“You see, the work of a storyteller doesn’t get any easier the more experience we get, because once we’ve learned how to do something, we can’t get excited about doing exactly the same thing again—or at least most of us can’t. We keep wanting to reach for the story that is too hard for us to tell—and then make ourselves learn how to tell it. If we succeed, then maybe we can write better and better books, or at least more challenging ones, or at the very least we won’t bore ourselves.”
— From, Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
I started reading this and there’s a nice intro about how the book came to be. Ender’s Game was a novella. Card had an older idea for Speaker for the Dead and then thought maybe he’d be able to make an older Ender the protagonist, connecting his stories.
But first he’d have to re-write Ender’s Game as a full novel. Which he did, then he wrote Speaker for the Dead and the third in the trilogy. Long process, but worth it.
This reminded me of a Jack Butcher and David Perell workshop called “Get going, then get good”. They mention Ira Glass’s The Gap concept. The gap between your ability and ambition is closed by doing a whole bunch of work.
In this case, Card presents a bit of what happens after that. With Ender’s Game he was at the top of the game, but there’s still room to keep stretching.
You can finally make things that satisfy your own taste. You can picture that as the gap is infinite or just that there’s a world you enter once you close the initial gap.