Tribe House Blog
Art Leaks Blideo #11 – Kim McMechan on permission to write crap
Posted : December 5th, 2011 by Nico Boesten
Kim McMechan is a multi-faceted artist – the kind that squirms when you ask “so, what type of artist are you”. She’s released several records as a musician over the past decade, is studying photography right now in school, and teaches on topics like creative writing & poetry. So, yes, she’s a musiwritographeroet (pronounced Muz-E-Right-Ografur-Oet).
She spoke at the Katalyst Artist Gathering in November where she graced us with a few of her poems, shared about her creative process, and let us in on some helpful tips on writing (see the video below for the 15 minute rule & how to get the Muse to show up). The most powerful impression was left when Kim started talking about the amount of crap that you (as an artist) need to produce before you come out with anything really good. This is an extremely validating point for those of us who, in our insecurity, are constantly bombarded with the thought of “ugh, this sucks” (as you crumple the papers to that song / poem / novel you spent the last 4 months writing). It’s part of the path.
There is a freedom that comes in knowing that even the “big guys” fail. In a really curious way, it’s encouraging to know that Donald Trump has been bankrupt & that Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, and as Kim talked about how a quote by Jann Arden changed her life, there was a sense of liberation that seemed to fall on us.
“85% of what I write is crap, the other 15% are the hits”. Might not be word for word, but you can listen & watch Kim describe how this extremely successful artist (like her or not, Jann has more hits than you) is also forced to use the 85% as fertilizer for the really good stuff. There were some other names dropped as well of heroes like Maya Angelou but you’ll need to watch the video to get to that stuff.
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