“I love what Ira Glass says about creating…
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 it’s 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’m the first one to encourage others to have that attitude and give themselves a break when they don’t measure up to their own expectations. When it comes to me, though, it’s a whole other ball game 🙂
“Any tips to overcome that?”
How to Overcome the Perfection Monster
The fact that you’re asking this question means you’re already onto yourself. It’s just a matter of time before you find your way.
I made this video with some thoughts that might help:
A couple of experiments that might be fun:
- Have a Failure Week. For seven days, attempt things you deliberately think you’ll fail at, and collect your fails. It makes failure fun! (Got this from Michael Neill’s Creating the Impossible program. It’s a great way to shift your attitude about failure.)
- Fall in love with the shitty first draft. In 2023, I created more “shitty first drafts” than ever. Not just for myself, but for my team. I volunteered to write a proposal, draft a website page, draft an offer invitation. I’m getting so much more done by giving myself permission to do a crappy job — and it usually turns out much better than my imagination made it out to be.
I love this Ira Glass quote. There’s a dance between having good taste, knowing I don’t measure up and giving myself permission to “fall short,” and still showing up to improve.
I’m in that with my physical dance journey right now; my body literally will not do what I tell it to do in my mind. The taste gap is real!
By giving myself permission to fall down, look stupid and not get it, I keep showing up. If I show up enough times and try new things, I will improve. Guaranteed. There’s no way that won’t happen.
It’s helping me fall in love with the learning curve, something I’ve heard for years, but never really experienced until last year. And it applies to everything. It’s so freeing to begin to see it at last!
Give yourself a break.
Let it be shitty.
Embrace your “failures.”
Enjoy the process.
You’ll be more likely to stay in the game long enough to actually get GOOD. And I’m right there with you, cheering us on.
Yours in love and play,