Creativity Takes Time

“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 it’s 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 (American radio broadcaster)

This quote was posted on my facebook page and it fits where I am at with my own writing. I understand the effort that creativity takes, and I know the feeling when something seems so effortless. But it reinforces some lessons I am learning about creativity.

Creativity takes work.

You have to learn the skills. There are no shortcuts to master a skill. Learn. Practice. Rehearse. Repeat.

Creativity takes commitment.

It is a daily commitment to perform a creative act.

Creativity takes discipline.

If it’s one thing I lack, it’s discipline. Working on it.

Creativity takes time.

I have seen my writing improve in the past three years, and the gap between the reality and the potential and expectation is shrinking.

Creativity Takes Time

3 responses to “Creativity Takes Time

  1. I’ve also seen my writing improve in the last 4 years, I only started around 4 years ago. I enjoyed this post Adam.

  2. Pingback: Creativity Takes Time | Cultivating Creativity |

  3. So true. When I first took the step from writing for me to writing to be published, I had no idea how long it would take. Lots of practice, lots of learning, lots of critiques later, I’m still learning and trying, and one day it will happen.

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