BY JEFF BETTGER
This video has been going around that caught my attention and led me to think about a few things. My friends at Boot Strapper Studios first shared The Gap by Ira Glass with me, and then I continued to see it pop up here and there. The audio is taken from a series of video monologues by Ira Glass on This American Life.
Ira Glass inspired Daniel Sax. Daniel used this inspiration to create his own visual story. Now Daniel’s visual story can be a reminder to all of us.
The Gap by Ira Glass is meant to inspire and encourage the viewer to continue to make things even when it feels disappointing – when it feels like what you are doing sucks. The message of the story is to continue to make crap even when you are discouraged by your creative failures. Do it because you love it, not because you are good yet. At some point, there is going to be gold in the crap.
If I was going to say anything, to anybody, to inspire them to continue the trajectory of any given creative project or career, I could not think of a better way to do it.
This video reminds me of the music that I’ve made over the years. Looking back, there has been a bit of embarrassment from the various albums and songs that I’ve made.
Over the years that I’ve continued to make songs and record them, they’ve grown better. Now I see the thread of how I grew in skill and learned the ability to get what’s in my head out in a way that resonates with what I originally imagined for a piece.
Now there is a certain feeling of liberation when things do not go according to plan. The stuff that I make no longer defines or owns me. I keep going towards the vision. There are twists and turns on the way. Sometimes the entire project is thrown away or it changes so drastically that it is not even the same thing that it was when it started.
That is all alright. It is part of your growth, and part of making something that is satisfying. It’s ok to settle if you need to due to time constraints, and to continue to get things done, but it is also okay to just throw a project in the trash.
If you can humbly admit to the fact that you make crap, then you can also remember there is always the next project, and that it could be the proverbial leprechaun’s pot of gold.
I’m not speaking in terms of career, but rather of making that creation that you are actually proud to put your name on. There are a few things that I’ve made over the years that I know are excellent. It is not arrogant to say that, because what I mean is that I am completely satisfied and content with those pieces. There are more things I’ve made that I would change if I could, and there are a few things that are just plain embarrassing. I’m thankful that I threw out so many ideas so that this embarrassing category is smaller than it could be.
Keep making stuff so that you can catch up and close that gap. Stay true to your taste!