Awhile back I started a podcast or revamped my old fiction podcast with the intention of using it as a marketing project for my books and also as a platform to promote my future research results.
But, as I come to the end of the 10th episode, and having finished 20 more episode scripts and was sitting down today to start recording the 11th episode, I had to be completely honest with myself.
I really hate podcasting.
So, let’s dig in and find out why I’m deciding not to produce any more podcast episodes in the future…
Let’s face it. If anyone has listened to one of my podcast episodes, it’s pretty easy to tell I’m not comfortable doing it. I’m not comfortable hearing the sound of my own voice. I’m not comfortable trying to read from a script. I’m definitely not comfortable interviewing someone for a podcast episode (I actually got a request from an author to be a guest on my podcast – I said “No!”)
Despite this I’ve wanted a podcast for many years. Back in 2011ish I remember wanting to start a podcast with an acquaintance of mine about theology. I wanted it to be a partnership where we had lengthy discussions and did Q&A episodes with listeners, etc. I never did bring it up with my friend, though, because it was pretty obvious he was not reliable.
Over the years I struggled to do it on my own, though. I would write script after script (writing is the easy part for me) but every time it got to the point where I had to actually record it, I got really anxious, experienced a great deal of anxiety. To this day, I can’t really put a finger on what it is about podcasting that makes me so uncomfortable.
In the end, I just have to conclude it’s not for me.
I can no longer say I haven’t tried it. I’ve done episodes with computer generated voices. Didn’t like that. I recorded and submitted screencast presentations during my ThD program. Hated that. I then decided that maybe I could view podcasting like preaching (which I also don’t like to do) and “develop” the ability. I figured if I got through 10 episodes then maybe I would feel more comfortable about the process. Maybe I could learn to enjoy it even.
I’m sitting here looking at the 20+ additional scripts I’ve written and I’m plagued by the same amount of anxiety as I had before. So, the experiment did not work. Or, it at least did not produce the results I assumed (or hoped) it would.
I could keep going, forcing myself to spend time doing something that I really don’t enjoy, or I can accept the reality of the situation and play to my strengths.
Blogging & Writing
Don’t get me wrong. I love listening to podcasts. I have several that I listen to on a regular basis: when I’m driving on my commute each week, while working on reports at work, while paddling, while exercising on my rowing machine. This was the main reason I wanted to do my own podcast because I’m such a fan of the medium.
But, it just isn’t the same as writing. I can spend all day in a room or hanging in my hammock out in the woods or at the Eden property, writing endlessly. In fact, that part of the podcasting process I do love. Doing the research. Putting the information together. Writing the script (which is really a blog post that I read from). But as soon as I fire up the screen recorder the panic sets in and the experience turns.
I’ve been writing since I can remember. And, of course, countless people spent their childhoods writing. Few people actual “make it” as writers or authors and even fewer still derive the bulk of their living from it.
I’m not one of those people, mostly because the stories I write don’t seem to be popular with the masses and also because I have no interest or desire in “marketing” my writing. I’m not a social butterfly. I’m, in fact, the antithesis of it. I don’t use social media at all. I rarely anymore use online forums (simply because people are horrible to each other online), and I have no interest in being a guest on a podcast or going to writing conventions.
It seems as if most writers who become “successful” today don’t really become successful at writing books but at writing about writing books. They host workshops and podcasts about writing, catering to the multitude of nameless faces who dream of one day being the handful of individuals who were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time or know the right people to get massive publishing deals – money, fame, success.
But, I have enjoyed blogging over the years. It is an outlet for me, a way to talk about my writing without having to directly interact with others. You would think podcasting would fit in perfectly with this (since it’s basically the same kind of one way communication). Unfortunately not.
But, it really doesn’t change my plans all that much. Maybe in little ways. In the end I can now know I’ve tried it. I think 10 episodes is enough to know if its something I want to do.
Of the things this does impact, I’m not certain what it means for my future online courses. Maybe it simply means I don’t write workbook courses in the future but just stick to writing non-fiction books. Maybe it means I don’t write in the non-fiction space at all but just focus on the stories I have to tell.
Since I was young I’ve always been drawn to writing and telling stories. I’ve always had an overactive imagination and have lived most of my life in my head. All of my research can go into my fiction. This is not hard to do.
But, to be honest, I really don’t have to decide today. I don’t have to have an answer at this very moment. I’ll just see how it goes and focus on what is important to me right now and let the future develop as it will.
Reading My Fiction?
There is the option of retooling the retool and use the podcast solely as a way to broadcast my fiction and create audio books. But, I have just as much apprehension reading my books as I do creating podcast episodes, so I don’t really see this happening in the future.
I wish I could figure out what it was about speaking or recording my voice that is so terrifying or uncomfortable to me. Maybe I’m simply not suited to the human voice as a medium of expression. Like asking a musician to write a children’s book or someone who is gifted with administration to paint a picture.
I’m not certain I know how to make money with a blog or if that should even be a goal with any of my writing. It’s definitely an uphill battle to do so. Maybe much like the proverbial “be careful what you wish for.” I’m in the unique position where my expenses are beyond fully funded while still retaining 40+ hours a week of free time to devote to whatever activity I choose. Maybe in the end research will win out over writing, but even that will require I do a lot of blogging.
Honestly, though, I do enjoy writing fiction, even if I exist in utter obscurity. Maybe my writing will never be read. Maybe it was never intended to be read. Or maybe it won’t be read or appreciated for several more decades to come. There is simply no way to tell. I do know if I don’t write the books that are in my head then they will never be appreciated.
I don’t know what it is about writing or storytelling or living in fictitious worlds that engages me. I just know it does and it has done so for most of my life.
I think it’s time to really embrace it.
So, at this point, my future plans are to:
1. Continue on in my uThM studies.
2. Refocus my efforts on fiction writing.
3. Focus my efforts on independent research.
4. Consider writing non-fiction books in the future.
I will at this time no longer be doing a podcast or consider doing workbook courses in the future. Speaking is not a medium for which I am well suited.
So, to quote Ozzy, “Goodbye to all the past. I guess that we’ll meet, we’ll meet in the end.”
I’m glad that I tried to produce a podcast, and that despite my anxiety and uncomfortableness, I was able to finish and publish 10 episodes that I’m satisfied with. In the end, it’s just not something I enjoy doing. The fact that most podcasts have little to no audience also adds to the motivation for me to quit while I’m ahead. It takes a lot out of me, even if all I’m doing is just reading a script each episode.
But, all is not lost, thankfully. All the scripts that I have written for future episodes can easily (and enjoyably) be turned into blog posts, which I plan to do in the near future. I imagine this means I can devote more time to producing a more consistent blog posting schedule as well as devote more time to writing in my fiction worlds. Hopefully it doesn’t mean I’m just going to watch more television.
This is goodbye to podcasting but welcome to my blog…
Please consider supporting my writing, my unschooled studies, and my hermitic lifestyle by purchasing one or more of my books. I’m not supported by academia or have a lucrative corporate job – I’m just a mystical modern-day hermit trying to live out the life I believe God has called me to. So, any support you choose to provide is GREATLY appreciated.
Excerpt from Sacred the Circle:
There was a knock at the door.
Campbell got up from the chair and crossed the small distance so he could open it.
A young man stood in the doorway, probably in his early twenties.
Campbell could tell he looked a little disheveled.
He had deep rings around his eyes, as if he hadn’t been sleeping much, and he kept checking the hallway in both directions, as if half expecting someone to be stalking him.
“Hey,” Campbell said.
The kid was stumbling over his own words.
Campbell leaned out into the hallway, checking to make sure there was no one else listening.
This guy wasn’t the only one who was becoming paranoid.
There were two students hanging out at the foyer, near the stairs, but the rest of the floor was clear.
“I’m sorry,” the kid said. “Must be the wrong place. I’m mistaken.”
He started to leave.
“Wait,” Campbell said, putting a hand out. “Hold on a second.”
The kid paused.
“What’s your name?”
He fidgeted with his collar.
“I know it sounds crazy, but – ”
“You’re not crazy, Lloyd,” Campbell said, grinning.
“Did you – ? ”
The kid paused, as if unsure if he should continue.
He looked back toward the stairs, then at Campbell.
“Did you know I was coming?” he finally asked. “I mean, that’s not possible, but, were you expecting me?”
Campbell chuckled to himself.
“What’s so funny?” Lloyd asked.
“Well – ”
Campbell pushed the door open all the way so Lloyd could see inside his dorm room.
The entire room was full of them, students, non-students, ranging from what looked like eighteen to even a few middle-aged men, scattered about the room, sitting wherever they could find a comfortable spot.
Lloyd’s mouth dropped open.
“I wasn’t really expecting them, either,” Campbell said. “So, I hope you don’t hold it against me when I tell you, I had no idea you’d be showing up here. Do you care to join us, anyway?”
Buy my book Sacred the Circle to find out what these men are hearing from the supernatural realm. Will they answer the questions tugging at them? What are the visions saying? Who are the Multitude? Why are all these men being brought together? By whom? And why, above all else, are they being convicted….to pray?
But, trust me when I say, you’ll be white knuckling this one with every turn of the page!