Over the Line | 2321

Alright then. The next block of 10 begins – This is Season 9, Episode 1.

Full Show Notes: https://www.thejaymo.net/2023/06/25/301-2321-over-the-line/

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

Over the Line

Alright then. The next block of 10 begins – This is Season 9, Episode 1.

I’ll be honest. Some of the episodes so far this year, especially in the last season were a bit of a struggle to get out the door. For some reason I’ve found myself being picky, or critical, about the things I want to make and put out into the world. Right now sitting at the top of my script document are 11 abandoned scripts at various stages of completion. This isn’t bad per-say – but I do find it annoying.

Throwing away a script and starting again is a big time sink. Especially if you make the quality control decision to pull the plug on a Saturday morning right before you start recording. 21 published episodes plus the additional 11 unused ones means I’ve put in one and a half times more effort into making 301 this year than I needed to otherwise. A literal experience of the definition of two steps forward one step back. 

I was thinking about all this extra effort I’ve put in the other day when I was out for a walk. I say extra effort rather than wasted effort as in my opinion that any creative expression is better than no creative expression. It’s all part of the process, part of the practice or making art. 

Thinking about the reasons why, I set aside some of the ideas that didn’t become podcasts is because, at the time, I felt that I didn’t love them enough. What it means to β€˜love’ an idea is a tricky thing to express and out side the scope of this episode. 

But I was thinking about the experience of making the first 100 episodes of the show. Back when I was making them in an hour from start to finish. How stressful, yet creatively fulfilling that endeavour was. Whatever got made got made, and whatever did get made was always a rough draft, but I loved it. As I grew into what I was doing, so did the show’s audience. Wanting to explore more of what was possible, I relaxed the one hour rule. 

The things I make now are (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 the internet. But why didn’t I want to put some of those abandoned episodes on the internet?

Re-reading the scripts this morning with fresher eyes, you know what? They are … fine.

One of them, a passionate defence of 2000’s era nu metal fans and the neckbeard archetype made me laugh out loud. I love this idea, what an absurd thing to argue. What many of the abandoned scripts have in common is they they very clearly contain my own personal voice. Setting them aside because I felt that I didn’t love them suggests that there was something I didn’t love about having a strong voice in the work. What made me uncomfortable? What stopped me from making them – I think – was second guessing myself. It has been an important creative insight. 

So the question is what now? After 9 seasons, 230 something episodes, I have (in my opinion) figured out how to do the 5 min weekly audio essay. And maybe creatively it’s getting a little stale. That’s another reason that episodes were hard to get over the line. I know how to do this now. The video version has kept the production side of the show interesting but it has reached its limit. It isn’t going to get any better than it is already without diminishing returns on effort and time investment. Maybe not embracing a stronger voice in the show does both you and I a disservice.

At the beginning of the year – in episode 2306 – I said I wanted to use 1 episode of each season to experiment with, but so far this year I’ve failed to do so. Good intentions, roads, hell, all that. So it’s not that I wasn’t in love with the episodes I didn’t make, but the fear of finding out what would happen if I did.

You know what idea I do love though? The idea of Permanently Moved as a whole – this personal podcast 301 seconds in length. Written, recorded and edited by me.

It’s not the individual episodes that I need to be in love with at all, but the wider concept. And I am. I shouldn’t be too invested in each weekly episode, but the wider tone and vibe of the show. All quarter of a million plus words and 19 hours of it. The weekly shows that get made in and of themselves are less important than the big idea.

Pulling back from things that contain a strong voice, and not engaging in experimentation despite my best intentions and desire to do so is, the answer to why I’ve found it hard to get some episodes over the line this year. Plus I must acknowledge that doing anything for long enough builds the desire for change. Even if the thing you are doing is creatively fulfilling. But a failed experiment here, a voiceful episode there won’t impact the whole point of doing all this. The wider project – A personal podcast, written recorded and edited by me every week.


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