Just a few days ago, I happened upon the following thoughts on creativity by Ira Glass. No matter what a person’s particular creative calling is, I think there is truth in what Glass says. I for one have a bin full of some of the first bags I made, when execution and vision did not match up.
I thought of the quote again yesterday when I decided to take a new profile picture of myself-by myself. I hate having my picture taken. And trying to do it myself proved to be more difficult than I thought. Let’s just say I blew through a set of rechargeable batteries, and over 200 photos trying to get a couple of decent shots.
And if anyone ever tells you that a mannequin cannot look smug, it’s a lie.
What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that 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, and 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 awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.
Have a great week everyone!