What I learned at University #2

After finishing my Undergrad at UWS, it was on to my Postgrad. My plan was to go to Glasgow Caledonian University and get on their MA in TV Fiction course, since what I really wanted to do was screen writing. But I didn’t get in…

As ever with any big disappointment, there are only two possible responses you can have when something like this happens.

The first is that you torture yourself that you blew your one big opportunity, which isn’t exactly a sound mental health strategy. The other, correct, response is to tell yourself that it wasn’t the right place for you. It wasn’t that you wren’t good enough, or that you were good enough, just that on the day everyone else was better. No, the only way to deal with disappointment is to tell yourself it wasn’t the right thing for you.

It’s a bit like relationships. Even if you find yourself being really attracted to her, you just know in your heart that as people the two of your just aren’t compatible.

Hint: It doesn’t matter how much you want something or how good it looks. If it’s wrong for you, it’s wrong for you. You don’t have to push at an open door…

So instead of going where I wanted to go, I ended up going where they wanted me. Which was the University of Glasgow, to do Playwrighting & Dramaturgy. The fact that I’d been awarded Best One Act Plat at UWS for The Fandom Menace probably helped swing it…

UoG was a much tougher study regime than UWS and I didn’t enjoy my time at the former nearly as much as the latter. But I come out the other side with another play, Mrs Mackintosh, that was shortlisted for The David MacLennan Award, so it wasn’t all bad. Even if I did graduate with a Merit instead of a Distinction…

When I started my Postgrad, my opinion of myself was that I was an Actor Who Could Write. As a result of being at UoG I had to revise it once again. I was now A Writer Who Could Act, and that’s a very different thing…

With a two-hour semi-professional fan film to my name, did that lead to a career in TV Writing? No. It didn’t.

With two well-regarded, though unproduced, plays to my name, did that lead to a career as a Playwright? No. It didn’t.

What they did lead to was the realisation that what I needed to do with the time I had left to me was go through the open door up ahead marked Self Publishing…

Hint: If it’s the wrong thing for you, whatever you get out of it won’t be worth what you put into it.

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