Monday, April 16, 2012

On Good Taste and Success

“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.”
― Ira Glass

As black beans simmer in the slow cooker in the kitchen and I write this, laying in my loft bed in my tiny one bedroom apartment, I have a million things that seem to all have the same ambition of leaving my brain at the same time and become genius works. This is not possible. Bike builds, recipes, true stories, fiction stories, interviews, photos that need to be edited. Amid the stress, Ira Glass made more sense than anything I wrote today.

Gina posted this article on facebook the other day about journalism majors. It made me think of why I majored in journalism and why it makes me so happy. I wouldn't be where I am today without majoring in journalism. It just wouldn't have happened. To anyone who tells you to "change your major because you are never going to make any money". Don't. Sure, there are going to be a few shitty years of making no money, doing crappy work, and asking yourself, "Is this worth it?" It is. It is worth every inverted pyramid you write, every blog post that sucks ass, and every shitty first draft you create.

1 comment:

Gina said...

I like to think that creatives like us - who, let's admit are society's slightly awkward folk - have a realization that life isn't always about making the big greens. It's about fulfillment and enlightenment.

I know I occasionally slip into this mindset that I have to be "on track" with regards to the success and age chart (whatever the F that is), but then I stop, and tell myself no.

I think we're the type of people who are truly happiest. We have unrealistic dreams, sure, but our creative genius doesn't limit us in the world of harsh realities.

Sure, we don't make squat and may not enjoy "the finer things" in life per American Dream/rich people standards, but we're living the finer things in life. We enjoy what we do, and that's what's important. To us anyway. :)

Much love <3