In yesterday's New York Times, there was an article by movie-maker Mike Birbiglia titled "6 Tipes for Making It Small in Hollywood." I thought I'd pass on his Tip 2:
Don't worry about failing. There's a great video where Ira Glass explains that when you start in a few field, your work won't be as good as your taste. It will take years for your taste and the quality of your work to intersect. (If ever!) Failure is essential. There's no substitute for it. It's not just encouraged but required.
True that. I could name you dozens of promising writers who simply weren't willing to be terrible. But those names would mean nothing to you -- because they've never sold anything.
I could go on. But you get the message.
And for the numerate among us...
Yes, I know. My repeating advice from Barbigia which he repeats from Glass only makes it third-hand. But you don't imagine that Ira Glass came up with that himself, do you? I'm giving somebody the benefit of the doubt by not calling it hundred-and-ninety-third-hand advice. The author of Gilgamesh probably passed it on as something he'd come up with too.
Above: The Andromeda Galaxy in a composite photo of visible and IR light. From NASA, of course.