The Taste Gap

Every person who does some sort of creative work knows the taste gap intuitively. It’s a concept I’ve thought about again and again in my career and in private life. It goes like this: What gets you into the game (of whatever it is you’re doing) is your taste. You read, watch or listen to something and you’re judging: “This is good, this is bad, this is better, this is worse”.

At some point you’re trying things out for yourself and you’re committing to a path. “I want to become a novel writer” might be something you aspire to be. That’s when the taste gap starts. The stuff you’re going to produce in the beginning (for the first few years) will be bad according to your standards. That’s because you have the taste — the taste that got you started. You, as well as everyone else, will have to cope with that taste gap for many years. It’s a brutal part of creating something new and of value.

I haven’t invented this concept. That was Ira Glass and there is a 4-part video series on Youtube about it worth watching. Part 1: Ira Glass on Storytelling Part 1