Hello from Maui
A quick note to say hello. Kind of feeling guilty for being here and not dropping a line. We’ve been having an amazing time here -yesterday I spent the day in a zodiac off the coast of Lanai, a small island itself just off the coast of Maui. Snorkelling, underwater sea caves, incredible weather, and – most amazing of all a chance to swim, unexpectedly, among a pod of hundreds of spinner dolphins. Can’t begin to describe the magic of it. I’m paying for my indiscretions today, though. Clearly I the sunscreen I thought I was applying liberally wasn’t as liberal – or effective – as I thought.
The festival kicked off last night with a reception, and this morning with a keynote. I spoke about Vision-Driven Photography and the need to discover and express our vision. Before that I spent three days relaxing, and chewing through Seth Godin’s book Linchpin which you should read. Run, don’t walk, to your local library or bookstore and get this book.
My friend Sabrina Henry told me I needed to read Linchpin and I resisted because while Seth Godin is a scary-smart guy he kind of writes like a grade 12 student and I find it hard getting past his writing to the wisdom beneath. Not so with Linchpin; it’s still not particularly brilliant writing as far as craft goes but the content is incredible. It’s been a long time since a book got so much of my attention, marginalia, and circles and arrows.
At it’s core, Linchpin is a discussion of the value of the artist in our culture, and the necessity of being an artist in this economy. It’s got lots of brain food in it, and it connected some dots for me, but it’s also profoundly pragmatic – especially for those in the creative arts who think they have to be less unique, and blend into the crowd, to be a commodity rather than a brand, in order to make it. It also, and here’s a difference, has a deeply human side to it. Anyways, Linchpin really inspired me and with it Seth Godin moved in my thinking from marketing guy to join the likes of Hugh MacLeod (Ignore Everybody), Steven Pressfield (The War of Art), and writers like Anne Lamott whose combined voices all say that the hard work of art matters, that creation has value and that making a life and a living at this stuff is more likely the less we sell out.
Anyways, love it here. If you’re here in Maui at the festival, please do introduce yourself to me. Corwin and I return to the mainland Monday morning and then the sprint to get ready for 6 weeks in Asia begins.