October’s past halfway done, and three cheers for THAT. I love writing, and this—a long stretch of daily public writing—is a good thing for me to do once in a while. But also, it’s time consuming, and I’m starting to feel like I’m just producing random crap and wondering why on earth I decided to do this, anyway. I actually mentioned to a friend yesterday that I felt like I’d run out of non-garbage things to say. But then I went on facebook and learned that the last piece—the one that I’d thought was pretty much fluff—had spread some grace to some people. (Thank you guys for cheering me on!)
Also, I remembered a quote that I’ve mentioned here before but will shamelessly share again, by Ira Glass:
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 its 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.
It’s fine. It’s fine to throw stuff out into the world that doesn’t feel perfect. Put it out anyway, whatever your art is. And it’s fine not to be in love with everything you make. Keep making, just the same.
We need your art, and you need to keep producing it until it becomes what you want it to be.
This post is part of a 31-day series called “Grace in Failure.” Other posts from the series can be found here.