Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Ira Glass - Why Your Own Work Disappoints You

Here is a quote from American public radio star Ira Glass, a man who has been in the business for decades, talking in an interview about creativity - specifically about storytelling through the medium of radio but equally applicable to story based film making, or just about any creative field.


“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.”


Man, that is a good piece of reading! I have felt this way about my own work for a long time but he puts it so magnificently. If you're disappointed in your creative work during your early stages, this is a good thing. This shows that you are holding yourself to a high standard. You will only get better with more experience.

In short, don't give up. Keep pushing, keep learning.

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