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Ira Glass on Working Through the Suck

YouTube - Ira Glass on Storytelling #3

Video featuring terrific advice from This American Life’s Ira Glass on having the tenacity to get better at the creative work you’re passionate about — even through the times when you know what you’re making isn't as good as you'd like.

I admire Ira's courageousness in using himself as an example of how to do it wrong.

(Also, now that I’m aware of that tic where radio people punch every third word, I’m hearing it all the time.)

[via Big Contrarian]

Brandon_Leedy's picture

This is going to sound ridiculous, sorry.

I'm a pretty big fan of This American Life, listening back when I was in my early teens. Public radio is pretty much unheard of when you're that young, but one day I just started listening (probably because it made me feel older?). Haven't stopped since...

Anyways, I watched this video. And at the end (I can't believe I'm writing this) I broke down a little. As soon as Ira started to say, "It takes a while, its going to take you a while, AND THAT'S NORMAL... you just have to fight your your way through it... you will make things that aren't as good as you know in your heart you want them to be, over and over again...

Hearing someone whom I respect and well, sort of grown up with say, "I was not good for a very long time, but I got there" and then say "you may not feel like you are very good either, and that's okay, just keep going"... well it struck me.

Look, I just turned 20, I started my first real job co-oping at a design firm two weeks ago... I have spent the past two years (and still have 3 to go) working my ass off trying to compete at a design school that tells us we HAVE to be good... and its hard. It's the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Sure I like what I'm doing, but I hate my work. Every thing I make I tear apart, and it worries me. When you're being taught in an environment that acts like you should be professionals right now, it makes you doubt yourself. It makes you feel like you are the only designer that is behind.

But, the truth is, I am not amazing at what I do. Nor are my friends... we can barely pass as good. WE ARE LEARNING, and its going to take a lot of work and determination just to do work that actually is considered "good".

So in conclusion, my work still disappoints me. But I'm learning and I'm working...and I can accept that.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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