Saturday, June 13, 2020

All That You Leave Behind by Erin Lee Carr

All That You Leave Behind by Erin Lee Carr is a memoir by the filmmaker and daughter of  David Carr, the late New York Times media writer and author of The Night of the Gun, which I wrote about after his death in 2015.

Erin Lee Carr has directed documentaries for HBO, with Thought Crimes, At the Heart of Gold, and I Love You, Now Die as well as Drug Short, an episode of the Netflix series Dirty Money. She in this book shows herself to be an excellent writer and tells a very open tale of loss, grief, and making one's way in the world, including in the creative world that she and her father worked in.

It was a compelling book, and ended with "Things I learned from David Carr: a list":

Listen when you enter a room.
Don't buy into your myth.
Don't be the first one to talk, but if you do talk first, say something smart.
Speak and then stop; don't stutter or mumble; be strong in what you have to say.
You have to work the phones. Call people. Don't rely on emails.
Ask questions but ask the right questions.
Ask people what mistakes they've made so you can get their shortcuts.
Know when enough is enough.
Make eye contact with as many people as possible.
Don't be in shitty relationships because you are tired of being alone.
Be grateful for the things you have in this life. You are lucky.
Practice patience even though it's one of the hardest things to master.
Failure is a part of the process, maybe the most important part.
Alcohol is not a necessary component of life.
Street hotdogs are not your friend.
Remind yourself that nobody said this would be easy.
If more negative things come out of your mouth than positive, then Houston, we have a problem.
We contain multitudes.
Always love (see band: Nada Surf).
Have a dance move and don't be afraid to rock it.
Don't go home just because you are tired.
Don't take credit for work that is not yours. If your boss does this, take note.
Be generous with praise and be specific in that praise: "that line was killer."
Cats are terrible, they poop in your house.
Say what you mean and mean what you say.
Be defiant.
Do the next right thing.
Our dogs are us. Only cuter.
You are loved and you belong to me, the world, and yourself.