Arts & Entertainment

Creative Journey

How the Beatles documentary inspired me

The creative process fascinates me, which explains why I was mesmerized by the 2021 Peter Jackson documentary about the Beatles called “Get Back.” 

Jackson edited almost 60 hours of film from 1969 as the Beatles wrote and produced their final album, “Let It Be.”

To set the stage, imagine a room full of these incredible egos needing to compromise, negotiate, and blend their brilliance toward a higher goal — to produce “Let it Be.” That tension would be a constant undercurrent. 

What started as entertainment for me quickly became a 7-plus hour, 3-part master class on creativity. It was so inspiring that I even began taking notes.

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Get Back/Let It Be session

So, what did I learn from watching their creative process that can help us with ours? 

  • They were in the moment. The place where magic happens, where time fades away, completely surrendering to the here and now. I watched them work for hours, seemingly unaware of the passing time. They were creating, bouncing one idea off another. Listening. Considering. Adjusting. As messy as the recording sessions were, these renowned musicians were present most of the time. They were available. 
  • They did the work. Beyond being available, the Beatles were willing to do the work, sometimes reworking a line over and over again. They did the work with a guitar in one hand, a pencil in the other, and a cigarette hanging from their mouth— erasing, back-tracking, and celebrating a few good bars of music, only to start again from another vantage. It was some kind of extraordinary, cooperative chaos. 

I watched as they unconsciously — it seemed to me — wove in and out of each other’s ideas. Adding a note, taking a word away. Trusting and resisting all at the same time. 

They worked to stay open. Unlike many of us, they weren’t shy about their creativity. Their challenge was to remain open to each other’s creativity, allowing the best ideas to emerge without concern for their origin.

Our challenge is to stay open and know we are all creative; it manifests in many ways. A dear friend is what I call “a real artist” because she has an MFA, paints, draws, and oozes creativity. Several years ago, she convinced me that I, too, am an artist. 

Even though in my head I was resisting, saying, “But not a real artist,” I tried to stay open to the idea for her sake. I let her enthusiasm inspire me to create some “real art” that, in the beginning, was fun. 

But the feeling soured as I let the struggle to get it right overtake any freedom and ignorance I had felt before. 

The group had fun. Contrary to the long-held rumor about the fighting and animosity during the sessions, they were having some fun despite it being “the end” of the Beatles. 

They wanted to pursue their individual creative visions. They weren’t having fun as “the Beatles” anymore.

I can relate, of course, on a much smaller scale. When I quit having fun, I quit doing “art.” But by trying it, I understood that art is just one aspect of creativity. They aren’t the same thing. What a revelation!

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Now, I see my creativity expressed in how I put my work into the world, organize my closet, or set the table. And none of these require a paintbrush or color wheel.

How does your creativity show up? And how can what I learned from the Beatles inspire your creativity?

Can you see that your creativity might be in the kitchen when you instinctively add a pinch of cumin to a recipe? Or in the way you arrange a bouquet of flowers? Or even how you organize your tools?

Few of us aspire to the Beatles’ level of artistry. But all of us can use their creativity to inspire ours, no matter how we define it. 

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The Beatles during their rooftop concert from Apple Corps headquarters, 1969. Photo Apple Records Corp.

In what may be the final scene of this creative collaboration, this iconic album was ready to share with the world. The filming of the premiere was on the small and crowded Savile Road rooftop of Apple Records in London. They had fun, or so it seemed, and, on some level, they felt the joy their music gave on that blustery winter afternoon. It was the perfect finale of an inspiring journey.  

At the time of this article, Get Back, produced by Peter Jackson, is available on Disney+ or Amazon for purchase.


Ann Ranson

Ann Ranson is a conscious leader and future-focused master facilitator providing guidance for powerful breakthroughs that help you shape your most fulfilled life. Take the free Civility Quotient Assessment, measuring where you shine and where you need work. Find her at  Or follow her on Facebook or LinkedIn.

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