Saturday, June 4, 2011


I came across a link to this post a month and a half ago on Twitter- a social media phenom I still haven't fully embraced but tease from time to time. This quote really struck me:

"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 

I think I have written about this in the past, but I feel this quote really sums up one of my greatest flaws (and I have so few...) which is I hate being bad at things. And because I hate being bad at things I never let myself get through the "sucking" phase to get to the "succeeding" phase. I told myself when I was in high school that I had waited too long to take dance lessons so I certainly could never be a dancer. I picked up a guitar freshman year of college and by the end of the summer it was basically a doorstop because I didn't want to push myself to master "Home on the Range." I would love to learn another language but I literally have said, on many occasions, "I'm too old to do that now".

I'm 28. That's pretty young. Sure I think I am old enough to know better but why do I think that a cap has been put on my ability to accomplish anything?  I never would have been a prima ballerina but I certainly could have become someone who could hold their own in a dance audition. I could have persisted, practiced and learned to rock some Bob Dylan on my guitar. I could still learn French. Or how to play the guitar. I could even speak French while playing the guitar if I really put my mind to it. 

Being a beginner. I am not so good at it. 

This isn't going to be a proclamation post where I declare today is the day when I resolve to become a new person and enroll in french lessons. I have written posts like that before and they have come back to get me. No, instead I am merely going to sit with this notion of beginnings for just a little bit.  And maybe that's the whole idea. Sitting with the idea of being a beginner. Knowing that you have a long road ahead but that you don't have to rush to figure out the directions right away. 


  1. Isn't Twitter just 140 characters??? Since I don't tweet...what do I know! Anyway, what a wonderful quote! I remember when you were little, we tried to instill in both you and Neill that it is important to finish what you have started.If you make a commitment- follow through. Things may not always turn out as we hope, but you will know that you gave it your best and have pride in your perseverance! You have taken many more risks already in your life than I - you should be proud of your courage in taking the "road less travelled"- I know your dad and I couldn't be more proud of you! Keep on, keeping on! Je t'aime! Momma

  2. And this is where you and I are the same, dear Blair! Love the quote. And you are a prima ballerina to me.

  3. I can completely relate! I'm usually good at things (not meant to sound conceited) but when I start something not having a natural talent for it, I give up before I can really succeed. It's great that you recognize these things in yourself! :)