Thursday, November 21, 2013

Creative Labor

Surprise! A new post! Lately, I've had a lot of ideas of things I want to blog about but not much motivation to sit down and hash it out.

This is a quote by Ira Glass, a storyteller, that I read some time ago and it really resonated with me. As a more creatively minded person, it can be very frustrating to have an eye for something or a vision but fail at creating it the way you envision it. When learning another language, reading comes before speaking. As strange as it sounds, grasping ideas and getting them out of my head and into reality sometimes feels a lot like trying to speak a foreign language. It doesn't help if it requires learning a new skill, like say, software or lots of time that you don't have. (I admire women who can work on their craft/art/whatever with their children alongside them. I can not.) I was comforted to learn this "translation problem" and accompanying frustration is a part of the creative journey. Persistence is the key. I'm not sure how to reconcile this with perfectionism.

(I've included the cool video format, as well as the text).

"Nobody tells people who are beginners, I really, really wish somebody had told this to me... Is that, all of us who do creative work, like y'know we get into it, and we get into it because we have good taste. But it's like there's a gap. That for the first couple years that you're making stuff, what you're making isn't so good, ok? It's not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not quite that good. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, your taste is still killer. And your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you're making is kind of a disappointment to you, y'know what I mean? A lot of people never get past that phase, and a lot of people at that point they quit. And the thing I would just like to say to you with all my heart is that most everybody I know who does interesting creative work, they went through a phase of years where they had really good taste and they could tell what they were making wasn't as good as they wanted it to be. They knew it fell short. It didn't have the special thing that we wanted it to have. And the thing what to do is... everybody goes through that. And for you to go through it, if you're going through it right now, if you're just getting out of that phase you've got to know it's totally normal and the most important possible thing you can do is do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week or every month you know you're going to finish one story. Because it's only by actually going through a volume of work that you are actually going to catch up and close that gap. And the work you're making will be as good as your ambitions. In my case, like I took longer to figure out how to do this than anybody I've ever met. It takes a while. It's going to take you a while. It's normal to take a while. And you just have to fight your way through that. Ok?"

-Ira Glass

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Recap

After two Trunk or Treats, a Halloween Party, and a costume parade I certainly felt like we had given Halloween it's share of celebration. But, we finished it out with a final Trick or Treating "Hurrah" last night. After bedtime, my husband and I remarked on how many Halloweens/costumes my son already has under his belt, which was a sobering realization. This year my daughter was old enough to actually understand the experience, and this morning asked where the Trick or Treating had gone.

Highlights:
  • Our annual dinner of wild monster feet (not farm raised)
  • My daughter being spooked by a trick or treater's witch mask and telling me it was scary. When the witch passed us with her mask off, she garnered the courage to proclaim, "I don't like you."  Better be careful who you cross...
  • My daughter eventually claimed her independence and asked me to wait for her and my son at the street, instead of walking her up to each door.
  • I then got to watch my son step up and take care of her at each door, even carrying her heavy bucket for her. My heart swelled.
  • While I made the rounds with the kids, hubbie handed out our treats. I received this text, "I love watching the adults pulling the wagon [full of kids] in one hand and a beer in the other." I got to tell him about the people sitting in their driveway handing out candy while drinking wine. As non-drinkers, it's always interesting to see how different our lives are without booze.