Last month I took a break from interviewing any guests for my show. I had contemplated doing this for a while and, while I was a little uncertain, it proved to be just what I needed. I came close once before of complete burnout and I knew, if I didn't take a break, that I would definitely do so.
Podcasting isn't just getting behind the mic. It is so much more than that. It is promoting oneself, preparing your show for upcoming guests, getting ready for the scheduled guest to come on and then heavily promoting that guest afterwards. Sometimes it takes a lot of research, either for a guest or a topic, in order not to sound fake or uneducated about whatever is being presented.
In taking the month off, I learned several things. Some of you may have already learned them and are beyond doing some soul searching when it comes to your show. I, however, am still new to podcasting, and have a lot of hurdles still to overcome. Some of the points that I learned are:
- Be real to yourself. Sometimes the workload is too heavy. It is ok to step back and realize you either need a break or you need to downsize.
- Be real before others. It is ok to not be professional. It is ok to ask questions and to let your guest know that you are unfamiliar with their topic. I learn along beside my listeners.
- Be better at listening. If podcasting has taught me one thing, it is to listen. I still need to do better when coming to people in my circle, but I am learning to slow down and just listen.
- Stop. It is ok to just stop, contemplate where you are at the moment and take a deep breath. It would be better in some situations to stop then it would be for you to continue and make major mistakes. You can always go forward or change direction but you can't always go back and fix an error.
Recently I went to, now one of my favorite places, to just breathe and do some photography. It will definitely be a place I return to often. It was a much needed day, and after having spent the better part of it, I was refreshed.
In some of my earlier episodes, I spoke about some points and interests that I had from history (i.e. Regency fashion, people that I found admiring, etc.), and I realize that I miss that. It seems, that while there are some great guests on the show, I haven't really been behind the mic for myself discussing an interesting topic. I want to return to some of those. I don't know if they will get a huge rating, but there are some episodes that I want to do on our Founding Mothers, aspects of some Jane Austen novels I find fascinating and more.
Another thing that I have learned, and others have stated, is to not pay too close attention to the numbers. Will I ever have 10,000 followers? Probably not. Will I ever make six figures from my podcast? Mostly likely never. Will I have fun making episodes for all of you? Absolutely! I want it to be fun, and I have realized, after much thought, that I have gotten away from just having fun. I have had some great guests on my show, and Lord willing, I plan to have more. I have met some truly amazing people. I am still learning how to open my episodes, how to end an episode and all that goes in between. More than anything else, I just want to inspire and bring hope, educate and just simply have fun.
Podcasting is an always learning genre, but it is one that if not made so professional, can really be a fun past time and hobby. I don't want to burn out. I want to excel, bring hope and encouragement to my listeners, and lastly make someone sit, relax and smile. Growth is a long term goal and it is one that, if done well, can last a lifetime.