Ira Glass talks about the gap between your taste and your skill as a creator. It’s your taste that drives you to newer heights and it’s generally correct, but I often feel as though creators take time to even develop taste. I remember very clearly how I started off.
The first time I actually set out to write, I thought I was doing a grand job, but then again back then I was mostly preoccupied with telling stories where bad-ass people combat each other, so apart from tidal waves shot through pipes and sentient hair whipping people I had no ambitions. Some time, I should probably return to that. I remember it being quite fun.
Later on, I harboured ambitions for prose that could melt hearts and stories that grip tighter than a heart attack. That really led me to overwriting and dumping the whole thesaurus in my writing. I thought I was still good though.
I wrote things like “Ariala raced with time, fighting a constant battle with her body and mind for each and every second. Her muscles convulsed from the pain of the strenuous task, while her joints and lungs burned as an inferno of torment pleading her to slow down.” Hello, prepositional phrases, clichés and prepositional mistakes.
It took years before I developed a taste or at least learned to apply said taste to my own work and see the said gap. And it was really frustrating, because for years on end, I couldn’t feel as though I progressed. The gap lay in front of me and there was no way I could bridge it. But I still created, on and off. It has gotten better for me.
I see still the gap, but then again my ambitions have grown bigger now that I know I can do more. Always chasing some big, big story that’s out of my league. But every now and then I manage to close the gap and write a story just the way I wanted it to be. And that’s a great feeling.
What about you? Do you relate to the video?