Keep Going

Keep Going - Phone Screen
Keep Going | April 2017 Mobile Phone Screen

It’s been years since I first heard Ira Glass talk about creativity in his interview on the art of storytelling and for some reason it’s been on my mind lately and I wanted to share it here. Perhaps it’s also because I just finished listening to S-Town (for which Ira Glass is the Editorial Advisor so I kept hearing his name on the episode credits).

Nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish somebody had told this to me — is that all of us who do creative work … we get into it because we have good taste. But it’s like there’s a gap, that for the first couple years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t so good, OK? It’s not that great. It’s really not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not quite that good. But your taste — the thing that got you into the game — your taste is still killer, and your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re making is kind of a disappointment to you, you know what I mean?

A lot of people never get past that phase. A lot of people at that point, they quit. And the thing I would just like say to you with all my heart is that most everybody I know who does interesting creative work, they went through a phase of years where they had really good taste and they could tell what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be — they knew it fell short, it didn’t have the special thing that we wanted it to have.

And the thing I would say to you is everybody goes through that. And for you to go through it, if you’re going through it right now, if you’re just getting out of that phase — you gotta know it’s totally normal.

And the most important possible thing you can do is do a lot of work — do a huge volume of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week, or every month, you know you’re going to finish one story. Because it’s only by actually going through a volume of work that you are actually going to catch up and close that gap. And the work you’re making will be as good as your ambitions. It takes a while, it’s gonna take you a while — it’s normal to take a while. And you just have to fight your way through that, okay?

-Ira Glass

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Summer Preview: Cancun Vacation

Cancun Morning Ocean

Last month my husband and I got a nice preview of summer on our 4 day, 3 night trip to the Hyatt Ziva in Cancun. Our typical travel style is less R&R and more walking around and sightseeing. Neither of us had ever been to an all-inclusive resort and since I’ve been struggling with health issues the past few months, this trip was the perfect type of holiday.

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Oh, hello there.

Do you remember when Xanga was around? I think it started in 1999 and was my first memory of "blogging". I didn’t have a Xanga because I’ve never been much of a writer, but I did start a blog in 2004 - because by that time it involved more design, branding and photo sharing. Sharing images and designing was MUCH more fun than just writing.

Do you want to know what I called my blog? It was called Sugarcubicle. I worked in a cube and I was excited about my first job in architecture. Don’t ask - I still don’t know what I was thinking. I designed a logo and I think I posted once, maybe twice, before I felt embarrassed / too exposed / not good enough and I took it down.

Since 2004 I can count at least three more times that I’ve started blogs and subsequently took them down within months of publishing them. Each time it was because I felt like someone would judge me for my opinion or that someone at work would find it. And well, that would be embarrassing, wouldn’t it?

Perhaps what they say about growing older is true - that you are more confident in who you are or just less apologetic. In any case, I’m going to try this again. Hopefully I will stick with it, because I don’t want to be left wondering “What if?” another 12 years from now.

So in the words of Brené Brown (because she’s awesome):

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”

 

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