I've written a bunch for magazines and websites, and have been lucky enough to publish some poetry, too, but I almost never read anything I've written once it’s in print (or online). Like many writers, I'm worried I’ll hate my work and be too embarrassed to show my face in public again. Hating what you create is a big part of being a writer (and, I imagine, any kind of artist), but knowing that doesn’t make it doesn’t make it any easier to keep at it. You just have follow your instinct and trust that you’ll get better with time.
That’s why I find this series of videos with Ira Glass (host of This American Life) so inspirational. His reminder that you have to produce an incredible amount of crap before your ability catches up to your taste is one of the most hopeful statements I’ve ever heard about creative work. There’s no flash of genius, no innate talent to tap into: just patience, drive, and a willingness work as hard as humanly possible.
If you do any kind of creative work, which is the bulk of us, this is required viewing.
The rest of the series is here.