“Feel” Project Part 5: “You can’t make a mistake”

You can’t make a mistake

It’s time to listen to more Alan Watts. Though I agree wholeheartedly with Nick Tait’s comment on this particular video:

“Why do people always put music to his lectures? It gives this sense of false sentimentality that is out of context with the speech. As a musician I find it incredibly distracting from the meaning of his words which sound beautiful with the silent gaps he leaves. Its like I’m being told how to feel in accordance with someone’s interpretation rather than being able to extract my own feelings from his speech. Sorry for the rant its just prevalent on his talks on YT and a shame.”

I still feel paralyzed at the prospect of making mistakes. This is most pronounced at work since there are people watching and waiting to rightfully criticize when a mistake is made. I also criticize myself pretty harshly when I make a mistake. But this attitude expressed by Watts is like the freestyling, improvisational credo. The times I feel like I can’t make a mistake, not that I won’t make a mistake but that “mistakes” themselves don’t even exist, are amazing times. I produce creatively, I laugh and make others laugh, and enjoy myself.

This relates to me overcoming my perfectionist tendencies from childhood, which are still deeply imprinted on me, as well as my fascination with errors, misprints, and bloopers. What ever happened with that project idea? It found its way into TRAPPED IN DEJA VU TV for sure. I really enjoy that misprinted business card. And that tiny printed cover on the page. When talking with Scott and others at Dan’s party, we concluded that it feels more authentic and it’s more rare really. This also relates to my stated interest in broken English because in the right (there goes my limiting right/wrong dichotomy) context it reveals new truths, new perspectives, is funny, and so on. It’s like breaking stupid rules.

I’m also noticing these little production details in music like Vampire Weekend, Beatles, St. Vincent, Dirty Projectors, and so on that are like little flourishes and accents on certain notes. What can I learn from that technique?

How does this relate to feel? Well mistakes have to be felt in a certain way. Realizing mistakes don’t exist is a slightly enlightening feeling. I’m definitely stuck in the comfort zone, hedonic treadmill thing. Just being on the subway and commuting into work. Same old shit.

How would I make this project if I made it from the mindset of “I can’t make a mistake?” I wonder if I’m building this up into too big a mountain. Maybe this blog alone really is the project itself. Of course, this is me learning and dealing and processing and discovering and trying.

“I feel perfect”
I feel like a mistake
Something rare and unintended
A nice little surprise like
Oh hey what’s you apple pie?

What if I’m overthinking this? What would this project be if I only gave myself a week to do it? I don’t want to do it in a week (like I did with a week into the weird) but, wait maybe I’m trying to think my way out of a thought possible overthinking. So much think! Where’s the FEEL?

Mistakes lead to embarrassment. People don’t like embarrassment.

ethical words
loaded questions
leading questions
complex question

“For example, “Is Mary wearing a blue or a red dress?” is fallacious because it artificially restricts the possible responses to a blue or red dress. If the person being questioned wouldn’t necessarily consent to those constraints, the question is fallacious.”

What about a piece in which I allow for creation of a character by the readers?

This is the feeling of Tyler
Is Tyler a 40 year old or 50 year old?
Is Tyler wearing a red shirt or blue shirt?

Reading through some blog posts, mostly copywriting focused, about emotionally-charged words.

Imagine you because
Who else can?

Here’s another random spurt:

Shed yourself of those bandaged wounds
Formed from not nows, too lates, too soons
Remove them
Notice how they’ve healed?
You’re not good enough
You’re too fat
You’re too skinny
You’re too self-centered
How could you do this?
I thought you were better than this
You know better than this
Why can’t you be more like him?
Why can’t you be more like you?
I love you just the way you
Will be when I’m done with you
Is that really your car?
You don’t drive?
I think you should try something else
Oh, I forgot you were here

What would I write if I was writing to 17 year-old myself at ? Or 18? Or 19? I’m mentally making it now. It’s exiting but the prospect of actually publishing something like this under my real name scares the shit out of me. What scares me most? Are these fears justified?


What if I tried to mine emotions from my earlier works? What if I made this a book of feelings of the characters in books and pieces I’ve already written? Like older Zach Papper? The window washer’s family? And I did them in a Citizen Kanesque interviewing style. Some people hate me, some love me, some fear me. They treat me like I’m their God, because I am.

You made me laugh at my grandmothers funeral
You made me cry when I was about to hook up with my crush
You made me
You gave me this
How could you?
What kind of creator does this?
Gives something life
And gives it these ridiculous mixes of emotions
Humans are supposed to emotions
Not fictional characters!
Why could you make me like
Some stunning hero full of confidence
Some cunning intellect full of wit
Or some running joke full of piss?
You asshole

What do I do with “You don’t know how it feels” or “That feel when”? Do those fit in with this concept? I think I’d need to try this approach out first to see. It feels like a cop out in some way instead of trying something new. But it is new. And it’s recontextualizing along with possibly giving people a reason to visit or revisit some of my other work.

This is Part 5 of “Feel” Project Behind-the-Scenes Blog.

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