Ira Glass on Creativity

Via: 43Folders and Mur

So this video popped up a couple of times in my news reader today, and I think it's good enough to repost with some additional comments. It's a video with Ira Glass talking about how creative people who are getting started doing something now need to give themselves permission to make crap and that the most important thing is to keep doing it, because the only way to learn is to make a lot of crap.

This has become a virtual mantra for me, and I think it's good to have people remind us of this from time to time. This is why I'm starting a fiction blog. That's why I write blog entries every day.

I think it's true of knitting, as well. I have scores of horrible sweaters, and while most of my sweaters work now (and the ones that don't are ill conceived from the beginning,) that's a technical skill that I worked pretty hard for. So I'd say, not only does Ira Glass have it correct [1] for things like writing and audio/video production, but I think that he succeeded in expressing it in a way that's applicable to everyone that makes something.

Today I edited the first sequence of the novella I wrote nearly a year ago. While I've been dreading this for a long time, I think it went off really well. I added a line that a test reader (whose unfamiliar with the work) really liked, I tweaked some things in a way that tie this scene (which I went back and added later) into the story more closely.

I made this one sequence better in fairly concrete ways, and I think every previous time that I'd tried to do this before I hadn't been good enough to make it better. But a year later, I am enough better than I was that I was able to do this one thing better. I don't think I've "made it" or anything, but it's nice to have some sort of verification of improvement.

This scene that I talk about will be part of critical futures at some early point in that sites' development. Maybe a week from today?

Stay tuned.

[1]I've sort of been thinking about this as a maxim of "success on the internet," because I think it's particularly true from an online/independent business perspective, given that online ventures have trivial costs, aside from "time making crap." But I think the video makes the point that this is true in all sorts of contexts where creative proficiency is the goal. So then, it's more a maxim of "success in creativity."
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