11.13.2009

John Cleese on Creativity

I fucking hate other peoples' advice on creativity.

There's no "but" in there. I hate it. I hate when writers talk about how if you go to Starbucks to write, you're not actually a writer, you just want to look like a writer. I hate when people offer exercises that are supposed to stimulate your creativity. I hate hate hate it. Creativity is a very personal and important aspect to any good product or process, and other peoples' ideas on how you're supposed to be creative bore the shit out of me.

Except John Cleese. Because he's a goddamn genius, and no one can argue about it. But it's not because I respect the man as a writer and performer that I feel this particular talk, sent to me by Jeremy, is absolutely foundational to any creative. It's because he never once talks about the process of generating material out of creativity, he only talks about fostering a process that allows you to be creative. It's a very important distinction, but it makes all the difference.

Please watch this: