Have you all seen this video before? I’ve read a couple of pieces about this “Gap” theory, but this is the first time I have actually seen it presented like this. I feel like it’s made an entirely new impact on me!
I remember talking with my writing group about this same frustration about a year ago. I was feeling rather loathsome about a short story I had written, and in my typical form, I was being entirely too hard on myself. I was dealing with that heavy disappointment when you write something that you know isn’t good enough. Do you all know that feeling? When you crank something out, maybe to just see how it turns out, and it ends up sounding like something you thought was cool in the 8th grade? Then that mean, self-defeating inner dialog starts, “Oh, God. Is that me? Is that what really came out of my brain when I have all of these incredible ideas swimming around in there? Is this all I can do?”
When I listened to myself read that story that night, that embarrassing sense of defeat really started to work on me. Through my awkwardness I said, “I know what I want to write, and I’m just not there yet. I’m having to push through this gap until I can write what I want to write.” I think they all sympathized, and the probably just said, “Keep writing,” which is the best thing you can probably tell someone when they’re disappointed in what they’re making. Either that, or, “Have you ever thought about taking a pottery class? I heard they’re offering classes at the Rec Center.” Distraction, while rarely conducive to earnest production, is very comforting.
What a relief that we all go through this! I’m so glad that I found this, especially in light of my last post about productivity. I’m becoming convinced that the way to overcome writer’s block, rejection, disappointment, and disgust at our own work is to just create more work. In doing so, we create a fabulous opportunity to learn, we improve, form positive habits and ultimately make the stuff we want to create.
So, the good news is: You have great taste!
The other good news is: You can refine your work to live up to your expectations because you have such great taste!
How is your writing coming in the new year? Do you have any writing resolutions for 2016?