Don't Talk Yourself Out of It
Act on fresh ideas with seriousness and urgency
As I tried to figure out what I could offer the world in a newsletter over the past several months, I did a lot of reading or goating (i.e., the act of learning about goats) as I have begun to think of it. But the first one that really affected me was David Lynch’s biography Room to Dream.
I often think about one section of the book about David’s early childhood. David’s parents ruled that all creative ideas from the children were taken very seriously - no matter what they were. They had a workshop in the house, where they would try to figure out how to bring the idea to life as quickly as possible. You know, like farm to table, but with ideas.
Act on fresh ideas.
No room for bullshit to ruin it.
No time to talk yourself out of it.
A similar idea bubbled up in HBO’s wonderful series Painting with John. In one episode, host John Lurie tells a story of his childhood that sounded like it could have come straight from the pages of David Lynch’s life.
He described a scenario where his dad was awaiting an important phone call. John describes recalls the sense that this phone call had power over his dad. He did not like that feeling.
It also happened to be the week that his brother Evan decided that he was Mighty Mouse. His father waited and waited for the phone call. When it finally came…Evan sprinted through the house, picked up the phone, and responded, “No, this is Mighty Mouse!” and slammed the phone down. “But he didn’t get scolded,” said John. “That was everything to me.”
Perhaps David Lynch and John Lurie aren’t the first names that come to mind when you are goating, but maybe their parents were in terms of opening the floodgates of creation.
Both David Lynch and John Lurie are dynamically creative. They paint, they act, they direct, they produce - and they get real weird with it by most societal standards. They have cult followings that seem to ooze out of them with subtle confidence.
I suspect they have very little filter on their creative ideas. There is a clear sense that they both try to create what is in their head, and we have better art for it.
I end this morning with a challenge, mostly to myself, but to anyone reading.
Pay attention to your creative ideas this week.
Pick one and spend 30 minutes on it as soon as
Don’t ask for feedback. Don’t worry whether it is a “good” idea.
It’d be cool if you want to share what you made.