a few weeks from release nowhere near release (it turns out, a year later*) and Heretic is feeling like a hot potato. I want to get it out of my hands, but I’m all-too-aware of how poorly this can go if we don’t do it well.
The plan is for this show to be a positive force within the social justice movement, where we get insight from guests on where we can improve our tactics and process, and how we can improve as a whole.
I’m not banking on 100% good faith responses from the social justice interweb, but I want to give folks who share their takes the ability to have their responses be informed, encompassing, and honest. To do that, I think we need two things.
One, a batch of episodes all coming out at once.
Ideally, we release an initial batch of episodes (let’s call it the “Pilot” of Season 1) that are representative of what will listeners can expect to be coming down the road. What does a “representative” batch of podcast episodes for a podcast that doesn’t exist yet look like? Well, it looks a little different every time you look at it (Schrödinger’s Cast).
This has been a sticky widget. In considering guests for Season 1, we haven’t just been thinking about who would have good things to say (which is, by itself, a tall task), but how the line-up will shape listeners’ expectations of the show, and even more so how the Pilot itself will be viewed/reviewed/considered.
As I’ve been having these conversations with people, my sense of what this initial season will hold gets a little clearer, which makes me rethink who should be in the Pilot, and who might be better to reserve for down the road.
It’s getting exhausting. But it’s worth it, I’m almost sure.
What we know for certain: we’re going to release a batch of episodes, with a batch of guests, that represent the show at-large. What those episodes will be about, and who will be the guests, is where the certainty turns to chaos.
So we know that any one episode can easily be viewed in an unhelpful light, because without the body of work, it’s up to the listener to fill in a lot of blanks. But there are also some other blanks I’m going to be trying to fill in.
Two, a lot of explanations/write-ups to accompany each episode.
I don’t want people to have to assume they know why we’re doing this, and what we’re hoping to accomplish with each episode.
I’ll be writing up little articles to accompany episodes, in addition to the show notes (with standard things like bios and links, which Chum will be producing). Sometimes I’ll post an article before the episode comes out, to set the stage; other times it might make more sense to write something after it’s out, to clarify or expand on ideas discussed.
I am also going to hold off on recording episode intros/outros until the week the episode comes out. This way, I can include context based on what’s happening in the world (in relation to the conversation), or any media/responses that have been published about previous episodes.
These two things will complement the body of resources and explanation that will be growing on this site as we move forward. With all this, anyone who wants to find an answer, hear “our side,” or know where we’re coming from, won’t be left searching.
And I’m going to keep doing what I’ve always done: my best
This is a big project, and it’s one made of love. One that’s about two years in the making in some sense or another, but one that has really dominated my past few months.
It’s been made out of love for the goals of the social justice movement, and for “the more beautiful world [my] heart knows is possible.”
We’re going to have to tweak and change our plans a lot as we go. And we don’t know how folks will respond, so we’ll have to respond to that as well. We’ll be building community here as we go, who will help us improve and do even better.
Maya said “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
That’s the plan. I’m looking forward to tossing this potato your way. Hope you’re ready to catch it.