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.
The preceding is a beautiful quote from Ira Glass on what it takes to reach the top of a creative profession. Ira Glass a host and producer for the NPR show This American Life and knows a thing or two about making great content. In fact, This American Life is often praised as one of the best radio shows in production. I wanted to share this quote because it’s so powerful and directly applies to everything I’m aiming for with Dev-eryday.
The more I read, the more I see this quote. It seemingly pops up all over. The more I do, read, think, create, and learn the more weight I give to the ideas from the quote. Dev-eryday is my commitment to sticking with creating every day. Each week I have a deadline to post a weekly review. Some weeks are better than others, but there’s always some progress forward. It doesn’t matter if it’s through writing, programming, thinking up new ideas, reading, or anything else, every day I have to move forward.
For those who choose this path, and I think you should, there will be hard times. Some days you just won’t feel like doing anything. At this point you have two options:
- Give In and Skip Your Progress for the Day
- Push Through and Move Forward
If you take path one, it’s going to be even easier to skip the next day. Soon enough a month will go by and you have nothing to show for it. In the second case the month has gone by and you finished that task and have moved on to something bigger and better. The choice is always yours.
There will be years of days where you have these two options. That’s why so many people quit. It’s really hard to continue sometimes. Draw up some plans for whatever it is you want to do or create and give yourself a deadline to do it. Block off time in your schedule to work at it and see to it that you deliver on your promise. Embrace the struggle. No matter where you are in your path to the top you’re likely to think that your work isn’t that good. Believe me, it is good. The fact that you’re making anything and sticking with your plan is evidence that you have something special. Just create stuff and see what happens.