This post by Janet Reid could not have come at a better time. I’m really struggling with the writing thing lately. I have been writing for… I don’t know about two (or is it three?) years straight. If I live in the bubble where I only read my writing, it seems good. Solid. And then I read someone else, or an actual published author and I realize how good I am NOT. It’s depressing.
Janet’s post, which links to a post by Ira Glass, completely describes my feeling right now:
“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that 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, and 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.
At least I know I have taste? I don’t know. I’m just tired, you know? It’s been a long hard journey of half a million words to just get to “crappy”. Imagine how many words I have to put in to get to “okay”.
I am tired of feeling like a talentless hack. I am tired of opening up this blog and whining about feeling like a talentless hack. I am tired of reading comments from people who only mean the very best, telling me that a lot of writers feel this way and also I am not a talentless hack. I’m just tired.
I don’t feel it, right now. I need a break. So I’m taking it. I’ll be back in June, I hope.