Newbies in the writing world, rest easy!

This is a quote from Ira Glass that managed to put my mind at ease.

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.

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2 thoughts on “Newbies in the writing world, rest easy!

  1. It’s called persistence!!!! Both my NF books took 25 rejections each before a big NYC publisher bought them. And that was after not selling — oh, 3 or 4? — full-blown, lots of unpaid work book proposals.

    There is some absurd notion that simply wanting to BE a writer means you are one. It may mean you’re trying and not very good (yet) and, he’s right, if you stick with it (and read great stuff and take criticism and study and work on your work) you will likely get better.

    You may never be as good as you hope(d) or as great as your idols. But you gotta stay in the game!

    1. Yes. Rejection can suck big time. Giving up halfway through the game because of it, can be the biggest mistake one can ever make. If you’ve managed to come so far, why not go a little further?

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