Ira Glass on doing the work

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
If you’re not on the list   I can’t help you.   Help me help you!

i got this quote from a before&after magazine email a couple of months ago, and have been thinking and talking about it ever since. “your taste is why your work disappoints you. ” — that part is so so true, it’s sad that new artists don’t see it that way. love that i just found your site last week, through a WDS attendee’s recommendation. this is proof i’m meant to be reading your stuff ;)


HA! thx Inna. Yea, this quote is great. If you’re interested (you may have already listened) there’s a great interview with Ira Glass on WTF with Marc Maron (I’m a big Marc Maron fan) where I was glad to hear more from Ira.

But these Ira Glass on Storytelling videos are excellenter methinks.

Thanks for the kind words Inna! Merci!

[…] takes effort. Ira Glass says that when you choose to create something good you will be disappointed for a long time. It is only […]


I really, really like this. It’s beautifully true, but sensitive and compassionate.

Leave a Reply

Other posts you’ll like: