Here’s to the beginners

It’s only been a week and a half but it feels like it’s been over a month since I posted.  I started my first of two five week 8 a.m. summer classes this week and I feel like all I’ve done is wake up at 6 a.m., drive to campus, spend two hours in class, drive home, and sleep.  And that’s all I’ve wanted to do.

I’ve had four blog posts sitting in my drafts just waiting to be written. But for some reason I couldn’t make myself sit down and write them. I thought about them, on multiple occasions. On that 40 minute drive from campus at 10 a.m. every day I’ve had the thought “I can get home, have plenty of time to write and be productive, I can get so much done!” And then nothing.

Most of the time when I go a week or longer between posts, that’s my problem. I have ideas for what I want to write or take pictures of but I just can’t seem to motivate myself enough to actually do them. And then I cam across this quote that fit my situation so well. It’s long but after seeing it, everything clicked for me. I actually had it as my background on my laptop for months and didn’t really pay any attention to it until the other day when I went to change it and decided to write it down. (I always write down my favorite quotes in a notebook on my desk because sometimes inspirational quotes really motivate me, like today.) And that’s when I actually paid attention to the words.

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple of years you make stuff, its not that good. Its trying to be good, it has potential, but its 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. 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 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

As soon as I wrote this down, it was like I finally processed what it was saying and almost immediately I started to work.  I also felt like all the pressure I put on myself to keep up with everyone was gone. It helped me realize that everyone has felt the way I have, where you feel like you’ve been doing the same thing for a while but it’s just never getting better or easier, it’s like your on a plateau and never getting off.

But now I feel ok with that. For now.

For me, I always like hearing that at some point in their life, other people have felt the same way as me. It’s one of those things that makes you feel like you’re not alone in your struggle, no matter how big or small that struggle may be.

This quote encouraged me to keep going with my blog especially those days/weeks/months where I feel like it’s not going anywhere. Because even if the numbers aren’t showing the improvement, and I may not see it in myself, it is happening. It’s happening because I’m fighting my way through that gap.


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