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the excruciating in between - a thought for those creating something

I am going to perform in a couple of months.

This has me living in what I like to call, "the excruciating in-between" (or what Pema Chodron, who is more gentle than I am, calls, "the shaky tenderness").

I'm between

  • excited and terrified

  • the possible outcomes of a complete failure or a mind-blowing success

  • what I dream of creating and what I am actually able to create

This doesn't go away.

This will not go away after I finish my performance. There will be no switch. I will not go from bad to good, or from off to on. Ever.

This is the wildness; the wilderness.

Anne Patchett creates her novels (Bel Canto, etc) entirely in her head and then takes them out and "kills them."

“I never learned how to take the beautiful thing in my imagination and put it on paper without feeling I killed it along the way,” she writes in “The Getaway Car.” “I did, however, learn how to weather the death, and I learned how to forgive myself for it.”

Ira Glass talks about the gap between your work and your good taste and the years of work it takes to close that gap.

"It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

Louie C.K. talks about sticking with it for a minute.

"There you go. There’s no way around that. There’s people that say: “It’s not fair. You have all that stuff.” I wasn’t born with it. It was a horrible process to get to this. It took me my whole life. If you’re new at this — and by “new at it,” I mean 15 years in, or even 20 — you’re just starting to get traction. Young musicians believe they should be able to throw a band together and be famous, and anything that’s in their way is unfair and evil. What are you, in your 20s, you picked up a guitar? Give it a minute."

This is the excruciating in-between; may we learn to forgive ourselves for it.

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