Why is episode 20 a landmark? Episode 20 of a podcast seems to be where one of two things happen: You run out of topics, or you continue and run a successful podcast (this fact is from the journal of ‘I read it somewhere and now I can’t find it again’ studies, so you’ll have to take my word for it).
I don’t know about the latter, but I definitely thought I was hitting the former a couple of weeks ago. I’ve got a few topics lined up now, a lot of them half written, and I’m hoping to get another guest on soon, but I definitely had some writer’s block mixed with the anxiety of not having anything new to say. I’m a newbie after all, and there are times when I wonder if I’m being incredibly naive or I don’t know – presumptuous maybe? That I have something worth saying, worth your time when I’ve barely been doing this for a year? But then I remembered that I am not Apple and U2 and I’m not secretly downloading the podcast onto your devices without your permission.
Importantly, I am learning, and this is motivating me to learn more and read and write, and its productive.
I still don’t have enough of a process down, but I have something that works, mostly, and recording the episodes is now a lot easier, and feels a lot more natural. I don’t have to edit half as much as I now have a habit of editing as I go along, stopping and going back when I make a mistake so I can record over it when needed. My new outro feels a lot better and I might change the intro as well as some point.
I now have a habit of favoriting tweets/bookmarking sites/saving things as I go and dropping them into the google doc that contains all my future episode notes (I have a separate doc for old episodes), then clearing them out on a weekly basis so I’m always on top of what I want to look over/listen to. I try to write a few evenings a week – even if I can’t write the text for the next episode, any words are a gift to future me, and she probably needs all the help she can get.
I’ve just started a mindmap for the podcast but I may change it – I want to split up ideas into ‘Things I know’ and ‘Things I think I should know’ and then I can dive in and pull out connections and ideas from there.
I also want to play with the format a bit – maybe throw some storytelling in there at some point if I can.
And I’ll tell you something else, writing the 500-800 words needed for the podcast every week is actually making me write more outside of the show as well. I still can’t hold a plot with both hands and a bucket, and it’ll stay in a metaphorical drawer for the rest of my life but I’m writing and I’m enjoying it. Also, sometimes taking a creative break, as opposed to a procrastination break can help the words flow. Its easier for me to jump from writing to writing than from say – cleaning to tidying (organisation is great for me to dispel stress and angst) back to writing.
I’m hoping that I’ll continue to improve over the next 20 episodes and beyond! Thank you all for listening and sticking with me.