inspiration personal writing Wednesday Wishes

“The Gap”

March 4, 2015

“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 πŸ™‚ 
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

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  • Liz

    Awwwwww, I love this! I think so many of us go through it, so for you to put it into words is beautiful. I feel like so many times my mind gets way ahead of my ability to get things done. And I find myself with lots of ideas (maybe too many), and nowhere to go with them for the time being. Great post <3 xo

  • It's like you're speaking to my soul. I have been feeling so lost because I have all of these ideas and plans and I just can't quite get them to come to life.

  • That quote is one of my favorites. Especially because it doesn't end with a "do this, this, and this, and you'll be successful super fast!" It's just real life, you've got to keep pushing!

  • Jae

    You should totally win that Most Inspiring Blogger award, Emily.

  • How did you know I needed this? Yesterday I started 3 posts, but couldn't find the words to make any of them work and finish them. I had so many thoughts, but couldn't get them out. So, I went to the kitchen to cook and documented a new recipe to feature next week. This winter seems to have me down..I can't wait to get outside and let the sunshine help me work.

  • agreed!

  • I feel this sometimes too. About almost everything I do, at some point or other. Term Papers, Decorating, blogging, photos. It sucks. I"m glad you aren't quitting! I'd miss you too much.

  • Keep going. That is absolutely correct. I have been struggling to move forward with my novel, but last night I wrote a short part of it and I was so happy.

  • I am right there with you sister.. It is exhausting isn't it? Thanks for speaking to my heart today! You are so right…I don't need someone to tell me what to do I just needed to know I am not alone…I'm not crazy and losing all my creative juices. xo!

  • That quote is just perfect. I love how Christian pulled it out just when you needed it. I'm sensing a theme around blogland today, there have been so many posts I've read so far that have been just what someone somewhere needed to read. I love that you keep going. I've had similar "gaps" I kind of still do. I have three different drafts about January. I may never publish them, but they're there. Thank you for sharing this today my dear! MOST INSPIRING FOR SURE!

  • um, SO MUCH YES!!!

  • Juju Sprinkles

    I stumbled upon the quote last month too when I was searching for some inspirations. thank you for sharing it and encourage us to keep going Emily πŸ™‚

    Juju
    http://www.jujusprinkles.com

  • You inspire me everyday. I've always thought what you did and who you are will be recognized and appreciated by so many. I think sometimes it is just about timing, and putting in lots of hard work and making little dots, hoping that one day, they all connect. You are an extremely talented artist with such a beautiful heart, and a magnetic charisma for life. What you are doing matters! I remember this quote on my toughest day, "In my moments of doubt I have told myself firmly: if not me, who? If not now, when?" Love to you soul sister.

  • Sometimes I think this whole creative thing goes in spurts. At times I think that I have to fake it til I make it, if that makes sense. During those times when I lack motivation and creativity I try to plow ahead in hopes of something being jarred and unlocking the creative juices. I don't know if that's right or wrong (or even if there is a right or wrong) but I worry that if I stop, I will lose the flow. Gosh that all sounds like gibberish as I reread it but that's how I handle my creative process. Love that quote!

  • i just heard that quote for the first time last night and it's so timely for me as well! i've been feeling that same rut for a few weeks too (is it something in the water!?) but that quote helped me feel a calm within that i'm on the right path, as are you!

  • totally agree!

  • Thank you, friend. I'm the same – lots of drafted notes in my email and drafts in Blogger. One of these days they might turn into something! πŸ˜‰ xo

  • Oh, Meg! I'm so glad you were able to connect to this! We are definitely traveling a similar path right now. The good news is that this pause won't last forever… keep pushing through and don't stop. XO

  • Exactly. Sometimes there is no "secret formula" – it's just part of the journey. Thanks for this sweet note, Chelsea πŸ™‚

  • Thank you πŸ™‚ I took that last weekend while out with my mom antiquing πŸ˜‰

    It's funny when another person can look at your work from the outside, like I can – because I love, love, LOVE your photography! So glad you're pushing through too.

  • Jae!! Your comments always make me either blush or smile (or both). Thank you πŸ™‚ That warmed my heart!!

  • Jae

    You really are always inspiring, Emily! I mean, c'monβ€”Melissa and Amanda agreed with me!

  • XO! I figured I may as well share what I'm going through because surely I'm not alone. Sunshine always helps me too πŸ™‚ It's coming, Emelia!

  • aw. Thank you for that. I'm glad we keep on keepin' on! πŸ˜‰

  • So glad, Taylor. Reading these comments from all of you, mentioning that you've experienced the same thing (or are currently), was comforting & encouraging to me.

  • Yes!! My novel is the other thing. There is so much I want to do with what I've started and it's pretty daunting! (But exciting. We writers are so weird. ha!)

  • oh, Kel. I'm so glad you connected to this, and I hope you don't leave blogland! Keep pushing… you never know what even one of your posts could do for someone else reading!

  • You are certainly NOT crazy! (Well, I mean if you are- I'm right there with you, along with all of the other people who have commented on this) πŸ˜‰ XO!!

  • Seriously- Christian gets me so well. I think it's also because he's creative too so he understands how hard and frustrating it can be. And you know? Sometimes I think even writing part of a draft can be for ourselves… even if we don't share it, sometimes it just feels good to write out a thought.

  • It's such a great reminder! I'd never heard it until this week.

  • I was not familiar with this quote of his until Christian shared it this week! We all get it, which feels so nice πŸ™‚

  • THIS. This from YOU is so encouraging to me, Katie!! Thank you. I think you and I could talk for days if we ever got together in person πŸ˜‰ Love to you my sweet friend XOXO

  • Fake it til you make it…. YES. I used to use that thought in the corporate world… I don't know why I'm not thinking that way now. Thank you for this… this really helps me. (You encourage & inspire me, Anne!)

  • Wow!! I love that we both heard the quote on the same night! I'm glad you got some comfort in reading it too πŸ™‚

  • ​Thank you chica! That means a lot to me πŸ™‚

    I'm sure I'll eventually jump out of this funk, just like you will too. We'll push each other to keep on πŸ˜‰

  • Oh, thank you so much, Emily! Seriously, there are day that I hate all of my photos, but I keep on doing it because in the end, I love photography!

  • I love this, as a relateivly new blogger I'm still finding myself, my niche, my voice and while I'm having some success during this process it's hard and I've considered giving up. I haven't because I know if I can just hang in there pieces will slowly start to fall into place, my confidence will grow, my voice will become focused and strong and somewhere in all of this, my little space on the web will bloom – that's why I keep going.

  • What a great quote. It's so so true. Especially in blogging. I was just telling one of my friends the other day that I don't feel like I actually hit my stride or found my blogging voice until at least 10 months after I started.

    Great post Emily. x

  • πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ XO

  • I definitely go through waves… I've been blogging for a little over a year now and that rut comes and goes – I am telling myself this is what the growing phase feels like πŸ™‚ Glad you are here and writing!!

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you. This note from you brought lots of comfort, Amber! Perhaps the gaps are the times we are meant to grow, and if I think of it that way- it makes pushing through it (all the while not having a clue as to what I'm doing) feel like there's a greater purpose. I'm pushing forward right alongside you, friend πŸ™‚

  • Thank you! It's nice to hear it's normal!

  • I'm thinking the year mark or those month approaching is when a lot of us feel this way?! Through it all, I'm glad we're both here alongside everyone else finding their own steps in this journey. And hey- I asked for adventure this year, didn't I?! πŸ˜‰

  • "A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit." — You should be really proud of yourself that you continue to push forward & never quit, no matter what gap you may find yourself in πŸ™‚ You will get over the hump soon & be swimming through creativity!

  • Thank you so much for the encouragement and kind words, Caitlin! XO! I think spring has finally found its way to Nashville, which definitely helps πŸ™‚ Feeling better already. Hope you're having a great weekend!

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