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Why Feeling “Crangry” Is a Good Thing

Elizabeth Blue shares her humorous outlook on creativity.  She urges us to “Get Crangry! Then Get to Work!”

As a kid, I was a huge Beatles fan. We’d listen to their songs on family road trips. I could hold my own when arguing with boys about their best album (Sergeant Pepper’s, hands down).

I always loved Paul and John, and even had a soft spot for Ringo. But I never was interested in George. I’d skip over “Within Without You” and “Blue Jay Way” to get to more of Paul’s songs.

Then a few years ago, I was at my friend Marshall’s apartment on the Lower East Side in NYC. We ate pot cookies (my first time), and Marshall put on George’s album, All Things Must Pass. Listening to “My Sweet Lord,” I felt like the Earth moved beneath my feet! (Maybe that was the cookies.) Either way — I couldn’t believe I’d missed out on George all this time.

From then on, I’ve been a fan. I recently watched the documentary about him, which explores his life from joining the Beatles to traveling to India to his solo career.

Crangry (2)

You know that “hangry” feeling — when you’re so hungry that you are angry?

I had a similar feeling watching George’s documentary.

I was CRANGRY.

When you’re crangry, you’re so creatively inspired that you’re angry! It’s accompanied by a feeling in of awe and inspiration and the desire to be GOOD.

I feel CRANGRY watching someone fully reach and express their potential.

It makes me want to get to work.

I’m a writer and a comedic performer (I’ve done everything from improv to musical comedy to writing one-woman shows).

And I feel so far from reaching my potential. I’ve let different things stop me — like life circumstances, the challenges of pursuing art in NYC, blah blah blah.

But mostly? I haven’t reached my potential because I haven’t put the time in.

In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell points out how the Beatles spent 10,000 hours playing music in their early days as a band. Same thing for Bill Gates, who spent 10,000 hours programming computers in college.

There’s no shortcut to greatness. It comes from consistently putting the time in, over and over.

For a lot of that time, there may be very little acclaim or confirmation from the Universe that you’re good at what you do. And it’s quite likely that MUCH of that time will be spent sucking.

George probably had to write a few duds before writing “Here Comes the Sun,” or “Something.” And many of his songs got rejected for Beatles albums — later becoming some of his greatest solo hits.

Aren’t you glad he kept going?

I encourage you to listen to great music. Read great books. Watch great films.

Get CRANGRY! Then get to work.

Elizabeth Blue is a writing coach and comedic improviser living in NYC. She creates weekly videos on her youtube show, BlueTV. You can get her regular writing tips, inspiration, and funny videos here.

Categories: writing

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Darcie

Darcie Cameron is a RYT 200 who believes Yoga is a gift that is accessible to everyone with proper modifications, a patient smile and just taking the time to breathe. One of the greatest presents you will ever unwrap is when you connect your mind, body and spirit in perfect sync with your own breath. Connect with Darcie on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/darciecameronlovesyoga

12 replies

  1. While I tend to take Gladwell with a grain of salt (he often takes things way too far) I do believe that your point is well made. After 32 years as an educator it’s been my experience that the best work comes through hard work. The one fly in that particular bit of ointment is the concept of teamwork. Some groups can create magical synergies; situations in which the whole is greater than the sum. Yes, it’s possible to transcend sometimes when the right group gets together.
    And, yes, the Beatles were such an example.
    …as were the Edmonton Oilers in the 1980s!
    Whoops–OK Calgary has been OK from time to time as well 🙂

    1. Hi Maurice — Yes, there is some magic that some groups can have. There’s a concept of a “group mind” in improv, where together we create one group mind instead of a lot of scattered minds.

      But similarly — those groups who spend hours and hours and hours together are able to build a stronger group mind.

      At the end of the day, certain individuals and certain groups have a special magic — that can’t be denied. But consistent effort and hard works seems helps the rest of us to hone our magic. 🙂

      1. In my previous life I was a k-12 educator and administrator. These days I run a teaching and learning commons at the province’s university. Yes, brilliant individuals come and go (mostly go) but through many years of observation I’ve mostly see that the real work is done through a dedicated effort by teams of people who put a cause ahead of their own well being. While I have seen some bright sparks from time to time, my experience is that either (1) it was just a stroke of luck; a one hit wonder or (2) worse, someone claiming credit for the work of others. Give me that sustained effort any day. Thinking back, though, I get the feeling that a huge element of crangriness was behind the best stuff. Thanks for the nice new word. I expect I shall be using it from time to time and shall pass this along to my students 🙂

  2. Ahh, but there is no denying the genius of George Harrison. Not only is “Within You, Without You” my favorite Beatles track of all time (and that’s saying a lot), but his solo work beats that of his fellow mop tops, if I may be so bold. John comes close (“Gimme Some Truth,” “Mother”) but Yoko ultimately drags him down. George, on the other hand? How about every freakin’ track on “All Things Must Pass.” Great stuff. Even the Apple Jams. Plus, he was in the Traveling Wilbury’s. George FTW!

  3. Elizabeth, you’re so right. 99.9 percent of creative success is patience. I needed this reminder today, when my patience is flagging. Thank you. I hope you have a lovely holiday season, and a slam-dunk 2015!!

  4. Love that – Crangy!! That’s exactly how I feel if I go to long without writing, or taking a picture, or even just editing stuff I’ve already done. I feel like I have to create, or be inspired every day or some small part withers.

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