In my Monday blog post, “Love vs. Consequence (And the Quirkiness In Between),” I asked you to reflect on how fear of consequence prevents you from doing what you love. Now, if you love fire, I’m not saying go start a fire. For me, this question tells me not to base how, if, and when I podcast on consequences such as numbers, feedback, community support, etc. In a hard moment a few weeks ago, I wrote a couple blog posts about my future in podcasting–alluding to the possibility that I might stop.
Stopping, or at least taking a break still may happen, but I have to make sure my motivation is based on love and not fear.
When I was talking with my friend Dave about my podcasting fears–that my audience wasn’t growing, that it wasn’t even close to other podcasts, that I was spinning my wheels… All of these fears seemed to imply that I had to scrap what I was doing and either start over with a new name, a new team, and a new design, or just not podcast any more.
I may write a blog post about my thoughts comparing team podcasting to solo podcasting, but for the focus of this post, I’ll stay on topic with what I love about podcasting, and projecting that into my decision. I could love the same with or without a team, as long as it is the right team and not just a team because I’m afraid doing it solo wouldn’t produce high enough numbers.
First off, I love hearing from authors about their writing process. The idea behind a new promo I’m working on for the podcast is me saying how powerful author’s stories from the ground up were to motivating me to start writing again. Chatting with them, and building relationships via podcast interviews is a continual source of inspiration. Not every interview feels like a budding new friendship, but when they do, it creates a long lasting support system–either via future correspondence or just the memory of them caring to meet me and teach me. Michael Sullivan and Robin Sullivan come to mind, taking about 40 minutes after our 70 minute interview discussing Theft of Swords was over to ask me about my writing and chat about shared experiences story wrangling.My last interview, with Jeffrey B. Burton, seemed much more like two writers having a cup of coffee than a lower class writer asking a big shot to bless him with his divine wisdom. (I haven’t had an interview like that, but still.)
As a writer, I have questions for writers I admire about how they accomplish what they have. While I’m experimenting with written interviews, I feel like writers are more apt to open up in a verbal conversation than they would an email lingering a page or two back in their inbox, which requires more time than they’d like to spend typing non-fiction.
I also love to share. As I said, podcasts were a main source of inspiration five years ago when I started writing again. I want to contribute to the podcastosphere, so that writers or aspiring writers can day dream about their stories and future success listening to podcasts while they drive to work or when they exercise.
So, I’m going to keep doing this. I may take a break after episode 40 so that I can read, research and plan (not to mention my family visit early August). I have lots of ideas on how to improve the show, and need a little time to build those ideas so that I can share them regularly without having dud episodes where I didn’t have time to prepare. What won’t matter to me is if my wife and the handful of loyal followers are the only ones who listen. I’m doing this because it’s fun. I’m sorry that I thought about pulling the plug because the listener number wasn’t high enough. That’s the wrong kind of focus, and it prevented me from enjoying this great hobby.