The New York Times Media Critic David Carr
died this week, I’m still reeling from this.
Online, I found his terrific Commencement address he gave to the 2014 class at UC Berkeley School of Journalism. It’s 20 minutes of fabulous life stories and advice (and no, it’s not just for young folks: it’s great advice for all of us). Do yourself a favor this week and watch it.
A few highlights:
“If you stay in your comfort zone, you’ll never know what you’re capable of.
. . . you need to learn to experience frustration, and you need to experience that frustration as a teachable moment,
. . . you need to humble yourself and ask for help.
. . . do what’s in front of you. When you leave school, you’ve got your loans weighing down on you, you’ve got parents saying ‘What the hell are you going to do with all this?’ Just do what is in front of you.
Don’t worry about the plot to take over the world. Just do what is in front of you, and do it well. I think that if you concentrate on your plot to take over the world you’re going to miss things.
Journalism [and music] is like housekeeping. It’s a series of small, discrete acts performed over and over. It’s really the little things that make it better. So don’t think about the broad sweep of your journalism [music]. Just do a good job on what’s in front of you. Working on your grand plan is like shoveling snow that hasn’t fallen yet. Just do the next right thing.”
[my interpolations with music]
Question: How are you figuring out what the next right thing is in front of you this week?
PS: If you haven’t seen any of the Sweet Spot, it was a video series with David Carr and the NYT film critic A.O. Scott in lively short conversations on everything from the nature of criticism, to file sharing, nostalgia, Times Square, and high and low culture.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!For info on working with me: details are HERE.
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