Mind the Gap

The headline writer over at omeleto.com promises that in this video “What Ira Glass Explains In 1-Minute Will Change Your Life Forever. Seriously.”

I don’t know that I’d go that far, but it is certainly a timely reminder about the struggle of the creative process for all of us new bloggers.

Ira Glass is host and master storyteller for public radio’s This American Life.

Take a look…

I can relate — a thousand times yes, I can relate. And it makes me feel a whole lot better to be in the company of Ira Glass. How about you?

Mind the gap

With a collection of unfinished poems, articles, partially-started stories and  trashed blogs, I’m going to pledge — right here and now — that I’m not going to be one of those people who quits, as Glass says a lot of people do. I’ve certainly called myself a quitter in the past, and I think it’s time to redefine that way of thinking.

Yes, I may have put those works aside, but at least I was writing something for the majority of the years I’ve been out of the workforce and a stay-at-home mom.

Was I writing enough? No, but I was minding the gap.

The gap between my old professional life as writer, and my future one.

The gap between the creative writing I want to do, and the crap I have to wade through to get there.

It’s a long slog. And this blog is a part of that.

It’s my slog blog.

It’s where I very publicly practice the art of writing. I get better this way because I take it seriously. Just like I practice yoga at a local studio with — gasp — other people in the room. Just like my daughters practice dance with others who are learning, in front of a big mirrored wall no less.

My daughter’s new art teacher wrote in her class syllabus recently that art is a “learned skill.” She made no mention of talent or ability. While that factors in, I don’t think it does nearly to the degree that practice and determination do. What do you think? Glass did not talk about talent, just good taste. And we all have that, don’t we? At least subjectively.

Why do we expect things to come so easily? Perhaps because a lot of creative people don’t give voice to their struggle. Writers don’t put first drafts of their novels on their blogs. Visual artists don’t work in public studios. We see only their finished products: the book on the shelf or the painting in a gallery.

That’s why I so appreciate these words by Glass. I hope you find them as inspiring and comforting as I did. Write on, fellow bloggers. Write on.

“It takes a while. It’s going to take you awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. And you just have to fight your way through that.” –Ira Glass

girl looking out to future
Photo by Chris Sardegna via https://unsplash.com/






9 thoughts on “Mind the Gap

  1. I have just started to post on my blog some things I started writing or finished writing eons ago. Butterflies in my stomach every time I push that publish button. I think I would be a really good proof reader. Just not for my own stuff. I have started about 3 books and got to the middle and didn’t know where I to go from there . I always had the ending . I go back revisit, change delete change ……but it is interesting and now on top of the things I am doing I want to start taking more photographs. I hope I get to live till I am at least 100 so I can fit it all in. So much fun!


    1. Hi Donna, thanks for your thoughtful reply. I’m glad I’m not the only one with butterflies before hitting the publish button. I also love to edit other people’s writing. That’s what I’m really good at, too.
      I’m thinking about that photography class. It’s a perfect pairing for our new blogs, but of course, time is always an issue, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really interesting post, thank you. I don’t think artists necessarily have inborn talents. Some do, some don’t. Lots of true artists fail because they depend upon inborn talents and aren’t willing to put in the work it takes to learn new skills. The textile artist Judith MacKenzie uses “opinionated” in the same sense Ira Glass talks about “taste.” Judith says we’re all born opinionated, about what we like and don’t like, the materials we use, how to express ourselves, and that the exploration of our opinions matters as artists. Interested subject; thanks for your post.


    1. Thank you Curvylou. I like MacKenzie’s idea of “opinionated.” It adds another dimension to Glass’ “great taste.” I’ll be following you along your own 18-month exploration of your own art, although I do hope it lasts longer than that…
      Nice to meet you,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right on, thanks Julie! Yes, i agree, these ideas complement one another. I’m bookmarking this page, with the thought of writing a post on this subject some time in the future. Keep up the good work!


  3. Please explain how you loaded the youtube video. There is a whole academic discussion on talent and ability and skills acquired by practice.
    There is a book called the ” Talent Code” that describes this and what the author calls practicing at one’s boundaries to reach better and bigger heights.
    I have read the first chapter of this book- to me it seems the theory is sound but I think being innately talented helps a lot.


    1. Thank you Susieshy. I will look for that book. There is another by Malcolm Gladwell called “Outliers, the Story of Succeess,” where he argues that to be successful in any field, one needs 10,000 hours of practice. That’s a lot of blogging time, huh? Ha ha.
      I’m using the Oxygen theme on WordPress. To upload a Youtube video into a post I clicked on “Add Media.” That took me to a page where there was a link on the left to “Insert Youtube video.” I don’t know if the process differs by theme, but I imagine this is a common process across themes.


  4. I really needed to hear that! Thank you Julie. I’ve been writing for awhile, but messing around with it, and maybe pleased when I first finish something, but then when I go back later find it…disappointing. It’s really encouraging to hear that everyone goes through this, and I’m a big public radio fan, so it’s nice to hear that Ira Glass took a long time to go through the process.


  5. Great post, Julie. Your determination is inspiring.
    After writing a lot as a kid/teen I gave it up because that’s what ‘other people’ did, not a girl who worked in a flower shop. But for the last six and a half years, I’ve been back at it and I’ve improved beyond measure. I still yearn to produce something ‘good’, a novel worthy of publication, but I think I’ll get there.
    Hard word, determination- without these, none of us will succeed at anything.
    Thanks again- it’s good to hear other writer’s voices.


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