//Note: Piece was originally published on http://amptutd.com (now ampatutd.com) but since the website went down due to hacking incident, I’ve uploaded the version that was published in print.
I spend a lot of time thinking about things I could and should do. I end up brainstorming and doing rough drafts, and I’m ready to roll. Inevitably, real life (school, work, etc) blinds me with some latest debacle that demands all of my attention.
So as an ode to my past brainchildren (both independent and collaborative), I’m compiling a comical list of failed podcasts.
- (Tiny Podcast): The Tiny Podcast idea came about when a friend and I were discussing how to condition ourselves into taking shorter showers. We figured we’d be motivated to leave the shower if we had something playing in the background that only lasted 5-7 minutes. The idea was to have varied episodes in formats from bite-sized daily news updates to a quick brief on an interest topic (ex. Learn About Data Mining in 7 Minutes or Less). It was peak minimalism at its purest form: The Podcast. Stay tuned for the next podcast I think up to deal with a trivial life issue: Getting Ready in the Morning the Podcast.
2. Watching Through Our Fingers: A few days after the 2016 presidential election, I experienced a couple of incidents that arose from rising racial tensions in our corner of Dallas, TX. Because of this, another friend and I recorded ourselves talking about how it felt growing up as Muslim Americans in a post- 9/11 world, the flux of positive and negative attention in the media, and how it affected our day-to-day lives.
3. Ah, Sounds Good Sounds Organic, the podchild that almost was. We actually produced this beautiful mess of a podcast. I believe a couple of the episodes can still be found to listen on your phone on iTunes and SoundCloud. There’s a cache of all the episodes we ever did here. The premise was a mix between pop culture critique of all movies, music, social media, and social journalism and general banter. True to the tide of the times, our most compelling episode (in my opinion) was “The Art of the Buzzfeed Take” where we talked about Buzzfeed and adjacent companies and their contributions to the social media stratosphere.
4. 19 Hoing On 20: When we were 19, my best friend and I had the divine revelation to create a sex positive podcast. It was a sacred duty bestowed upon us, two measly single college sophomores, to educate and titillate the masses with our baseless wisdom about all things sex. What was intended to be funny and youth-accessible rapport about sex and romance almost came off as satire. We recorded one episode, and were on the brink of worldwide renown. Luckily, one of us (it wasn’t me) had the good sense to pull the plug. Still, the fabled episode exists in my hard drive, mocking me.
I’m glad that some of my more substantial pursuits have not met their end like my track record of failed podcasts. However, it is pretty cool to look back and peruse through the minefield of podcast projects that once had me so elated. I think the creative process is bound to be riddled with started and abandoned projects. In the end, we glean the knowledge we need to succeed in truer efforts.
This reminds me of a quote by author Erin Bow:
If you bake a lot, your kitchen will become a happy home to wild yeasts, and all your bread will taste better. Even a failed loaf is not wasted. Likewise, cheese makers wash the dairy floor with whey. Tomato gardeners compost with rotten tomatoes. No writing is wasted: the words you can’t put in your book can wash the floor, live in the soil, lurk around in the air. They will make the next words better.
What quotes do you use to justify your failures?
Originally published on http://amptutd.com (now ampatutd.com) but since the website went down due to hacking incident (ironic) I’ve uploaded the version that was published in print.
On Nov. 9, I leave early before class to stop at the gas station. There’s a pickup truck in front of me, with a conspicuous “Make America Great Again” sticker. Before I realize what’s going on, the man who owns the truck walks toward me. I have one hand on the gas nozzle. I nervously glance at the meter, and it tells me I’ve filled only five gallons. I try to do the quick math in my head: six gallons to fill, 13 seconds per gallon.
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