On Sunday night, I sent the following out the newsletter list. If you want to get these kinds of behind the scenes updates, please join the list. At any rate, I felt it was worth sharing on the blog, so do please enjoy.
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap..." - Ira Glass
I'm writing this during a break from a rehearsal for our Christmas services, so I only have a moment. But I had a thought I wanted to share.
If any of you have been involved in any kind of creative process of any kind, you know there's a moment where you wonder whether or not any of this is any good. You recognize the gap between what you've envisioned and what is before you. And you wonder if, at the very last moment, it is going to pull itself together.
Here's the thing...it doesn't. And by that, I mean, it doesn't just pull itself together.
I'm told this is good. I'm told it means you don't think you're a pompous genius who poops out amazing, completed, ideas and projects. I'm told it means that you understand the human aspect to creating something from your imagination; that it means you know you have a ways to go (which is almost always a good thing).
What is terrible about this moment - the one where you recognize the gap - is that it hurts. You feel it in your gut and it doesn't feel good. It feels down right terrible. However, even though it feels terrible, this feeling in your gut is important and it must be paid great attention.
Something inside you is telling you that there is more. IT isn't finished.
I'm learning that this business of art making is a lot like the world (and a lot like the Gospel, if you're into that sort of thing). Things don't feel right. Something's off. There is more to it all, in fact. And it will take a lot of work to get what you're making even close to the original vision. Oh, and a lot of grace. And then more work, and even more grace.
Ira Glass goes on to talk about this gap between what you hope to make and what you're actually making...
"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.”
Tonight I realized the gap. Tonight I realized how much fighting there was left to do.
Tonight I realized that things weren't quite what I thought they would be and yet I get to participate in the best work possible...trying to make things into what we had imagined they would be. Again, this is much more about the world and about life and about the gospel than it is about a rehearsal.
The world is not right and we get to try to make it so. [click to tweet]
And tonight, there is nothing I'd rather be doing.