Tuesday, May 30, 2017

David Lynch Inspires the Hell Out of Me

This is not a post about Twin Peaks.

Well, maybe a tiny bit. Let's just say that I am a big fan of Twin Peaks and the first four episodes of the new series have been beyond my wildest expectations.

But this post is really about the man behind Twin Peaks--David Lynch. Because every time I experience something Lynch has created, or listen to him talk about creativity, it inspires the hell out of me.

Just watch this brief clip of him talking about ideas:



Beautiful right? And it's exactly how I feel about ideas, too. They are never fully formed when they come to me, just a small piece. I usually call my process "letting an idea marinate," where I let the idea just float in my mind and become flavored with other, ideas, events, emotions, etc. I scribble down notes and record voice messages when other bits and pieces come to me. And when that original idea has marinated to the point hat it's become something I can build on, I take it back out and start working on it.

This past weekend I read Lynch's book Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity. And it proved to be a great reminder of something that I think I had lost track of--staying true to the idea.

Lynch talked about this in relation to a lot of outside interference regarding the movie Dune. The gist is basically that the idea is what matters most, and you have to follow that. You shouldn't stray from your idea to fit into someone else's box, or because you think that's what other people might want or like. You have to stay true to the idea.

I think it's very easy for creators to get pulled away from their original ideas, especially when they try to anticipate what people will want to read, or what they think will be successful. You convince yourself that "this is too weird," or "I need to add this to my story," or "I need to fit my story into this genre." Or you let other people tell you that you need to change your story.

Because we are our own worst critics, it can be easy to get pulled away from our original ideas. But more often than not, when that happens, we are less than satisfied with the end product. The stories I am most proud of are not my always my most popular ones, but they are the ones where I stayed true to that first, special kernel of an idea that beckoned me to follow it.

To bring things back around to Twin Peaks, I am so incredibly thankful that we are getting 18 episodes of pure, unfiltered David Lynch. I don't care what the critics think of it. I don't even care what everyone else thinks of it. I'm just glad it exists.