Ricky Gervais, the creator of The Office, rarely gets out of his comic persona. It’s usually laughs, schtick, and more laughs. But when Fast Company pinned him down and asked him about “the single biggest influence on his creative process,” he turned serious (after a few more laughs) and talked about a formative moment with a childhood English teacher. The teacher taught him this: you’re better off writing … Never mind, I’ll let Ricky tell the tale. It’s his story after all.