I’ve been restless lately. Everything that I’ve been writing seems like shit. I start and stop personal writing projects. I’ll have an idea that sounds really good, but the next always sounds better. I don’t know what’s going on with me. If I were to try to define it, I guess I would say it’s a feeling of stagnancy mixed with a yearning to do better, to do more.

But instead of doing, I’m immobile. I second guess, I judge, I criticize, I stay still.

I recently posted a video of Ira Glass to my Facebook page. In the video, Glass talks about creativity. He says, “All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. 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. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit.”

I posted the video more for myself as a reminder that I’m not alone because Ira Glass knows exactly what I’ve been struggling with. But when a bunch of friends liked the post, I realized Ira and I weren’t alone. There’s a large number of people who are also feeling stuck, feeling afraid to take that leap, feeling like what they do is not good enough.

I’ve been at this perplexing place before. The most recent time happened two years ago. I was working full-time at a local publication, but hating every minute of it. After crying almost daily to my mom and threatening to end my life by jumping in front of a Fed-Ex truck (which, my mom rightfully said, probably wouldn’t have done the job anyway), I quit. I didn’t have another job waiting in the wings, or a solid backup plan–just the hope that there was something better for me on the other side. It was risky, but also liberating. Quitting my desk job allowed me to work on my freelance career, allotting me the opportunity to have a mobile career, something I’ve always wanted, and something I appreciate more every day.

Stagnancy struck again five years ago when I was living in New York. After hitting dead end after dead end with my acting career, I had to finally admit that my time with the city was over. It was time for something new. Leaving New York was the saddest, and scariest, time of my life. I had to leave behind a blueprint of my life that I had mapped out and held tightly onto since I was sixteen years old. It’s only in hindsight, that pesky perception of time, that I can see how throwing away my old life’s plan helped me to write a new one, and a better one: leaving New York ultimately allowed me to pursue my writing career.

But, here I am again. Feeling the same icky, sticky feelings that I felt years ago.

If my past is any indication, it would seem that now is the time to do something drastic, like change my job, or change my city. But I don’t want to change my job, and as for the city thing, well, any place warmer seems ideal, but I don’t think that’s the solution either.

Perhaps instead of an extreme change, my lesson this time around is to stay still. Instead of leaving something behind, maybe it’s time to stay stuck, and to fight through with it. Maybe there isn’t a “simple” solution as a change in job or location; maybe there’s only a change in myself that I have to endure. Maybe my “killer” taste, as Glass calls it, is acting up again, demanding that I elevate my work to match with my palate.

How does one do that? I don’t know. I wish I did. Glass says to keep writing, and right now, that makes the most sense to me. I’ll make myself write my stories each week and I’ll continue to write shitty sentences and story ideas until one day, hopefully, I spin them into gold. Maybe then I’ll free myself from these shackles of suckiness and enter a world where I love everything I write.

Writers never like their stuff. But, maybe, at least then, I’ll be able to move forward and onward. With less suckiness.

As for those of you who aren’t writers, the ones who are feeling restless and stuck, who demand more from yourself and your work, my advice would be: keep working through it. Don’t quit.

Unless you have a shitty desk job that makes you miserable and sucks the life out of you daily.

Then, yes, please, quit.