Wednesday Writing Craft: Wisdom from Ira Glass


I’m a little pressed for time tonight as I try to keep up with the AtoZ posts that are steadily creeping up on me, so I’ll leave you with this adorable baby dragon and in the capable hands of the great Ira Glass, public radio broadcaster and producer, the host of the popular PRI program This American Life.

This video is a visual representation by David Shiyang Liu of the quote set to Ira’s audio from the original Ira Glass on Storytelling video from PRI.  It’s only two minutes long, so go ahead and watch, but I’ll also put the full text below if you’re busy.  I hope we can all take Ira’s advice to heart!  Take care everyone, stay creative, and persistant!

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, on storytelling

Image credits:
Aww, baby dragon by American deviantartist Nightblue-art
Vimeo video by David Shiyang Liu
Ira Glass full text quote from Goodreads

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