Interview with songwriter, playwright, novelist and cool icon Nick Cave on his creative process and how, for him, “those voices in your head that keep saying: ‘you’re shit’ you know, and ‘it’s no good‘,” are a part that process.
“I have an office that I go to everyday, I get in about 7:30 stay there til about 5:00, 5:30, every day, except Sundays. For about the last five, six years.
I don’t think creatively with other people around, I just need to be on my own.
It’d be wrong to think I’m in this process where I go into the office and sit there writing, writing away and all that stuff is coming . No, it’s not like that.
There are very grim periods at times when really nothing comes and times where a lot comes…
Times where I get really on a roll and start, which is a self-perpetuating thing. Once that kind of starts, I find you get this kind of confidence in what you’re doing.
…and its like all those voices in your head that keep saying “you’re shit” you know, and “it’s no good”, they seem to kind of go away.
… you just sort of.. you get on a roll and that’s fantastic when that happens.
But a lot of the time it’s kind of dead time, really, but I just go every day anyway because I don’t really trust the process. It’s just too slow to go around and go about your business and, you know, wait for inspiration to give you something.
All you can do is fail, and that doesn’t really matter anyway. The greatest artits have failed constantly.
My heros have had abysmal periods in their careers and it just doesn’t matter that much…and you can approach the whole thing with a sense of humour and a “sense of play” if you like – to use a 201st century expression- and just carry on.
And if you can flip that over, for me that’s the secret.”