First you suck, and then you’re kind of bad at it.

by Silver on Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Posted in: making of RFR, writing, yay
4 Comments on First you suck, and then you’re kind of bad at it.

I just want to throw this out there. Ira Glass is a wonderful storyteller, and beyond that, he has a great understanding what goes on in the creative mind.

Not only in the content producing way, but about the inner struggle one can go through in effort to become better at their craft or interest. I suggest you find all the interviews with him on youtube and learn and get inspired.

I think that the toughest thing in starting our personal projects is the fear that it’s going to be crap. That we’re going to spend hours on something that will only embarrass and shame us. That fear makes us feel like we have no right to even try and we’d be better off spending that time procrastinating, watching re-runs of House. The fear and pain is then multiplied by the utter lack of knowledge how long would it even take to become reasonably decent. If only there was a program that would track my progress and tell me when I’ve leveled up or how many more hours I have to go until the next epiphany.

But there isn’t.

Some say it takes ten thousand hours to master a skill, about seven to five years and I agree more or less. But what’s important is that it takes a lot less time to be bad at something.

Being bad at something, only requires that you start it.

And once you’re bad at something, you can pinpoint those faults and attack them one by one, and get kind of bad at it. Until one day you’ll be okay or maybe even, dare I say, decent?

Starting to blog was really tough for me.

It’s not just writing something down. It’s writing something down that should be interesting and about my life and thoughts, and even worse, I have to share it with everyone. It’s a lot of pressure. Trust me, there were all kinds of feelings from fear to dread involved, and there still is, but if I hadn’t forced myself to do it, I would had never gotten better at it. I wouldn’t have written something that I feel particularly proud of, like this little piece.

And even more, If I wasn’t sharing my likes, dislikes and thoughts, then I wouldn’t have had the chance to talk to some of our readers about them; there’s really nothing better than that feeling of a connection, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I’m still not where I’d like to be with blogging and I’m constantly struggling in justifying the act. And to make things harder, we’ve been thinking of starting Vlogging, and that’s going to be another challenge that I have to start afresh. But I have a feeling, that after a few years, I’ll be kind of good at it too. And if not, at least I can say that I tried.

So, on that note. Let’s all suck together, until we’re awesome.



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  • Vera

    First I’ve read this blogpost via tumblr and immediately wanted to leave a comment. It appeared that just a bit before I listened to quite a long talk by Ira Glass on storytelling and it was witty and brilliant. Plus this short but powerful thing. So I need to say that – hell yeah, let’s suck together. I work as a photographer and independent cinematographer, so I feel the lack of paintings skills which I need for my works – mostly for storyboarding, idea-sketching etc. So I try to experiment with that unknown field for me. Plus with blogging – it was a natural thing to do back in times when everybody was on livejournal. Now it is not an easy task for me somehow. To create blog posts which will be actually interesting to browse, watch, read. So I am very glad that I’ve read your thoughts concerning that. Thus I know that I am not alone and there are those people whom art I love and who are struggling with the same issues and asking the same questions. Viva la blogging then I suppose.

    • Sept13

      Hi Vera!

      First off, your photographs are amazing! Keep up the good work I say.

      Second, what Ira Glass talk did you listen to? I’d be interested to hear it.

      Third. I think I understand what you mean how natural it was with livejournal – the name already implies that it’s a journal; casual and easy to follow. I think the words blog, and blogging are taken very seriously now as so much self-promotion is attached to it. Everyone does it from big companies to CEO’s to just-born babies. And you can do it even professionally.

      I find it hard sometimes because it feels like every second that I blog I’m supposed to shout out: “Look how I cool I are and these are the 5 steps you can do it too, and then please – give me your money.” And honestly, I’d rather not. It’s tough to come up with material that exposes yourself, your thoughts and fears but if we just stick with it, and keep trying, I’m sure it’ll get easier. :)

      Thanks for reading, and thanks for commenting. It’s great to have you onboard Vera!

      • Vera

        Thank you very much, Silver! Glad you loved my works. I keep on and enjoy and win and suck sometimes:) – i listened to that one, it is of 4 parts, you will get the other parts in related links there. I think I must re-listen them.

        Concerning third. Oh yeah, the world is obsessed with blogging and bloggers. I don’t know how it works in Germany now, but in Russia there is a lot of fuss about blogging. Everybody wants to make blogger-visits, blog-tours, blog-brunches. I don’t know, it sounds quite cool actually. But what saddens me that actually it became a hunt-for-free-perks. So lots of blogs are totally not interesting to read.

        Also, did you ever come across ideas and concepts Austin Kleon express in his books? It is a lot about “showing your work” and how to to it with dignity and not becoming slut or spam. If not, check him out, he just got his 2nd book published and it is quite an inspiring kind of read. His 1st book is also a thought-starter. I like his open and honest position, it is very clear I think.

        Thanks for answering:)

        • Sept13

          Heya Vera!

          Those Ira Banks videos are great, I’ve seen them a few times and they are my favorites too. Always a pleasure to revisit them! :)

          To be honest, I have no idea how it is in Germany. We’re originally from Finland and kind of nomads. I guess I consider myself a world citizen.

          Blog-brunches sound cool though. I feel blogs are losing some of their social value in the western internet, and more and more of it is moving to vlogs and YouTube. It’s more work for the producer, but it’s more accessible to viewers. There’s something writing though that I prefer, but even still I’m looking into the vlog format. After all, what are blogs if not means to make yourself more accessible.

          We have Austin Kleon’s first book! I really liked his original blog post about the subject of Stealing Like An Artist, and I’m a big fan of blackout poems. It’s fun and challenging excercise that we like to do sometimes too.

          I haven’t read his second book yet, would you recommend it? I’m always on a look out for thought-starters :)

          I’m also reading Save the Cat by Blake Snyder at the moment. While very writer (and especially screenwriting heavy), I admire it’s pragmatism and emphasis on goal orientated smart working methods. While Austin Kleon is about getting yourself into the mood of making things, Blake Snyder is about getting shit done.

          Thanks for commenting! :)