Found this from The Adulting Blog a few minutes ago. Never mind the fact that it’s a Tumblr post (I totally forgot until after the fact, but I go on Tumblr maybe once a new moon, so it’s all good) :
Step 315: You will not be truly good at something worth doing until you have done it again and again and again and again, for years. Do not get discouraged. Let your discontent fuel you.
Ira Glass has already said this far more eloquently, but it’s true.
I just finished “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. I felt, as I always do when reading something stupendous and heartbreaking, both exhilarated and insanely jealous. I would finish a sentence, stop and let it wash over me, and then feel small and inadequate and embarrassed about everything I’ve ever written.
I remember the first time I read something by her, an essay a mutual friend had posted it on Facebook, feeling empty but also changed. “You will never write like she does,” said an 8th grade mean-girl voice in my head. “Why bother, when there are people like her who can write things like this?”
But writing, or making art, or music, or any pursuit that begins inside you and then is proudly or quietly offered to the world, is more craft than divine inspiration. It is slogging through vast periods of mediocrity and frustration and slowly improving. It’s doing it whether you feel like it or not.
It is also — and this is the hard part, at least for me — not putting yourself up against anyone else. Instead of feeling sad that you can’t make the things someone else can make, spend that emotional energy writing more.