This is a feeling I've been struggling with for a while now.
I think I'm just being overwhelmed by...the Internet of Things, I guess? Whatever the fuck that means, I guess I should capitalize that. The point is I'm struggling with the fact that having a creative endeavor and putting yourself out there seem's damn near impossible on the internet.
Every time I want to create something or have an idea for a project or whatever it feels like somebody's already done it better and 1,000,000 people have already seen it and there's no point in even starting.
I want to make art but it looks like shit. I want to make stories but they've already been done...and also mine look are written like shit. Don't even get me started on film.
I mean even saying that I want to start a Let's Play channel with a friend of mine has solicited groans from other friends. The "seriously, there are already a million of those things" type of groan, the one that discourages me from even starting because fuck, they're right.
Everybody has already picked their "content", so to speak. They've picked the blogs they want to read, the music they want to listen to, their favorite film producer, etc. etc. There's no point in trying to puncture that bubble, and even thinking that is paralyzing.
And yeah yeah yeah, "just do it because you want to!, don't worry about who sees it!" except fuck that, that's a lie. I create things for myself, yeah, but sharing those things that I create is part of why I enjoy the process of creation so much to begin with.
I'm not saying I want to be the next Markiplier or Daft Punk or Brad Bird or Steven King or any of that shit. I don't need EVERYONE seeing the things I make all the time. I don't want to be famous or popular. But like every day a billion things get put up online to be collectively scrutinized by "the internet" and nobody's ever going to see mine and that's super disheartening.
It's why Medium is so alluring. Yeah, the platform seems kinda sleazy, and it's trope-filled, Silicon Valley, VC-Funded shit. But man, people read my stuff on there. It's AMAZING. It is a drug that I am willing to let myself get addicted to. And I'm not sure that's a good thing or not.
Is it a good thing? Is it not!? Have I not gone to sleep for 30 hours now?
I know it gets shared often, but I think now is a good time share it again. Here is Ira Glass' piece on what every successful person knows, but never says:
Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, and I really wish somebody had told this to me.
All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But it’s like there is this gap. For the first couple years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t so good. It’s not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not that good.
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re making is kind of a disappointment to you. A lot of people never get past that phase. They quit.
Everybody I know who does interesting, creative work they went through years where they had really good taste and they could tell that what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be. They knew it fell short. Everybody goes through that.
And if you are just starting out or if 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. Do a huge volume of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week or every month you know you’re going to finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you’re going to catch up and close that gap. And the work you’re making will be as good as your ambitions.
I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It takes awhile. It’s gonna take you a while. It’s normal to take a while. You just have to fight your way through that.