this american life

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 a while. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.
—  Ira Glass’ (from This American Life)

Comic Mike Birbiglia on how he stopped procrastinating when he was writing the screenplay for his new movie, Don’t Think Twice

“I was procrastinating writing the movie. I had the movie in my head, but I wasn’t writing it. But I noticed this trend in my life which was that I was showing up to lunch meetings or business meetings, but I wasn’t showing up to meet myself. So I wrote a note next to my bed — this is so corny — but I wrote “Mike! You have an appointment at Café Pedlar at 7 a.m. with your mind!” It’s so corny, and I would show up! I never didn’t show up and I wrote this movie [in] spurts of essentially three hours, like I’d write from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and the reason why I would do that is because I was essentially barely awake. Because I feel like that moment, at 7 to 10 a.m., you’re not afraid of the world yet.”

More from today’s Fresh Air interview with Birbiglia: 

Comic Mike Birbiglia On His Best Failure And The 3 Rules Of Improv

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

  • <p> <b>21 Chump Street:</b> *the part where Naomi is trying to convince Justin to take the money and the ensemble is hauntingly singing her name*<p/><b>Me:</b> 👌👀👌👀👌👀👌👀👌👀 good shit go౦ԁ sHit👌 thats ✔ some good👌👌shit right👌👌there👌👌👌 right✔there ✔✔if i do ƽaү so my self 💯 i say so 💯 thats what im talking about right there right there (chorus: ʳᶦᵍʰᵗ ᵗʰᵉʳᵉ) mMMMMᎷМ💯 👌👌 👌НO0ОଠOOOOOОଠଠOoooᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒ👌 👌👌 👌 💯 👌 👀 👀 👀 👌👌Good shit<p/></p>