Albee Advises

A Delicate Balance, Three Tall Women, A Zoo Story, Who’s Afraid of
Virginia Woolf? — even the names of Edward Albee’s plays are
arresting. A three-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Albee
had his share of critically acclaimed — and panned — plays. In an
interview I was lucky enough to catch, Edward shared this:

“I started out as a rotten poet.”

“Make sure you seize control of your life, [or you’ll be] filled with
regret over what you haven’t done.

“Don’t waste your life. Always be able to see the precipice wherever
you’re walking.”

“Any play that doesn’t ask tough questions isn’t worth going to.”

“Ideally, a play should hold a mirror up to people.”

“I think that some of the plays that were crucified by critics and
closed instantly were just as good as my most popular ones.”

So I listen for a long time and sometimes these characters do scenes for me….
I put my characters in a situation that will never be in my play.”

“Every worthwhile writer has an accurate take on how he’s doing and goes about
his business.”

“Anybody involved in the arts will admit they have a lot of questions.”

“Write as well as you can — learn your craft and do it as well as you
possibly can.”

“It takes as long as it takes.

And a few more gems:

“The thing that makes a creative person is to be creative and that is
all there is to it.”

“Good writers define reality; bad ones merely restate it. A good
writer turns fact into truth; a bad writer, will more often than not,
accomplish the opposite.”

“A play is fiction; and fiction is fact distilled into truth.”

“If Attila the Hun were alive today, he’d be a drama critic.”

Bravo, Edward! Inspirited and instigated, let’s all write on!

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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2 Responses to Albee Advises

  1. I was fortunate to get to Edward Albee’s Play Lab in Alaska one year. They made me direct my own play, an experience I didn’t anticipate! One day in a workshop someone asked him if we should be writing every day. He thought for a minute. “I don’t think you need to write every day,” he said. “But be a writer every day.” Words to remember.

    • Hi Martha,

      You are Amazing, Marvelous Martha — a play lab in Alaska!

      What haven’t you done? And what wonderful advice Albee

      gave you, thank you so much for sharing it!

      “Be a writer every day” — this reminds me of a favorite Faulkner

      quote: “Don’t be ‘a writer’ — be writing.”

      Write on,



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