“What nobody tells people who are beginners”

I write this quick little post to share a quote from an Ira Glass you tube video which just flitted through my twitter feed.  I hope you find it reassuring, as I know I will, in times of self-criticism and doubt and especially during those dreaded bouts of the “not-good-enoughs” that I just discussed in my last post.  I include a photo of my last piece because I just can’t stand a post with no photos. Here’s the quote:
“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.”
The other thing Ira says in the video that I love is “you will be fierce, you will be a warrior.” Ira motivates and reassures me for the practice and process I have in front of me. 

Here is the link for the You Tube video again – love Ira Glass!

  1. stacie

    Thanks Anne. Great quote. I’ll have to hop over to watch the video.

  2. Despina

    Ahh! This is so inspiring and exactly what I needed to hear. I guess you could say I’m in this phase right now, and at times I get really discouraged, but every now and then I produce something that I really love, and that’s what keeps me motivated.

    Thanks so much!

  3. oh anne, i’ve got tears in my eyes now…i haven’t posted anything on my blog for 2 months- mainly because of the reasons you site in this and your previous post. i’ve had nothing perfect to show, so i’ve shown nothing. then it became- i’ve had nothing perfect to show in so long…it’s scared me out of the studio. thanks for the wake up!

  4. Monica

    This is such an encouraging post. I know it’s important to hang in there and keep trying, but it’s also great to know that it’s normal for things to take a while…thank you!

  5. Darcy

    Thank you! This quote made my day (and was greatly needed).

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