Here at Wikimotive, we have a backlog of content that goes back years. We have multiple ebooks and podcasts and infographics, and we have material published all over the web. We get emails all the time from people, intelligent people, who want to get into the game but don’t know where to start. They see the volume and the quality of work in the industry and they just find it so overwhelming, so purely and completely daunting, that they shrink away from ever starting in the first place. Worse, they create one thing, one blog or video or SEO campaign, and it doesn’t live up to their own expectations so they scrap it and call it quits.
This is one of the most toxic attitudes you can have, and it needs to stop.
It’s only natural for your first effort to (if you’ll excuse my language) suck a little bit. All that great stuff you’re hearing and watching and reading, that wasn’t created overnight. All of that amazing work only represents the latest step in a very long journey, one that started as low or lower than you are now.
This idea was communicated best by Ira Glass, the creator of This American Life and public radio legend. This quote has always been an inspiration to us, and we hope you’ll also find some value in it:
“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.”
And in poster form: