will make great anecdotes. Go out and get your future material.

9. Give it time and love.

The very best things in the world are a combo of time + love. You don’t have to acquire a magical power. Just work four times harder than everyone else and give up your weekends if you have to.


5 Responses

  1. Kerry says:

    This is so amazing and inspirational – thanks for sharing!

  2. Sophie says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this – thanks for sharing! Number 7 is so legit, we have ran out of teabags in the office today (nightmare) and there are have already been 2 minor breakdowns!!!


  3. Rachel says:

    Great advice from the one and only. I feel like 1 is crucial!x


  4. Charlotte says:

    So much love for Caitlyn <3

  5. Charlotte says:

    Haha this was a hilarious post! I know what you mean about sub anger on Twitter, I’ve seen so much recently it’s kinda put me off posting.

    Charlotte | Two Cats One Flat

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