The Gap by Ira Glass was passed around the office the other day and I found it to be extremely compelling. Although it focuses on creative projects, I think the concept can be applied to any goal we are working towards. No matter what the project, big or small, you always face a series of roadblocks along the way. Whether these challenges are out of your control, or mental battles that you need to overcome, there is always a period of time where you need to persevere and keep your end goals in sight.
“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
I hope that you found this as inspiring as I did, giving you the motivation to keep working towards your goals. Are there things you’ve wanted to try or a hobby or passion you’ve been neglecting? There’s no better time than now to dust off that old guitar, break out that sketchbook, or start studying up on a topic of interest. Remember, creativity does not manifest itself and greatness doesn’t happen over night. Now get going and “do a lot of work”. Eventually you’ll close the gap and be satisfied with the work you’re producing!
(Cover photo courtesy of Vimeo’s The Gap by Ira Glass, posted by frohlocke)