Did I give him bad advice?
Basically, I told Jakob just to start doing his podcast and gradually improve it. You know, it’s the Move Fast and Break Things philosophy. Or Practice Makes Perfect. Or insert another cliche here.
But instead, Jakob took his time and really threw his best into every piece he was working on. Obsessively good, I like to call it. Maybe that’s also Practice Makes Perfect. Or Make Something Really Good Before Releasing It. I don’t think that last one is really a philosophy, but you catch what I’m saying.
There’s creative advice everywhere that contradicts other creative advice.
Jakob may not remember what I told him (I haven’t asked him). Or it may be appropriate for further down the road. Heck, even may feel like he’s taking my advice…because he still has a long way to go. So what’s the difference?
I think this is really a difference in vision than anything else. His podcasting heroes are meticulous (see Radiolab, Snap Judgment and This American Life), mine are dirty and loose and interview-focused (see WTF or Other People Podcast or any Grantland podcast).
If I was doing what he’s doing, it wouldn’t be Jakob Lewis it would be a Josh Spilker process. I like to put stuff out there, which means doing stuff like this blog or submitting short stories or writing short essays and reviews, while a longer project simmers. Because of the format, etc, Jakob didn’t feel like he could do that. Or he has created one episode/segment which may just be similar in form to my “essays,” they just take longer. I’ll go back though to the quality element–which meant a lot of intense segments and tape that didn’t always work. Maybe that’s similar to my novels; I work hard but not everyone sees it, and writing is a creative process I’m more comfortable spending time with. Maybe Jakob’s intense editing, etc. is his version of my writing process–a lot of stuff has to be out there before it can be cut and molded.
Okay, I didn’t provide a clear cut answer here, but we’re just exploring, right?
I think I like to see more immediate feedback than Jakob. If it’s not coming via page views, likes, faves or something I’m interested in, I’ll give up (not the best attitude, I know). Instead, Jakob was getting the feedback he needed to continue going the way he was going. That was often from a small, but growing cadre of friends who he invited into his process, though he was always the one driving it. Even for my novel that’s unpublished, I submitted parts of it to different mags that responded positively to it. No, it didn’t get published everywhere, but enough outside people expressed interest in it to let me know I should keep going. Maybe that’s the same as Jakob’s group of friends, maybe it’s not, maybe I’m writing in circles.
That’s enough…what does everyone else think? Did I give Jakob bad advice or not?