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Posts tagged "chain smoking"

Sep 10, 2013
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Will Sheff on perfectionism, constraints, and the creative process

The Okkervil River frontman steals the show in this “Oral History of The Wrens’ Meadowlands.”

On perfectionism (vs. what I call “chain-smoking”):

You have your Neil Youngs of the world and you have your Stanley Kubricks of the world. And Neil Young is very much just like “OK on to the next record keep going, keep going, keep working.” Stanley Kubrick is crafting and crafting and crafting. There are different ways of working. If I fully give myself over to my perfectionist urges, I would probably release a record every 12 years.

On constraints:

The one time that I didn’t really have any boundaries while recording a record, and that I was able to do what I wanted and take all the time that I wanted was when I did I Am Very Far. And I was going insane. I wasn’t happy. It wasn’t a happy state to be in. So whatever the Wrens are doing works, but to me it sounds like torture. Just the most torturous thing that I could ever imagine.

And the burden of expectations:

I think that expectations are kind of the curse of our age. A lot of the time we don’t actually give the artwork the time to communicate what it is. The Meadowlands was such an amazing, wonderful, out-of-nowhere record that it suddenly captured everyone’s imagination. The best thing is to come in and not expect anything at all.

Filed under: music

Feb 20, 2013
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The only way for The Smiths to keep moving forward was to record what they wrote almost as soon as the songs were done, then move to the next thing.
Noel Murray on how The Smiths chain-smoked

Jan 02, 2013
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All I know is just to make the best movie and then move on to the next one. Whatever happens. Move on to the next one.

Dec 28, 2012
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Chain Smoking

Woody Allen has averaged a film a year for over forty years. He never takes time off: the day he finishes editing the film is the day he starts writing the script for the next.

Bob Pollard, the lead singer and songwriter for Guided By Voices, says he never gets writer’s block because he never stops writing.

Ernest Hemingway would stop in the middle of a sentence at the end of his day’s work so he knew where to start in the morning.

Joni Mitchell says that whatever she feels like is the weak link in her last project gives her inspiration for the next.

Add them all together and you get a way of working I call “chain smoking.” You avoid stalling out in your career by never losing momentum.

Here’s how you do it: instead of taking a break in between projects and worrying about what’s next, use the end of one project to light up the next one.

More from Show Your Work! →

Chain Smoking

Woody Allen has averaged a film a year for over forty years. He never takes time off: the day he finishes editing the film is the day he starts writing the script for the next.

Bob Pollard, the lead singer and songwriter for Guided By Voices, says he never gets writer’s block because he never stops writing.

Ernest Hemingway would stop in the middle of a sentence at the end of his day’s work so he knew where to start in the morning.

Joni Mitchell says that whatever she feels like is the weak link in her last project gives her inspiration for the next.

Add them all together and you get a way of working I call “chain smoking.” You avoid stalling out in your career by never losing momentum.

Here’s how you do it: instead of taking a break in between projects and worrying about what’s next, use the end of one project to light up the next one.

More from Show Your Work!

Oct 10, 2012
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Show Your Work! Episode 3: Chain Smoking by Austin Kleon

I watched a documentary about Woody Allen and how he doesn’t take breaks in between movies. And thinking about that led me to make this little video…

Watch the other episodes→

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