Pages are the Measurement

Pages accumulate.

That is the only guarantee we have in this life of writing. If you work, then pages will add up. The writing will not be to your standards at the beginning. That is to be expected.

Ira Glass discussed this reality about writing and storytelling in a way that also serves as a call to action:

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. For the first couple years you make stuff, 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 its 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.

The key here is not giving up and falling to doubt. It is true that many people give up at this point because their work doesn’t live up to their taste or expectations but the pages will continue to accumulate if they keep at it.

Those stories, novels, poems, articles — all of that writing that you deem subpar (and most likely is) is only resting, waiting for the time when experience has been gained and the seed that originally inspired the work can rise again anew.

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