One of my friends recently sent me a chain email asking for inspirational quotes – it was worded nicely, and didn't require my bank account so I happily obliged – which prompted me to pull out my old journals where I keep tangible copies of said quotes, among other life affirming messages I write to myself, spelled out in capital letters, in the hope that I will read them out confidently into the mirror each day before I go out there and LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST.
The quote I find myself coming back to, and the one I chose to send on, is the widely circulated Ira Glass 'Beginners' one. You might know it. If not, here it is:
“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 it is with this that I begin a new routine: daily blog post and sketch. Since it is 1-am and I should technically be getting some shut-eye if I want to wake up early enough to do some form of physical activity (I just want to be someone who can do a push-up), here is today's offering...something I prepared earlier...six months earlier...during my travels.
German Historical Museum, Berlin
Volksbuhne theatre, Berlin
Somewhere in the Garibaldi area of Milan
Cool kids in McDonalds, Amsterdam
A group of Chinese tourists outside the tax refund section of Galeries Lafayette, Paris
The Irish lady sitting next to me at Lille station, France
People watching, Hong Kong
People watching in London