All about Hoofbeats & Footprints

Keep Trying

“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 its 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

26 replies »

  1. Hi Bella
    What a beautiful photograph and what wonderful sentiments. I have shared the photograph on soulsnet and linked to the post because Ira Glass’ words are just what we need to read when we feel like giving up, and who doesn’t on occasion.
    Am now back in the UK. Had a great time in France but no place like home.

    Hope all well with you.
    Stay inspired

    • Thank you so much Stephen for sharing this post with your readers. I had never heard of Ira Glass until today, and this quote is so appropriate for me in my efforts to be a better photo “artist.” I need to look up your reference about Mike Daisy. Now off to check out your blog. 🙂 Bella

      • Oh Bella, you are going to love Ira Glass’ piece on Mike Daisy.

        Mr. Daisy made headlines a few months ago with claims of witnessing several child labor and work place abuses at manufacturing plants in China that make the iPad. These allegations where then compiled into a story that Ira Glass produced for his radio show This American Life.

        Only Mr. Daisy turned out to have “stretched,” “altered,” and in some instance outright lied.

        So Ira Glass does another story accepting full responsibility in his role of misleading people to believe something not true. The program should be required listening for every CEO, business student, and business owner in America. It is a classic example of how to say, I’m sorry. I was wrong. There is no one else to blame, but myself. I take full responsibility for my mistake.”

        Listening to that particular program is painful. There are long segments of dead air as Ira Glass asks point blank questions to Mike Daisy, who refuse to actually come clean.

        I hope you enjoy discovering Ira Glass. He is a national treasure.

        Be encouraged!

  2. I’d seen this recently on Pinterest and the truth of it just blew me away. I’m 30+ years into my career and I keep telling my staff that I didn’t start out at this level. More recently I’ve turned up my photography passion and am back in the learning curve again. Each year it improves tremendously, which is both pleasing and frustrating.

    Thanks for subscribing to my blog! I’m glad that Jake the Wonder Dog liked what the beagle wrote.


    • It is my pleasure Nancy, love your beagle ! This quote also really hit home with me as I always struggle with trying to get my photography where I’d like it to be. Thanks to this I’ll keep plugging away, knowing one day I’ll cross the bridge to true artistry.

    • It helps to know what you’re dream is though. I feel as if I’ve lost focus as to just what I want to do with my photography. I’ll figure it out though. You’re a pro right? What part of it is your best bread & butter?

      • We all go through ups and downs. Sometimes I find myself in a rut and just have to step back from the camera until I feel inspired again. Ahh the crazy life of being an artist! I do a lot of contract work and sell some of my personal work in art galleries around the state.

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