Trust Your Instincts

Gabriel Packard asked Bo Kaprall: What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing? — The Writer magazine, June 2015

Kaprall answered, “Probably the most important single thing I’ve learned about writing is to trust your instincts, because, especially with comedy, it’s so subjective. One person will love it; another person will hate it. Everyone seeks comments and reinforcement or criticism, but really you need to trust your instincts, and that’s harder for someone who’s new at it than someone who’s a little more seasoned.”

Marlene’s Musings: I agree. When in doubt, listen to your “gut feeling.” Your instincts are right on . . . you just have to trust yourself. With that in mind, when working with an editor . . . listen to what the editor has to say . . . you don’t always have to agree, nor make the suggested changes. Just listen carefully, then go with what your instincts say.

Bo KaprallBo Kaprall writes, directs and produces Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. He has written for The Carol Burnett Show, The Cher Show, The Partridge Family, Welcome Back Kotter, Laverne & Shirley and the Bob Hope Christmas Special, among other accomplishments.



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  1. Kathy Myers

    It’s uncanny how Marlene can find a bit of wisdom that hits the mark just when I need it. This advise is so timely for me. I was just having some trepidation about how my writing will be received at a pending non-fiction workshop. It’s the only humor piece amongst some wonderful manuscripts on exotic travel experiences, heart wrenching memoir, and political history. I appreciate Bo Kaprall’s reminder that humor is subjective. I will trust myself and my gut reactions— my own truth expressed the way I like it. I may even be bold enough to read an excerpt during open mic. Thanks for the reassuring reminder.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Glad to be of service, Kathy. I love your humor and love that you are willing and able to trust your instincts. I think your writing is spot-on and I definitely enjoy your humor. It sounds like your humorous piece might be welcome amidst serious stuff. Good Luck!

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