One of the glories of the Internet is that we have access to an incredible store of talks by a huge range of speakers. Between social media sharing and search engines, exceptional, mind-shifting talks flit across our radar on a regular basis.
This same access can make us feel that people out there are crafting genius work on a daily basis. We see a speaker deliver an amazing talk on TED, type their name in the YouTube search box, and then find a few other talks and some interviews that reinforces our impression of their brilliance.
Do this a few times and you feel inspired. Do this a few too many times and you feel inadequate.
This is the problem with spending a lot of time watching amazing people share their amazing work online. We don’t see the completely unremarkable work that these wonderful speakers (or musicians, or scientists) also crank out. We get their magnum opus, or variations of it.The mundane and unremarkable doesn’t go viral, and for good reason – it’s unremarkable. The content curation that happens quite naturally online favours only the really good (or the truly awful), making it seem like a few people are always producing really good stuff.
Which, of course, makes us feel inadequate in comparison. After all, we mortals don’t crank out unbelievable content like that on a daily basis.
In reality, these brilliant people spend as much – or likely even more – time than we do cranking unremarkable and flawed work. They spend time churning out half-baked ideas and awkward turns of phrases in order to produce that beautiful piece of art they shared with us.
You need to churn to make butter. It’s the tedious and often frustrating part of creating something worth sharing. If it feels like all you are doing is churning, don’t fret – our heroes spend an inordinate amount of time doing the same.