Advice for beginners
Ugh. That’s not right. No, that’s not it either. Maybe if I… No. It just doesn’t have it. I need to start over. How many of your creative ventures have started, ended, or been entirely composed of thoughts like these, coupled with a few classic crumpled paper shots into a wire basket in the corner of the room?
As a creative, it’s frighteningly easy to get discouraged. The issue with art, media, and anything that’s exercising that colorful part of your brain that just wants to pump out ideas is that it is all subjective in nature. We get in our heads and look at it this way and that way, ultimately thinking too hard, and we wind up scrapping the whole project or being dissatisfied with our efforts.
The important thing to remember through these trials and errors is what makes us so artistically inclined in the first place: We, as creatives, have impeccable taste. We know what looks good, sounds natural, and feels right. The part of the movie where the frustrated artist pulls his hair out and paces around his room, drinking coffee and spending sleepless nights at his desk lasts a lot longer than most people have patience for. In reality, so few of us actually make it past that stage. And the only ticket out is producing. Consistently.
In the following video, Ira Glass suggests that beginners craft a schedule. Put yourself on a deadline and adhere to that as strictly as you can without shriveling up into a tiny ball of stress. Establish a minimum quota, but something reasonably challenging, like “I will finish one project per week.” The more you create, the better you’ll get.
I know that adage “Practice makes perfect” is so overused that even the first word might make you roll your eyes, but there’s a reason why that saying stands the test of time. Keep in mind that it is not your talents that are in question; it is your experience. Dedication to your craft and an iron will should help you eventually reach a level of actualization at which you are turning out final products that meet the expectations you rightfully place on your work. Bridge the gap between your attempts and your ambitions with the virtues of practice and perseverance. Patience, young Jedi.