I’m not trying to alienate anyone here by mentioning the New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. I understand that the franchise and the coach are like Marmite – you love them or you hate them.
For full disclosure I am a San Francisco 49ers fan, but as a sports coach you have got to learn from the best and the 6 Super Bowl victories simply make him the best.
I was listening to the Sky Sports NFL podcast, with the excellent Neil Reynolds and Jeff Reinebold, where they were finishing up their pre-season ‘state of the franchise’ thoughts and the final team being mentioned was the Patriots.
It occurred to me that surely the secrets of Belichick’s success could be applied to being creative.
Hear me out.
Players on a team are ultimately a set of skills and experiences. The coach uses those skills and experiences to craft a win. You get enough wins in a season then you get the big prize at the end; but even if you don’t, those wins remain achievements in themselves.
As a creative you gather together as many skills and experiences as you can. You use those to produce a piece of work. You put together a good enough body of work then you are often acknowledged/rewarded/awarded titles and prizes.
Let me be more specific.
You are a writer. You gather your group of players – in this case authors/books/characters/plots from across all your years of reading. You use this knowledge, these skills and experiences, to write a chapter – to win. You win as many regular season games as you can – you write as many chapters as successfully as you can. Losses and ties mean you need to do some revision. The post-season is where you hone it all down to that last championship game – the finished novel.
Perhaps, alternatively, the different games in the normal season are different types of writing. The post-season is your overall body of work.
The head coach is the natural editor in your brain. A little more of this. A little less of that. Those elements for that particular match, or these elements for this piece of writing, in order to be successful.
Hopefully, you can see where I am going with this.
Tomorrow, I will try and convince you of what Bill Belichick can bring to our creative endeavours.