At the 2014 Savannah Film Festival, Mike Myers sat down with SCAD’s President, Paula Wallace, for a candid conversation. After watching a two-minute clip of the interview, I found myself transcribing some of the things Myers said, particularly the portions on creativity and perseverance.
On natural talent: “As I’m getting older, I don’t quite know what natural talent means except a willingness to study and persevere in the face of rejection.”
On rejection: “Don’t give up. NASA has a fantastic expression which is: There’s no failure, only early attempts at success. You know, there’s a lot of rejection. The rejection should inform you and not define you. The reward of doing this work is the creativity itself. I make something every day. I don’t show it to everybody but I make something.”
On the joy of creativity: “If you focus on result, you’ll always be heartbroken. If you focus on product, you’ll sometimes be heartbroken. If you focus on process, you’ll never be heartbroken because that’s the joy.”
Extremely timely advice.
To me, writing can be heartbreaking work, because it’s near impossible to tell if I’m improving. There are no grades, no performance reviews. My brain is wired to measure my worth in work, finances, relationships, because I feel the need to justify my existence in this world. When I was younger, having a direction (or destination) was important, but writing reminds me there is value in not having a direction at all. It’s scary and hard but IMHO, more fulfilling.
Here’s the original clip: