If you could go back in time and give yourself career advice, what would it be?
I'd go back to my college days, when I first started writing for theater. I'd tell myself not to be so trusting of everyone. The people who I thought were my friends, weren't.
I'd also tell myself that success doesn't give you respect from other people. It won't make you a better person; in fact, sometimes it can make people worse!
I'd tell myself that people who are successful today aren't necessarily successful tomorrow. There are highs and lows. I was often awed by people back then who had high-powered agents and egos to match. I was intimidated easily. I'm often amazed at how many "successful" people back then have disappeared career-wise. I wonder why that happens?
I'd tell myself to follow my creativity and my intuition. I thought that I could only do one thing - theater - and dismissed all other creative aspects to myself.
I'd tell myself to find a way around taking out so many student loans.
I'd tell myself to concentrate on being a good writer, instead of outward trappings of success.
I'd tell myself to write about topics I love, instead of what I think would be interesting to other people.
I'd tell myself that there is no room for suffering in the life of a writer - I'll get enough suffering just being one. Heh...
I'd tell myself that "paying dues" simply means getting good. Don't purposely look for rejection.
I'd tell myself to have self-respect. Anyone with power who asks you to do something that is inappropriate won't help you career-wise anyway, so it's useless to do it. Even if it's tempting...
I'd tell myself not to be so rigid, dump that man, pay the bills, figure out a day job you like, and for goodness sake, quit being so intimidated by people!