I woke this morning stressed out about my podcast.
Reading this line over to myself makes me feel a little dumb. As a part-time podcast support contractor, there’s a kind of mantra: “There’s no such thing as a podcast emergency.” While I would never classify my situation as an emergency, I’ve seen a lot of people over the last year panic and stress about their podcasts. Usually, it’s related to an episode not being released in time or some simple mistake they made that affects their feed.
For me, this time, the stress is simply about whether I want to keep making this particular show.
I’ve been producing GEEK THIS for just shy of six years. It hasn’t been a consistent, week-after-week release schedule, but I spend a lot of mental (and sometimes emotional) energy figuring out what’s coming next. Over the course of the last few months, though, I’ve become less enthusiastic about making content for it and I haven’t quite nailed down why. Maybe the answer is simple and I’m just not willing to admit that I’m not interested in covering pop culture anymore?
There are other factors, too, like the struggle of producing a weekly show by myself.
If you’re a content creator, I’m sure the first thing you thought as you read that last sentence was, “Stop making the show weekly. No one told you it has to be that way” and you’re absolutely right. I don’t have a boss telling me that I have to put out an episode each week. In this situation, I am the boss and I can do what I want. So why do I keep doing it?
I’m afraid of letting it all go.
You have to understand that outside of being a husband and father, doing this particular podcast has been the longest commitment of my life. It’s something I built years ago that has become a part of what makes me who I am. GEEK THIS is me, as dumb as that may sound. I don’t know how to stop thinking about it and refining it and making it, despite the ever-growing lack of interest I have for it.
And it isn’t like I won’t start another podcast. I have plenty of fun ideas that – because I constantly think about one show – I haven’t actually started.
Then again, this is part of my character. I’m an “interest hopper.” Meaning I find something interesting and try it out for a little while. When I’m bored with it or find it too difficult, I move on. It’s one of those awesome character traits that my wife loves… or not.
That’s where the struggle comes in and I wrestle with myself over if I want to let my show ride into the sunset. Is that what I want, or do I want to take a break from it so I can focus on something else? Maybe the problem isn’t even so much that I don’t want to do it, as much as it is that I don’t want to do it by myself.
For years I’ve tried bringing friends onboard to help me create and round out the podcast. For me, it’s more fun to have these group conversations than it is to sit alone and talk about movies or comics. Geekdom has become a communal thing, so it has made sense to me to bring that into my show’s format. Unfortunately, it’s just not possible.
That’s not to speak ill of my friends, though. They’re an amazing group of guys who I respect the opinions of. They also have their own lives and don’t have to be as dedicated to my little show as I am. In some cases, they’re making their own content and I would never want to take away from that. Still, the desire for community is a strong one for me and affects my feelings for what I’m making.
All of these things – interest, burnout, community – have culminated in somewhat of a dark cloud that makes itself known every once in a while. I haven’t made up my mind on what I want to do.
What would you do in this situation? Are you currently dealing with this same mindset?