Taika Waititi talks Creativity and why nerves are useful

Published: May 17, 2021
Author: Steven Thomas

I love the honesty and humour of this video about creativity from Oscar-winning director Taika Waititi.

No matter what job we do, we're all trying to create something and the process can be lonely, baffling, and disorientating at times. Someone like Waititi, given his success, could well allow his ego to tell him he had it all worked out. That he was the master of his own creative process all along.

But his self-deprecation about how he "fell into" filmmaking and what he goes through to create his work is guidance for us all.

"90% of all ideas are sh*t. If you take that into account it allows you to relax more. When I'm writing I know a lot of it should never see the light of day."

Similarly, he talks about how important momentum is.

"Don't get too comfortable... keep moving".

And how being nervous can be a good thing.

"You've got to be nervous... If I'm nervous enough then I know I'm going to scramble and potentially make something good".

This is an important point. When taking on challenging work, we all suffer nerves or from imposter syndrome. Even Oscar winning directors.

When helping people innovate themselves and their business I often talk about the practice of acknowledging nerves as a positive force. They are simply an indication that we're doing something that matters. We can only be at our best when being pushed to adapt and evolve.

The world of music and film is full of examples of people who apply a creative process and allow themselves the structure, intensity and space to do their best work.

If you find this interesting, you might like:

Getting white hot and passionate with Nick Cave and Roald Dhal

How Jack White uses restrictions to drive creativity

David Lynch on where ideas come from