YouTube Finds

Ira Glass on…

The basics:

Finding great stories:

Good taste (my favorite!):


All of us who do creative work, like, you know, we get into it, and we get into it because we have good taste. Do you know what I mean? You want to make TV because you love TV, you know what I mean? Because there’s stuff that you just, like, love. Okay? So you’ve got really good taste and you get into this thing that, that, I don’t even know how to describe it, but it’s like there’s a gap that for the first couple years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t so good, okay, it’s not that great, it’s, it’s really not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not quite that good. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, your taste is still killer and your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re making is kind of a disappointment to you. You know what I mean? You can tell that it’s still sort of crappy. A lot of people never get past that phase; a lot of people at that point, they quit. And the thing I would just like to say to you with all my heart is that most everybody I know who does interesting creative work, they went through a phase of years where, they had really good taste, they could tell that what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be, they knew it fell short, and, and, like, some of us can admit that to ourselves and some of us are a little less able to admit that to ourselves, but we knew that, it didn’t have the special thing that we wanted it to have, and the thing I would say to you is, everybody goes through that. And for you to go through it, if you’re going through it right now, if you’re just getting out of that phase, or if you’re just starting off and you’re entering into that phase, you’ve gotta know, it’s totally normal, and the most important possible thing you could do is do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week or every month you know you’re going to finish one story. You know what I mean? Whatever it’s gonna be, like, you create the deadline. It’s best if you have somebody who’s waiting for work from you, somebody who’s expecting work from you, even if it’s not somebody who pays you, but that you’re in a situation where you have to turn out the work, because it’s only actually by going through a volume of work, that you’re actually going to catch up and close that gap, and the work you’re making will be as good as your ambitions.

Two common pitfalls:


This American Life: Radio Archive

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