I first read this quote a year ago, and it blew my mind.
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take a while. It’s normal to take a while. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
– Ira Glass
This is actually a tidied-up version of what he really said, which can be heard in this YouTube video below. If you have five minutes, I recommend watching it, just because he is so charming and sincere.
I think of these words so often, especially lately as I push myself to write more and more often, and as I push myself to put myself out there in a way I haven’t until recently. I know in my mind how good I could be, and so often I am discouraged (SO DISCOURAGED) at how far I still have yet to go. But I’m trying to keep pushing, keep pushing . . .
May we all feel courageous today!
© Amy Daniewicz