The Creativity Secrets of Jeff Tweedy

Jeff Tweedy’s memoir, Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back), includes expected anecdotes about his growing up, his struggles with addiction and the evolving nature of his band, Wilco. It’s also about his creative process, which I found fascinating.

BeVulnerable There are a few creativity lessons from the book. The nuggets are not as valuable as the ones in the book, but they are still useful to have a concise list.

Tweedy says that he is. It is a strength. His “superpower.” He has a “bone crushing earnestness, a weaponized sincerity.”

Most of us are prevented from sharing our ideas or art because of the snickers. Being able to perform, write, or publish is very valuable. It was foolish to peer’s shame. They could not make me recoil with their snickering or judgmental smirks.

Tweedy is comfortable with failing because of his vulnerability. He encourages it. Failing is a genius.

Being vulnerable and willing to fail goes hand in hand. You learn more when you fail. One day, you will be labeled a genius.

The people who seem to be geniuses are not. They are more comfortable with failing. They try harder than other people do.

The journal was from Fretboard. There is a secret lab.

You can find the tools that work for you. It’s important to have a workspace or lab. Tweedy’s is a hangout for the band in Chicago. It’s a place where people can play, jam and record. They intended it to be their space for creativity. It’s important to have a desk or an office. The workshop is for innovation. Keeping the space dedicated to one purpose helps keep you focused on that purpose. There are new and vintage instruments at Wilco. A quiet desk is enough for most of us. A table at a coffee shop is not likely to be loud.

I don’t like new strings. They are bright and cheerful. I dislike everything about them. I need strings that are not weighted down by history. Tweedy says something.

New voices should be brought in. Tweedy has constraints that he chooses to work with. He knows that this within this website works for his voice and type of writing. His creativity comes from these tools. It is recognizing where and how you do your best work and working within constraints. My passion is finding new ways to tell stories about technology, and making sure these stories are related succinctly. That is my domain. That is my constraint. The strings are old.

Tweedy and Stirratt have been with the band for nearly 25 years, but the roster has changed several times. Jay Bennett’s personnel change is famous and dramatic. Other departures were professional and pleasant. Tweedy acknowledges that the band has new ideas thanks to new talent. Bennett’s ideas were important to the classic album. New talents and opportunities for experimentation were brought to the table by Glen and Nels. Tweedy has collaborated with many artists over the years. He can explore new aspects of his creativity thanks to these collaborations. We should look for new partners to work with in our own endeavors.