and I STILL love the word sinusoidal

So this morning I was listening to a talk by Ira Glass, of This American Life fame, who has a great perspective on the issue of self-critique and getting better. And some important advice, which is that you have to stick with it. If you're a longtime reader, you might remember last year when I was going through a major downswing. I felt like my work would never live up to my own critique because my eye for dance was getting better faster than my physical ability to live up to it.

This graph, remember?
Interestingly, I'm in an upswing right now (a Y state, if you will). I've made some technical progress and had an influx of new ideas, so in the past few weeks my dancing looks great to me. I'm excited. But in a way it's kind of liberating and motivating to have a great class or practice and think:

"You won't always think you're so badass, Heather. Next week your eyes are going to get better."

Now, on first glance, that's kind of horrifying. But I think I'm getting better at the messed up sinusoidal wave that is creative progress. Here's what I've learned in the past year. Get ready for it.

It's just my brain letting me know what direction to take next. It doesn't set me back, it drags me forward. The times when I feel like I'm not getting any better aren't "more true" than when I think I'm great. It's all my own perception, in my head, and it's all vital.

My ability to critique myself has to get better, if it didn't, I wouldn't get better. My ability to appreciate how far I've come is important, because it motivates me to keep going. That balance, when I can maintain it, is my best asset. No matter how I feel, day to day, I'll always be improving if I'm working. And I'll know that I'm improving, because as Ira Glass says, I got into this because I'm passionate about it, and because I have good taste that's getting better and more refined.

Bam (said the lady).

These days I'm working my butt off, choreographing my butt off, taking classes in all kinds of styles (my butt off?) and planning my butt off. I have a cool announcement happening Monday, so look out for that.

So, for your inspiration, I am including this typographic piece based on Ira Glass's words that I found on Alice's blog on My Modern Met.

There is a Gap
By Ira Glass

I want to print this 100 times and put it everywhere.

Here is the full segment, you should watch it.


Popular Posts