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Indie Musicians: It’s normal to take awhile. Just Fight your way through

When you’re just about to hit rock bottom, when you’re just about to raise the flag and accept defeat, most of the time someone or something will grab your arm and tell you “Hey! Don’t be such a whiner. Pick yourself up and get moving”. These ‘guardians’ could be your parents, your friends, a random person on the street. In my case, it’s Ira Glass thru a tumblr quote reposted by my good friend.

I am sharing this to those of you who are questioning your capacity as an artist, who are doubting whether you are in the right path or just stuck in a childhood fantasy, who are about to quit doing what they want to do in exchange of a job that gives more money, security,  and comfort.

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.

-Ira Glass

After reading this twice, I instantly had a renewed vigor towards what I do. I do not care anymore if, for now, my works are not excellent because I know its part of the game which everyone goes through.  I do not care anymore if people think what I’m doing is just a waste of time. (Hey, pursuing something you love is never ever a waste of time even if you do not ‘reach’ it). If you are in that phase, just hang in there and double your efforts. Learn quickly, do more, get inspired often, and never ever doubt your talent and your capacity to make an output that would impress others and, more importantly, yourself.

photo credit: The Frustrated Artist

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