“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 awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” – Ira Glass
Christian and I have had ‘the creative conversation’ many, many times. About how we’ll each feel frustrated in our work or on a project because we can see or hear how we want it to look or sound, but we just can’t quite get it there. Last night, while eating dinner together, I reflected on how rough of a week I had last week. And if I’m honest- the week before that wasn’t much better. It’s not that they were bad weeks, it’s just that I’d found myself in this weird rut. I didn’t have writers block – I had what I’ve blogged about numerous times on this space – either I wasn’t feeling inspired in my heart and therefore couldn’t write an inspiring post, OR – I did feel inspired but couldn’t quite find the right words.
Have any of you ever felt this way? I’ve learned to either get out of the house or to do something creative with my hands, other than typing on a keyboard. As some of you may remember from last week, I tried my best to work through this funk. I wrote about it, I decorated my Inspiration Board, continued to decorate our new house, and I read a book – because sometimes even just turning pages feels good.
Finding yourself ‘stuck’ creatively is such a frustrating thing. I expressed some concern I’d been feeling with Christian – about how sometimes in my heart I can see and feel how I’d like this blog to be but the steps are missing – there’s a gap. That’s when he pulled out this quote from Ira Glass and as he read it to me, I just smiled. I breathed a deep breath and smiled, because it’s not that I necessarily needed someone to tell me what to do, but to know that I wasn’t alone… that all of this was normal – it was the perfect nudge I needed to keep me going. And so, here I am. I’m working through this weird rut and I’m sharing it with you, in hopes that maybe if any one of you is going through it too- you might feel some comfort like I did 🙂
My wish for you today is that even if you’re not a beginner – if you’re more in the middle – if you’ve been at “this thing” (whatever that may be for you) for quite some time now and have come to a brick wall or a gap of sorts… keep going. Keep pushing through. Don’t give up. Know that what you’re doing matters. Believe that your tastes and creative hopes and dreams came from a good, good place and that because of that – they will be and do good, good things.
Linking up with Love the Here and Now for Wednesday Wishes