Ira Glass (of This American Life) has a brilliant quote on growing creatively:
“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.”
Lately I have felt stymied. I’ve had some victories and things I was very proud of, but now I am in that spot where there are things I want to do, but am not skilled and experienced enough to do as well as I want. This is frustrating to me. I’ve always hated being a beginner at anything. I’m blessed that I am a fast learner, but boy it makes me impatient.
I’ve just been forcing myself to work every day. Embroidering, sewing, photographing. Even if it’s just rip it out, discard it, delete it practice, just keep doing it.
It’s a slump, but you get decide if a slump is the end or going to make you better. And I very reluctantly will keep pushing through. 🙂