The “Lessons Learned” on this site focus on positive creative experiences. In a few cases, if I had a bad experience that I caused, I’ll tell you how I learned from it. In our work together, we’re not going to waste our time focusing on negative stories about other people.
I have Harold Ramis to thank for this lesson. He was one of the most talented, generous and genuinely nice people in the world. He directed Groundhog Day. He co-wrote Animal House. He plays Venkman in Ghostbusters. I met him one time at a Second City party, while I was working at the National Lampoon.
I wanted to trade Matty Simmons stories with Harold.
“Don’t do that,” he said. The way someone might say “You have food on your face.”
He continued: “If you go around talking behind people’s backs, all anyone is going to be think is “What’s this asshole going to say about me?”
So, if I’m going to talk shit, it’ll mostly be about the lessons I’ve learned from my own bad behavior. And I’ll teach you what I know from the positive lessons I’ve learned from people. If we work together in the future, I’ll do the same for you!
I have a long career spanning almost every kind of media, from longform to short-form digital. I think a lot about what it’s like to work creatively today and how to manage creatives. Often, I “think out loud” on this blog. Everything I write here is a “work in progress.” I’d love to hear your take; Please leave a comment below.