If you’re new to writing, you might not know this yet—and even if you’ve been writing for a while, it never hurts to stop and remember:
You know that feeling you get when the words you write just aren’t as compelling as the story in your mind? That’s normal.
Ira Glass says one of the smartest things I’ve ever heard anyone say about the creative process, and even though this link has been kicking around for a while, it seemed like a good reminder for an April Monday.
What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that 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, and 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.
There is a gap that we spend our entire creative lives working to close. And that’s as it should be.
For more detail, here’s the Ira Glass interview on storytelling.