Ira Glass on Improving Your Craft

I really admire Ira Glass of radio’s This American Life. He’s just so intelligent. And it comes across in a very real, down-to-earth way that’s indicative of someone who seriously mulls things over.

This is a snippet of a longer talk on creating stories for television or radio, but in this particular segment, he is speaking on the topic of improving your craft, and it’s inspirational to anyone who creates. He describes the difference between your aspirations and the level you are currently at as a gap, which is especially large when you are first embarking on a new genre of craft. He underscores the importance of imposing deadlines on yourself in order to churn out a large amount of sub-par work, which will enable you get to the level of skill that you aspire to. In other words, perfecting your craft through diligent practice. “… You have to turn out that work. Because it’s only by going through a volume of work that you’re actually going to catch up and close that gap. And the work you’re making will be as good as your ambitions.”

He concludes with words of encouragement. “It takes a while. It’s going to take you a while. It’s normal to take a while. You just have to fight your way through that. Okay? You will be fierce, you will be a warrior, and you will make things that aren’t as good as you know in your heart you want them to be. And you will just make one after another.”


4 thoughts on “Ira Glass on Improving Your Craft

  1. says:

    Thanks for this inspiring post. The wisdom of successful creative people is so helpful to others; it is rare to find an example like this where someone like Ira has taken the time to prepare an extended tutorial — a master class really — on his craft. Can you imagine how many people would sign up for a distance learning course taught by him?

  2. Anythinginstainedglass says:

    This blog should be an inspiration to many.

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"To oppose something is to maintain it." –Ursula Le Guin

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