David Lynch’s Advice to Writers

David Lynch

David Lynch has been in the news recently with the unveiling of his reboot of Twin Peaks, the classic 29-episode miniseries that consumed audiences in the early ’90s. Ariston Anderson of Filmmaker Magazine recently shared ten lessons he learned from Lynch. Here are a few highlights:

The thrill is in the hunt for a good idea.

We don’t know an idea until it enters a conscious mind. Ideas have to travel quite a ways before they come into the conscious mind. So by transcending, you start expanding that consciousness, making the subconscious conscious.

You’ll catch ideas on a deeper level. And they have more information and more of a thrill. It’s the happiness in the doing that got greater for me. Catching more ideas became easier, along with a kind of inner self-assuredness. Looking back, I did not have much self-assuredness in the beginning.

Positivity is essential to the creative process.

Stories always have held conflicts and contrasts, highs and lows, life and death situations. And there can be much suffering in stories, but now we say the artist doesn’t have to suffer to show suffering. You just have to understand the human condition, understand the suffering.

A lot of artists say anger or even the experience of fear or these things feeds the work, and so the suffering artist is a romantic concept. But if you think about it, it’s romantic for everybody except the artist. If the artist is really suffering, then the ideas don’t flow so good, and if [he is] really suffering, he can’t even work. I say that negativity is the enemy to creativity.

Inner strength is key to working in the entertainment business.

In this business, or in any business, you can just get streamrolled if you don’t have this inner strength. And the more happiness you have going in, life becomes more of a game than a torment. And so you look out at the world of people that used to stress you. It could happen that you would just put your arm around them and say, “Let’s go have a coffee.” Everything seems happier.

Read more at Filmmaker Magazine.

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