in Stuff I learned

The gap between good taste and good work

There’s a pretty popular Ira Glass quote going around that goes like this:

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?

He’s talking about the difference between the work you’re creating and what you want that work to actually be. The Taste Gap, he calls it.

Adam Phillips takes it a step further.

You can’t write differently, even if you want to. You just have to be able to notice when you are boring yourself.

This is a very difficult thing. Your voice is your voice and that’s sort of what it is, Phillips argues. But to cross the Taste Gap you have to be honest with the work you’re making.

That’s not always easy.