“Do a lot of work. A huge volume of work” - Ira Glass
One of my favorite musical artists is Donny Hathaway. I read the liner notes in one of his albums and was enamored by a story when he was a young boy. He became frustrated while playing the piano under the supervision of his grandmother and started banging on the piano keys. He exclaimed, “If you could only hear the music in my head!” That’s how it feels a lot of times as a creative.
We have these grand ideas but we don’t always have the resources, skill set, or means to make them a reality. That photoshoot idea doesn’t look quite like you imagined it. That painting just didn’t turn out like you thought it would. That script you wrote sounded a lot better in your head. Sometimes we fall short of the mark we aim at. However, at least we’re trying and taking aim. With time, great habits, and dedication, we will eventually hit the mark. I have shown this Ira Glass video to many of my creative peers. They all find it encouraging. The most important part of a creative’s body of work, is the fact that we are executing ideas and getting better with each idea’s execution.
Artists are oftentimes their hardest critics. I remember going to a screening of “Gone Girl” with a talkback after the movie by director David Fincher. Fincher said he squirms with discomfort while watching some of his work, and with his movie “Gone Girl”, he found himself saying, “This movie is really long” and “Did we really need that shot of him driving up to his house?” Here is a director at the top of his game, and he’s still finding flaws in his work. For all my fellow creatives, I say, don’t be discouraged. “Do a lot of work. A huge volume of work”. Eventually we’ll fill the gap between idea and execution.