Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. … For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. … A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.
— Ira Glass
originally from April 30, 2011
Came across this from someone (I can’t remember) on twitter. Although not about academia, it does have parallels, writing is creative work, it takes time, practice. I often find it a struggle, I reread, rewrite, procrastinate … almost give up. This quote certainly applies as I work thorugh my Ph.D. program.