The Doing | 2237

The biggest problem a creative person faces is that between ‘The Dream’ and ‘The Having Done’ is ‘The Doing’.

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Permanently moved is a personal podcast 301 seconds in length, written and recorded by @thejaymo

The Doing

I said a few episodes ago that I was adopting seasons for 301. Blocks of 10 episodes followed by a break to recharge. I’m going on holiday next, so there won’t be an episode –  consider it a mid season break maybe? 

How about, I propose a community project instead? I know people are doing amazing things out there and should shout about them. Also, in my biassed opinion, there should be more short form podcasts out there. So If anyone would like to try their hand at making an episode of permanently moved whilst I’m away, please do. 

The brief is (as always), a personal podcast 301 seconds in length. That’s it.

Advertise your book, talk about your newsletter. Let me know. Don’t tell me you’re going to do it, just make the thing and send it to [podcast at thejaymo dot net] once it’s finished. I’ll string them together as a bumper magazine show.

One of my paid supporters emailed me during the week with a request. β€˜Seeing as I’ve just gone through and classified all the shows by theme’ they said. Could I put all the episodes I’ve made about struggling with creativity, productivity, learning to write etc, into a category on my blog. β€˜Sure’ I said.

If you browse to you’ll find a new category called Writing. There’s 17 posts in it right now, and when I find the time I’ll add all my weeknotes on the same topic too. Whilst you’re there, of course, you could also consider supporting this show from just Β£30 quid a year. For the equivalent of just 57p a week, you too can make suggestions that become lengthy requests on my time.

I realised whilst I was sorting things out that I haven’t made an episode on the concept of

The Doing

There are, I believe, three phases in the creative process: The Dream, The Doing, and the Having Done. Relatedly there is also The Thing, and The Work.

The Dream begins at the moment of inspiration, it is the idea, the inciting incident. With The Dream however there is also danger. That The Dream may become The Thing in and of itself. A writer has The Dream of a book. 300 perfect bound pages with their name on the spine. Unfortunately for many this is the state The Dream dies in. The Dream of the Thing outgrows The Dream in detail, expectation, and possibility. So much so the frustrated writer never puts pen to page. 

The biggest problem a creative person faces as a friend said to me the other week. Is that between The Dream and The Having Done is The Doing. 

There are (unfortunately) no shortcuts to be found to avoid The Doing. Between the first word of The Thing and its last there is only The Work. The Doing is a process, an activity that only uncovers more work to be done. For example after The Doing there is still editing and rewriting. 

The frustrated writer enjoys the idea of The Dream Thing more than they enjoy The Work. And this prevents The Doing of The Dream.

There are however, many people out there who actually enjoy The Doing. The Dream flows out through hands on to canvas, down fingers onto keys, or though an instrument. These are people who feel alive in the moment of doing.

J David Osborne (who has just re-booted his newsletter by the way) told me recently that he thinks of writing – The Doing – as a performance. Once the show is over, the novel is done.

I on the other hand do not enjoy The Doing. When I was younger I far prefered The Dream of Things. Comforting distractions. Excuses to avoid the Fear of Finding Out. Much of the Having Dones I was proud of at this age were done with others. Collective endeavours: putting on gigs, writing zines, making music and records with a band.

Last year I wrote about how I enjoy editing far more than I do writing. Unlike JDO I don’t see The Doing it as a performance. The Work is always a struggle. To change metaphoric disciplines, The Doing is making the clay that becomes the sculpture. 

It is in the edit for me that the clay of The Dream becomes The Thing.

Some writers dread the edit. To be critical of one’s Doing feels like a betrayal. A war of words waged upon oneself. The edit is the first review of the Doing. The moment you discover if the person who dreamed The Dream, was capable of doing The Doing. 

It’s easy to get discouraged. Luckily one of the things I’ve learnt as I’ve got older is that I am an idiot. Fortunately for this idiot in the here and now, past me, historical jaymo, was even more of an idiot. Past me who did The Doing, is scowling, has his arms folded, saying β€œThere I did it, happy now?”. I very much am. The worst part – The Doing – is done, and it’s not me that needs to do it. It was that schmuck who sat down yesterday that did The Doing. Facing one’s work then isn’t so much a war on oneself but temporal negotiation. The Work of course continues. The edit, the recording.

Then my favourite bit. Hitting upload, pressing publish, or sharing a finished text with a publisher. The Dream has become The Thing. One can move one.

This is the Having Done. 


The script above is the original script written for the episode. It may differ from what ended up in the edit.

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7 responses to “The Doing | 2237”

  1. […] Thanks to everyone that has already reached out about my podcast this week. […]

  2. […] focus not on the content they are going to create, but the kind of art. The moment of upload is the creative victory. Everything else is up to the […]

  3. […] to fall into indolence and decadence. To rest upon one’s laurels and bask in the warmth of new dreams and done things. In such moments, the artist must resist the siren’s song of complacency. Not for one moment […]

  4. […] the artist who persists, who commits to the doing of the doing, rhythm becomes its own sanctuary. Forge […]

  5. […] (I think) better than they were. But they aren’t perfect, nor do they need to be. What matters is that the doing gets done. Now, this is not to say that I don’t want to make the best thing I can each week and put it on […]

  6. […] not interested in ‘the thing’ being any ‘good’, I’m interested in it being done. Plus along the way I will have learnt the basics of everything I would need to know for the next […]

  7. […] learning how to do, the things I’m trying not to do, I want all of it to feel like play. The main activity is now the making, the doing, the creating. It should all just be […]

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