“It’s going to take a while.”
I’ve listened to this snippet from Ira Glass many times over, and every time I do, I can’t help but feel a little encouraged, and a bit more hopeful.
Everything he says here, regarding the craft of creating stories is spot on.
Not only does it take time to feel like we’re creating something even close to our own ambitions, but it truly takes, a huge volume of work. Between the time, and the work, it’s the work that keeps me humble. The amount of work I will need to churn out, just so my writing can sound a little more like what I have in my head is daunting.
Time feels like a luxury. Sure, we take it for granted, too. But in my particular case, time is hardly the issue. I have loads of it. (I don’t manage it well enough to feel like I do, but I do)
It’s the work, though.
The commitment to churning out draft after draft of likely bad writing, again and again, until it looks a little less like a deformed mass of jumbled words and resembling more of a properly executed, carefully crafted story. Something beyond just well meaning, but poignant. Something actually worth reading.
I don’t fear the work. I just get tired thinking about what it will require of me. The demand is great, and the worker is few – me.
Now, about taste…
That’s the other thing in which I take some amount of solace. Actually, with regards to taste, there’s a little bit of pride.
I am not ashamed about what I like. I do not mind sharing the books I’m reading, or recommending films worth watching, or plugging the kind of music I’d want the rest of my small world to tune into (likely, it’s jazz, by the way).
What I like motivates me to create something that would, similarly, illicit a sense of pride – that I, too, can come up with something enjoyable. That I can move someone to action, or challenge someone to think differently, with my words, in the same way much of what I consume, much of my interests, move and challenge me.
Right now, the “taste” that Glass is talking about – that’s all I really have.
The body of work has yet to be built. The time to do so has yet to be managed.
But the taste, to me, is there. To me, it’s my beginning.
Things are likely to look a little different around here. It’s probably going to be a bit messier. I’m going to be testing a lot more out. See what sticks. My more manicured, professional self has its own, separate place – over here. But here…here is where the work, the real, grind-it-out, raw material, will once again gain its footing.
So pardon the mess ahead, but I have a lot of work still to do.