Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Ira Glass and Getting Better (and my fake hobby of glass-blowing)

Getting better is actually an incredibly daunting proposition.

But it doesn't seem it should be that way.

I mean - you just keep at it and you get better eventually, right?

That's not been my exact experience. Whether it's writing or sales or photography or glass-blowing (I don't actually blow glass. It's just a random example), we work and work and work at the craft, only to find somewhere down the road we're still making crap.

Taking a lot of photos of random crap. That's the way to get better. 

I'm still making crap.

I'm still a novice at putting sentences together.
I can't sell a glass of ice water to a rich person in a desert.
My shots are still off.
I can't make the simplest of glass jars. (Not worried about this one so much. It's a fake hobby.)

It feels like this should be easier. It feels there should a simpler way. It seems like getting better should have a clear path.

If getting better at what we do, whatever we do, is so important, how does that happen?

Ira Glass (is that where the random craft of glass blowing came from?) is in a series of videos in which he talks about this, from a story-telling perspective. However, the concept can be applied to anything involving craft - from sales to glass blowing.

For every beginner, there's a gap.

It's a gap between your taste and your current capability.
Between what you know and what you can actually do.
Between theory and practice.

Watch the videos. Glass gives away a secret. An important secret. He marks the path to getting better.

It's not really complicated. It's incredibly difficult.

That's the only way to fill the gap.

The video below capsulizes Glass' remarks in a creative and beautiful way. Be sure to watch all four parts (I found them on this YouTube channel). They're both wonderfully inspirational, and deeply helpful.