Someone asked me an interesting question. They want to know what I thought the difference was between content and craft, and I think it really comes down to intention. What is your intention? If your intention is to boost your popularity and get likes and shares and engagement and followers and all that, then you’re probably just wanting to create content. But if your intention is to create something of substance with meaning that will move people, that’s going to require craft, and craft is not something you just bang out and then bang out and bang out and bang out. Craft requires a lot of work. If you’re a dancer, you’re going to rehearse and rehearse and work on your moves, and then you’ll post. If you’re a writer or an actor, you’ll write and write and rewrite more drafts, and then when you finally release it to the world, you’ve poured your heart and soul into this. And you’re worried. You’re like, “Oh, what if people don’t like it? What if people judge me? How is it going to be received?” That’s craft, because you’re worried, you put your heart into it.

If it’s content, it’s like, “Well, if no one likes it, I’ll just bang out something else tomorrow. No big deal. What’s the difference?” That’s why I feel content is disposable and that’s why I put a little more value on craft. There are so many people on all these social media sites who just bang out this content. You’ve seen this before, pranksters where the husband is like, “I’m going to pull a prank on my wife. She doesn’t know it but I put a severed head in the refrigerator. Oh honey, can you please get me a beer?” You know she’s in on it. The whole thing’s just staged. And yes, they put some work into it and they probably rehearsed it, but what’s the intention that they’re putting out? What is the intention? Okay, they’re going to fool the audience into watching. If you watch something for 30 seconds or three minutes, and when you’re done watching it, you feel like, “Ugh, what a waste of time,” what’s the point of that? I just want to create more meaning.

Jeff Bezos, the Amazon guy, he just went into Jupiter. Took a rocket ship to Jupiter. Maybe it wasn’t Jupiter, but it was someplace like that. That guy is the richest man not only on the planet but in the history of the planet. He could buy anything he wants in the world except for time. He has limited time. It’s a precious resource. And I don’t like wasting people’s time. I don’t like my time being wasted, which is why when I post on these videos, I don’t say, “Do you want to be a Hollywood screenwriter? Do you dream of driving down Rodeo Boulevard in a Ferrari? Well, you too…” That’s just BS, man. That’s wasting your time and my time. That’s why I get right to it and that’s why I talk fast. And that’s why people are like, “Man, this guy really gets right to it.” I appreciate it because I don’t want to waste your time. I don’t always find time.

If your goal is to create something lasting and meaningful, which is really what I do. And by the way, even this video, I recognize that not a lot of people are going to watch this video. No one’s interested in this subject. That’s why I feel like it’s not quite content. It’s something a little bit better than content because my aim is not to get a ton of followers in this video. This is not going to be a popular video. My aim is to help you and inspire you and lead you down that path of creating something meaningful, which I think craftsmen and artists try to do every day. That’s the joy of the journey. If that interests you and you want to go on that journey with me, I’m happy to post. I post content, I don’t like that word, I post stuff. I post stuff all the time on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube. Just videos like this that will hopefully help you along that way. Don’t say content. You can follow me @MichaelJaminWriter.

Michael Jamin, Showrunner, TV Writer, Author

Michael Jamin

For the past 26 years, Michael Jamin has been a professional television writer/showrunner. His credits include King of the Hill, Beavis & Butthead, Wilfred, Maron, Just Shoot Me, Rules of Engagement, Brickleberry, Tacoma FD and many more.

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