So many of us get into social media because we admire the work of creatives in the field, the brilliant memes, the awe inspiring videos, the perspective altering tweets. But there’s a gap when we start. What we produce doesn’t live up to our own expectations. Our taste exceeds our ability.
“A lot of people never get past this phase," notes Ira Glass because they succumb to the disappointment of producing work that doesn’t match up to the sky-high expectations set by their taste. Every creative has at least once considered packing it in and pursuing the most un-creative career trajectory possible, simply to avoid the heartbreak of knowing their work doesn’t quite cut it.
“In the beginning, and for a while afterwards we know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have,” says Glass. “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. 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. It’s gonna take a while. It’s normal to take a while. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
It’s tempting sometimes just to stop trying to be excellent, to start filling the content calendar with “content” rather than striving for the breakthrough executions that get noticed and engaged with. So even as you cringe at your first attempts, recognise the taste gap. Then get back to writing your headline 25 times until it’s as catchy as it can be.
And maybe - if you work damn hard at it - your ability will catch up with your taste.
Ira Glass on the Creative Process:
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