howdy do it: a little ira glass wisdom

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 (via nefffy, by way of Fresh Air, by way of Yarn Yumminess)

Ira Glass press photo by Stuart Mullenberg via UAB


  1. says

    Wow, thanks so much for posting this! I am in that “beginning stage” trying to find my voice and vision as I design away. Every day, I always feel somewhat unaccomplished, because I have the perpetual feeling of everything “not happening fast enough”. But after reading this, I feel like I can breathe! Thanks for the encouraging words.

  2. says

    Hm, so true. I’m still in the “getting there” phase, but looking back on where I started, I’ve come a long way already. Not sure there really is a final destination of “there,” just the journey of getting better.

  3. says

    This was beautiful and I’m so thankful to you for sharing. I am definitely in that phase right now, trying to get into a creative career but not loving what I’m making. It’s giving me a lot of hope for the future!

  4. says

    I love this. Ira Glass was in my town last week speaking, but I wasn’t able to get tickets unfortunately. Thanks for sharing! :) xx

  5. says

    This quote makes me wish I hadn’t stopped writing…but I did find another worthwhile creative pursuit and will not give up this time!

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