credit: iStock Photo user TommL

*The creative process is beautiful and frustrating and exhilarating and exhausting. Yet far too often, we put out a poor product. One we’re not even proud of. One that doesn’t inspire further creativity, but de-spires it. (kind of like when you create a new word, like “de-spire”)

I look back to work I did a few years back and I think, “How did I ever send that?” It’s not that it’s full of mistakes. It’s that it’s just not that good. I wasn’t being lazy or haphazard with my work. I just knew something was missing and that I could get better.

The Gaps

I noticed gaps between what I was producing and what I wanted to produce. Gaps between “good” art and “lousy” art. I knew what I was aiming for, and I was hitting as close to the target as I knew how. I recognized the gaps, be it ever so slightly, then but now looking back, those gaps are like chasms.

Closing the Gap

That process continues today. I feel like I’m getting closer and closer to the target, but I still miss. I can describe to you what a beautiful, finished piece of work should look like, but for some reason, my finished work falls short.

With every project, I’m getting a little bit better. One day, I know I’ll look back on my current works and wonder, “How did I ever send that?” But for now, I trust that the daily grind and evaluation is producing an increasingly better  and more beautiful work.

So I’ll keep producing the best art with the most care that I know how.

This video from Ira Glass is a great take on the creative process.

(HT: Z)

* I realize that this post is a bit outside of the normal scope of this blog. Thanks for hanging with me, though. This is what’s on my mind right now.

** photo credit: iStock Photo user TommL