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Cold calling and its connection to creativity

The March 21, 2011, New Yorker has a fascinating story on Barry Michels and Phil Stutz, psychoanalysts to screenwriters with writer’s block and other Hollywood creatives. Lots of innovative treatments.

Like the guy who is unable to write a script after a year and a half of trying. So Michels tells him to close his eyes and say what he is grateful for. Then he is to set his timer, every day, for one minute and pray in front of his computer for help in writing the worst sentence ever.

It eventually works and the writer completes an Oscar-winning script.

I’ve got my doubts but it’s an interesting cure.

Here’s where the stories get even better.

Stutz, upon moving to Hollywood, has no clients so he cold calls other therapists for referrals. Each day he phones the most dreaded person on his list, which he calls “eating ‘a death cookie.’”

I love stories of cold call triumphs, but it gets better. Stutz ties cold calling to another favorite topic of mine: creativity.

He says, “The risk you take has a feedback effect on the unconscious. The unconscious will give you ideas and it wants you to act on them. The more courage you have when you act, the more ideas it will give you.”

I love it.

Originally posted 3-21-11

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