Advice to Writers: Sarah Lewis on Mastery

Mastery requires endurance.

Mastery, a word we don’t use often, is not the equivalent of what we might consider its cognate — perfectionism — an inhuman aim motivated by a concern with how others view us.

Mastery is also not the same as success — an event-based victory based on a peak point, a punctuated moment in time.

Mastery is not merely a commitment to a goal, but to a curved-line, constant pursuit.

 

– Sarah Lewis in The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery (via)
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Advice to Writers: Ira Glass on Good Taste

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone had 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.

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