In any creative endeavor, magic sometimes happens. But you can’t mass-produce it.
You see this demonstrated often on television. If producers have a hot television series, they think of a spinoff. Then another, and another. But by the time they get to CSI: Dubuque, the idea is burned out and the magic is gone.
American Idol had magic. Then FOX made it two hours for the boys on Monday, two hours for the girls on Tuesday, one hour for the results on Wednesday, and one hour for failed auditions on Thursday. It got overexposed.
At some point, a contestant on The Voice lost a loved one during the audition process, but continued on, because that’s what their departed loved one would have wanted. Moments like that can be magic. But then the producers saw the result and tried to recreate it...
So now every season the interview process for every contestant involves finding out who they know that just died, is about to die, or facing some cataclysmic tragedy – so the show can produce a tearjerker video package. Instead of it being about the voice, it becomes a contest for the best maudlin drama.
Chicken Soup for the Soul was magic. But by the time we got to Chicken Soup for Albino Stall Muckers in Borneo, it was too many trips to the well.
In the course of your work, you’re sometimes going to discover magic...
Honor the magic. Celebrate it. Appreciate it. But don’t try to manufacture it.