On Eminem’s Notes

tags: note-taking, eminem

Several times last year, I gave a conference talk called “Palaces of Innovation,” where I talked about a creative team’s need to have a home base – a digital lab, a virtual studio – where they could collaborate.

I discussed our need to externalize information. I used the examples of Leonardo Da Vinci, Jerry Seinfeld, and Eminem, as creators that constantly wrote things down, both so they wouldn’t forget them, and so they could develop ideas.

Jillian Hess has a lovely newsletter called “Noted” in which she collects and discusses the notes of famous creators. To my delight, she covered Eminem in her last issue.

I’ve been fascinated with Eminem’s creative process for years, ever since I watched him pull out a box of scribbled legal pads during an interview with Anderson Cooper to show how his mind was constantly working through lyrical puzzles. I was awestruck at how hard he worked at his craft, and how that manifested itself.

He even referred to this in a lyric from “The Monster.”

I wanted to be the Bruce Lee of loose leaf.

I love that.

(BTW, Jillian provides some free content from “Noted,” but it’s also the one and only Substack I actually pay for. If you’re a creative, it’s worth it.)

Eminem's Boxes of Notes

“the Bruce Lee of loose leaf”

This is item #31 in a sequence of 42 items.

You can use your left/right arrow keys to navigate