Ira Glass: The Creative Gap

Steven Pressfield, author of the excellent The War Of Art, talks about resistance being the enemy of creativity.  According to Pressfield, resistance is anything that stops us doing what we want to do. In short, resistance is an excuse.

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 09.56.50

One of my favourite excuses is that what I want to do won’t be good enough. Why would I ever write when my best sentence won’t be as good as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s worst? Why would I record interviews when Radiolab exists? Ironically, and I’m not sure what this says about me, but I played sports badly for most of my life and enjoyed every second of it. It never bothered me that my best pass would never be as accurate as Xavi’s worst.

In the above animation Ira Glass, host of the brilliant This American Life, tells us the secret to creating great work. The secret, predictably, is that there is no secret. Start before you’re ready. Set yourself deadlines. Do lots of work until some of it is good. You close the gap between the great work that you love and the average work that you produce by doing tonnes of work. That’s the only shortcut, and like many of my favourite shortcuts it’s not shorter but at least you keep moving forward. Dave

If you've any idea why I didn't mind playing football badly but let fear of poor performance stop me from writing etc. please get in touch and let me know!
You can get The War Of Art here.
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2 thoughts on “Ira Glass: The Creative Gap”

  1. Really good stuff. War of Art is one of my favorites. You should check out The Dip by Seth Godin, he makes a very similar point to the one you’ve made. Keep putting in the work!


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