What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me — is that 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, and 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 it’s 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.
Originally posted 2011-07-19 06:18:08.
The concept of “trying too hard” irks me. People are constantly being criticized for putting forth minimal effort, and yet we censure them for being overly enthusiastic, too. Talk about a lose-lose proposition.
And yet, I’ve gotten several reader questions about “trying too hard” stylistically, and I understand why. When I was 13, I felt certain that simply OWNING and WEARING cool clothes would make me cool … but when I got my hands on an entire Esprit ensemble and wore it to school, I was still shunned. And the feeling I had? Trying too hard. Specifically trying too hard to fit into a group that didn’t want me, trying too hard to adopt a style that had nothing to do with my own tastes, trying too hard to be someone I’d never be.
Originally posted 2011-04-27 06:19:27.
Abby e-mailed me this request:
My request would be a post about college and fashion–suggestions, a basic wardrobe guide, anything like that. I don’t know how many college students make up your demographic, but as a college student, I would definitely appreciate some tips on how to maintain a stylish, ‘fresh’ wardrobe while being limited by both closet space and budget.
The timing of this post may be off depending on where you live and when your school gears up, but I wanted to take a stab at this request!
Originally posted 2012-09-14 06:00:40.