Michael Schur is an American comedy writer. After writing for SNL, he co-wrote The Office, Parks and Recreation, and other big-time favorites.
His #1 piece of advice for creators:
Don’t be precious with your material.
At Saturday Night Live, they would write sketches that would most likely not be performed. And for the best ones that did see the stage, they’d be over in five minutes. And unless they were the .1% of skits that made it onto YouTube, they would never be seen again.
Years of this taught Michael to not hold so much emotion in the things he created.
“I didn’t try to do shitty work,” he said. “But no matter how funny I thought the thing was, I had to be willing, at any point, to embrace the fact that my work was, in fact, shitty.”
I’ve never written one of the best television sitcoms in history (let alone two of them). But I do write this mediocre blog.
There have been times I chose not to write about something because I didn’t have the mental energy to really flush it out and talk about it in any sort of interesting way. I don’t want to waste material, I’d think. Lol.
The beauty of writing a blog almost every day, and of it being entirely my own…is I can do whatever I want.
I could literally write a blog titled “My ass” with just a photo of my naked butt. There’s nothing stopping me from doing that.
Anyway. Since I can do as I please, I’ll often churn or repeat ideas I wrote about months ago. I can’t keep track of all 1500 blogs I’ve written, so I’m sure I have pieces with the same message, the same jokes, the same sentences word for word.
I also have blogs I can’t stand to read now. I’ve said things I disagree with today. I’ve written things I’m not proud of.
This is all to say: If I held my work as precious, I’d probably be depressed. Good enough has to be good enough.
The second I have too many criteria for something being “good enough” is the second I stop typing.