“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners…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 of 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.” – Ira Glass.
Starting something new is scary, daunting, frightening and terrifying.
I know that those are all synonyms, but I felt like one just wasn’t enough to capture how horrifying it is.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new job, relationship or opting for the untested “Scampi and chips” option at your local Harvester, doing something new takes guts.
It takes guts because we KNOW it’s going to be ugly. There’s no way it can be anything other than ugly. It’s new, fresh, different and novel.
(Again with the synonyms)
I felt this recently when I posted my very first effort of an idea that’s been brewing in my head for a while.
I’ll give you the link to it in a second, so you can see just how horrific it is.
First, some context.
I’ve wanted to do something video-based for a while now.
There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is that I think most content will be consumed this way and, while being able to write will ALWAYS be a valuable commodity, video is going to be essential going forward.
So I need to get my ass in gear.
There have always been a few problems with me doing video though:
1. I’m clueless about tech, so anything more than “turn on your phone camera and hit “record””, is going waaaaaaay over my head. Your gran has better video skills than me.
2. I never had a “hook”, or angle, about how “I” would go about it.
3. (and most importantly of all) I’m shit on video. Really. Yeah, I know everyone says that, but I really am.
For video to work for me (honestly, the link IS coming…), it needed to meet the following conditions:
1. Only use a camera phone. I’m not going to rush out and buy a 300 foot long, Canon triple-pixellated, elongated and aperture ready lens for $4,5000.
(Those are words I’ve heard people with cameras say)
2. I can do it quickly. I don’t want to meet scriptwriters, cinematographers or have to spend three weeks in Mumbai, scouting locations.
3. I wanted it to be something that could be a series. I don’t want to have to come up with brand new ideas every day.
(Man, I’m lazy. Maybe this is why I don’t have a Lambo)
4. It’s had to have the potential to be funny AND valuable.
With all that in mind…
This is what I came up with – “Dear John on the John”.
While the execution leaves a lot to be desired (I think I was aiming for a character, but my acting skills are, to put it mildly, fucking atrocious), I think the idea has legs.
It meets all of the above conditions, PLUS…
I get to spend time, on my own in the quietest part of the house!
So, while I am definitely a resident in Ira Glass’s “talent gap”, I’m happy to be there…
Don’t be afraid to try stuff. Yes, it’ll suck, but that’s OK.
Oh, and two things:
1. If you managed to make it through the whole video without passing out in disappointment, I’d really appreciate any feedback you have. Yes, really.
2. I meant what I said about the “useful content” bit. If you have any questions that you think would be good for me to answer, shoot me a reply and let me know. If you want me to anonymise your name, let me know (also, if you tell me your favourite movie star, I’ll use that instead!).
No more lists, GIFs or asks this week. Promise.
Have a great Thursday!
P.S. I had an email this week from someone who watched the “Mr Fluffy Pants Webinar” and said it wasn’t the worst thing they’d ever watched – high praise indeed!
It won’t be up forever, so if you want to know how to get your business online – with me going through EVERYTHING you need to do (and HOW to actually do it!), you need to watch it sooner, rather than later: