Thursday, June 25, 2009

Immerse yourself!

How do you get good at anything?  Work hard?  Have natural ability?  Pray to the competence gods?

A strong case can be made for the idea of "immersion:" getting so completely connected, captivated, enveloped, lost in something that you lose track of time, space, and your significant other.

I was in Seattle last week and stopped by the Experience Music Project which, if you haven't been there, is worth the stop every time.  Filling most of the Frank Gehry-designed building in which it sits in Seattle Center (the Science Fiction Museum is there too, but seems more like a room in Paul Allen's house that his wife told him to clean out), the Project is an "immersive"experience to begin with, but no part more so than the "oral histories" part.

The EMPSFM, as it's called (rolls off the tongue) has done a great job of capturing short autobiographies of a huge range of musical, film, and other artists "in their own words:" you get to listen to recordings of the artists and hear their thoughts, their motivation, and their passion.  It is, in a word, immersive.  You could spend days there, just listening to how connected (immersed) they are to their work.

That's also the thing, though, about all the creative people I've known: they immersive themselves in what they do.  But even more important, they manage to also immerse themselves creatively in every moment: they don't look for the creative muse, they allow her to find them.

 To live a creative life, that's a habit we should all adopt.

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