Why ship?

"Real Aritst Ship." - Steve Jobs.
Image Credit: Andrew Power / Busy Building Things

a. A conversation with a very very dear friend about The Nidhi Kapoor Story. Please judge.
b. I am a firm believer in the concept of shipping (folklore). She, on the other hand, hates mediocrity and thinks quality is always greater than quantity. It's a never-ending debate and there is no right side. I guess.

a. I don't remember the exact words that she used. Or the exact words I used. But this is how the conversation went.
b. This friend, F, is my dearest friend. The kinds I can die for. Really.

So, it went like...

Friend (F): Are you happy with your book? Is this the best that you can come up with?
SG: Not really. If I want, I can tinker it with for the rest of my life. But it has come to a point where I am confident about sharing it with the world. I wish I could write like all the other great ones...

F: Then why would you publish it?
SG: What do you mean?

F: Arey you said its not your best output. Why would you want a sub-standard and half-baked product out in the market?
SG: It is not sub-standard. I have given it an honest shot and I really think it ought to see the light of day.

F: Why? If you can still improve it, how is it not half-baked?
SG: Its at a stage where I think I can ship it. Of course I can add things, remove things, change things. like any other story, this one is in a perpetual stage of flux. I have created it. Everything is fictional. I can do whatever with it. But I believe that if more people see it, I'd get more feedback and better I'd get as an artist writer. Its that perpetual loop. Steve Jobs once said, "real artists ship." I want to ship.

F: But a mediocre product? Do you know whenever Steve Jobs launched something, it was always very very cool!
SG: It may be. Steve Jobs knew what he was doing with his life. I do not know. Writing does not come to me naturally. I had to work hard for it. It took me considerable time and effort to come to a point where I could finish the book. Hence I want to put it out as soon as possible so that I get as much feedback on it.

And like I said, I have spent enough time on the book and I really think that it would be worth the time people spend in reading it.

Plus I want to try. Stumble on things, fall down and then get up again. And eventually carry on walking. And, if writing does not work out, I will move onto the next thing. Simple. Thats the plan. And commercial success is a true true barometer of an artist. Even though for every famous writer, there are a thousand others that die an anonymous death. When I die, I really want to tell myself that I tried. Simple.

F: Fucking faff! And if you really want feedback, show it to your friends. Why release it in print and all? Why make so much noise about it?  
SG: Because friends could be biased. They wont be merciless in their reviews. They wouldn't want me to get discouraged. If its out there, I would know that what the aam aadmi thinks.

And I really really believe in doing things that make accidents happen. What if someone reads this and gives me an idea that can change the way I work? Unless I print the book, I would never reach that person. No? So its important to get this in the hands of as many people as I can.

F. Wait. Are you writing this for yourself? Or for people?
SG: Of course its for my own happiness. It would be good to make money from it though. But money is not the only criteria. I want to tell stories. People may or may not listen to what I have to say. But I know that if I keep up to it, I will someday become a storyteller.

F: So, this is about fame?
SG: No no. Its about trying to do something that I think I could do for the rest of my life! Its yet another thing that I am trying my hand at. If it works out, great. If it doesn't, Id move onto the next one.

F. I dont believe you. You are such a fucking moron. 
SG: But that's how I am. Trust me I really want to improve the craft and I cant see any other way. I definitely cant be the guy who works in a garage till he comes up with a masterpiece. Whatever I do, I want to put out as soon as possible.

The conversation went on for another 30 or so minutes till she finally got disgusted and almost threw a glass full of water on face. Thank God she did not do that.

Though, I still wondering, what did I do to deserve that extreme a reaction.

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The Nidhi Kapoor Story

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