Mike Posner, Part I
I’m in love with Mike Posner.
I met him on Rich Roll’s podcast and liked it so much that I downloaded it and let Otter.ai transcribe it. So if you want to both listen and read, here it is: Rich Roll and Mike Posner
Mind was blown, so many times.
Here are some highlights.
On being honest about mistakes
It takes a lot of energy to sort of decide, okay, I’m going to share these things with people. And this list of things about myself, I’m not. And that takes a lot of energy to sort of constantly be navigating, and a lot of bandwidth I found is just a little simpler to just be honest and truthful.
That’s kind of where I found myself a couple of years ago.
I looked at my life and said: “I have nothing that I need to protect. I have no secrets that I need to keep. So if there’s anything that I’ve done that someone can learn from, well, then let them learn.”
And now I’ve got all that self-protective energy back.
I’ve done some good things worth learning from, and I write about them.
But I was an asshole, and I did asshole things because that’s what we assholes do.
(And I’m still a bit of an asshole, and I still occasionally do asshole things. But as Jules Winnfield says in Pulp Fiction, “I’m trying real hard to be the shepherd.” )
So if you ask me, “Did you ever do something like X,” where X is some random asshole thing, and I have done it, then I will tell you.
And if you want more details, I will tell you as much as you want to know. If you learn something from my mistakes, then that makes my mistakes worth something.
I’m not into confession for the sake of “clearing my conscience” because my conscience is clear. Or mostly clear. And when it’s not, I ask to be forgiven, and I’m always forgiven.
Who do I ask? Anyone. I ask myself. I ask God. I ask my friends and family.
Hey, is there suddenly a shortage of forgiveness?
And I always grant forgiveness when asked.
So if you need to be forgiven, you know who to ask.
Being an artist
Being an artist is a really simple job. And this goes for any medium—writer, painter, musician. Your job is to create the art that you want it to be in the world, the art that you want to exist,
You’re asking about someone who’s looking for their muse. And what gets in the way the muse is when we start worrying about what other people will think. Even one extra person is too many. If I think about Rich, will he like this song, it will mess my process up. All I can do is create the stuff that I want to be created; the stuff I want to exist. It’s a beautiful job, you get to tailor-make things for you, beautiful things that are made to your exact preferences, and no one else can do it. Except you.
This is a lesson that I’m slowly learning. I have to keep reminding myself to write because I want stuff written.
No other reason is necessary.
You really try not to pay attention as much as you can to the reaction to the art. You know, for me, the reward is in the making of the thing in the first place. And if something becomes really popular, which has happened a few times in my career, you know, I mean thousands of songs, but I’ve had like five that have gotten like, absurdly popular I don’t know why or how it happens every once in a while. We try just to kind of ignore that. It’s almost part of my job to ignore that.
Getting creative ideas
Meditation really helps me listen to what comes up and me and then just follow the things just popped in my head. And my job is to get them recorded and produced the way they sound in my head. We all have a ton of thoughts that come in our head each day. And do you really get credit for the thoughts that pop in your head?
The honest answer is like the song just popped in my head. And I wrote it down. Do I get credit for that? I mean, I guess in our society the way it’s set up, Yeah, I do. I get paid for and all this stuff, but at the end of the day, I think it’s more about listening. I’m always scared. I’m like superstitious
I’ll be laying in bed at night. And melody pops in my head or something like that. I’m tired. I’m like, get up, and put this down.
But I’m always worried, and maybe it sounds silly, but I’m worried. I will forget. But I’m worried that if I don’t put it down, whatever sending them to me will stop.
That’s how it is for me, and my mistake (please forgive me) is that sometimes ideas come to me, and I don’t write them. I need to get more paranoid about that.
Rich Roll mentions Elizabeth Gilbert and her book “Big Magic.” I remember that she talked about something similar in this TED talk. And I discover she’s got a podcast, too.
The Universe must be telling me I need to listen to that, too.
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