Trying and falling short. Then what?


Radio personality Ira Glass offers his take on what to do when we aren’t creating the quality we desire…



What’s your take? It’s fine to say, from the pinnacle of success, that you would have liked people to tell you the climb was going to be a rough one. But if told, how would you have responded amid the enthusiasm of your initial ambition?


This Sunday I’ll be posting at ‘The Pastor’s Wife Speaks‘ blog
about how living water can help create firm footing
in the shifting sands of life.



Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

12 thoughts on “Trying and falling short. Then what?

  1. Thank you for sharing this video. I just finished my degree in Design and I know exactly what Ira’s talking about. I know that the work I do could be so much better and I can see how it could be better, but there’s a gaping difference between what I do and what my taste is.
    And hearing that it’s normal, that it’s going to get better… It gives me the strength to keep doing the work

  2. I can relate to what he said about it taking him longer than anyone else. I feel that way about my writing history. I’ve known so many new authors that worked maybe 3 years before they were published. I just met a fellow online this week that wrote his first book in a year and was published. No wonder I was so down on my writing for so long. I thought there was something wrong with me because after 20 years I was still unpublished.

    Yes, all that’s changed now, but i still feel nervous. That I’ll never match my early success. Silly me, yes. But I wonder if that fear is a driving force behind my quest to be the best writer I can possibly be.

    I knew my early work was bad. I knew I wasn’t quite there. I kept reading novels by authors I admired. I studied why their work seemed so far above mind. Then one day I went deeper and wrote from my heart instead of my head.

    Carol, can you send out a reminder on Sunday so I don’t forget to visit you over at The Pastor’s Wife?

  3. This is a great video, thanks for sharing Carol. I think I always knew it would take me a long time, but I did it anyway and I never gave up. (although many times I wanted to) It makes me sad when I see people give up, especially when they are so close to seeing their dreams come true.

  4. When I was eleven – more than sixty years ago – I heard Jose Iturbi in concert in the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. We waited after the performance so that I could meet him. I remember his hands were not large, but they were larger than mine and very square. He took my hand in both his and said, “the only difference between this hand and my hands is practice, practice, practice.”

    That’s what Ira is talking about. Every musician can hear the music before he can play it. Every artist can see the product before he can create it. It simply takes practice to get the mechanics working correctly.

  5. I love that video. I have totally been there – am still there, for the most part – in that place where what I create doesn’t measure up to what I envisioned. There’s a gap between what I can imagine and what I can produce, and it can be so disappointing, so frustrating, and it would be easy to say, “forget it, I’m no good, I can’t do this” and quit, but the thing is, the only way to bridge the gap is to NOT QUIT.

    Thanks for posting this. 🙂

  6. I think I posted this as much for myself as for any of you. It’s so important to recognize that everyone goes through this creative quagmire, some of us will take longer than others to get through it, and the only way to achieve what we ache to produce is by keeping at the work. Thanks for adding your voices!

  7. Excellent video!

    I think it’s good to know early on that it will be a long process. When someone studies medicine, they’re prepared. They know it will take many years and require diligence. If a writer thinks success will be instantaneous or their writing will be high quality within a short period, they’ll be disappointed and give up.

  8. Carol, that was the best advice anyone could give new authors. What’s the rush? I have lovely friends who would constantly ask when I was going to publish, send out queries, sent hundreds of them. Not.

    I think we know. Not where we let anyone see or not something we might want to discuss, but inside we know if the work is not good enough. The hard part is going the distance and believing that we will get better. Read, write, write, rewrite and when you least expect it, you’ll pick up something and say … Yes, it’s good.

    Thanks so much 🙂

  9. That was a really interesting video. I think the reason it hit home so well is the use of printed words that you find yourself being forced to pay attention to as they skip around the screen. And what he said made a great deal of sense. Very reassuring to us ‘doubters’.

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