Spider-Man and the Creative Process: Worlds at Odds?

From The Wall Street Journal, Speakeasy — March 11, 2011:

“The Many Trials of ‘Spider-Man'” by Peter Schneider

Julie Taymor is a brilliant talent.  So is Peter Schneider.  They have both seen immense success in their careers, and experienced untold ups and downs.  So when Peter chooses to speak publicly on the creative process, he does so with empathy and class.  We want our creative heroes to win, but the odds are just so against the outcome.  That makes the people who choose to accept these tasks all the more vulnerable, and unique.

This passage in Peter’s op-ed particularly grabbed me, it is an analogy well-worth encoding:

“A show does not come off the rails in one day. It is the cumulative impact of many wrong turns. In Jon Krakauer’s book “Into Thin Air,” there is a moment when the climber thinks he is going to die and wonders how he got into this awful and dangerous position. Looking back, he realizes that it was not one big mistake of judgment. Instead, it was 10 little decisions that seemed inconsequential along the way but, in retrospect, turned out to have led him into a precarious and nearly fatal situation. At some point, the cumulative impact of all those wrong decisions makes it impossible to regain your bearings.”

I will be picking up on that theme of how small decisions have unseen consequences many times in future thoughts.  It is core to my ethos, and it is extraordinarily real!


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