Why I’m Recording Podcasts and Will Stop Being Chicken About It
Have you tuned in to my ‘Fear Less’ podcast? If you haven’t, well, please start, because I’m all about vulnerability on this blog and it’s my most vulnerable move yet.
Back in college I stepped into column writing when I became editor of the paper’s entertainment section. I was immediately hooked. I still had a lot to learn and hadn’t matured as a writer, so my columns were stand-up comedy routines crammed into 600-word articles, each with the comedic pace of a ‘30 Rock’ episode. But I digress. Blogging is the modern column and I adore it for that reason, but bloggers have it even better since we are able to engage with our audience in multiple media platforms, i.e., podcasting.
To date I’ve published two podcasts:an interview with a woman from my church who just left the country to join the Peace Corps, and a monologue about my experience teaching sixth graders for a day. I felt good about both of them, but comfortable about neither. Then on Saturday morning I gave it a third try in an interview with a good friend who does remarkable things. George Wood is the director of a men’s addiction ministry and he gave a dynamic, compelling interview directly confronting misconceptions about addiction and relationship with Jesus. Look for it soon. I finally felt I was getting the hang of it.
I knew podcasting was special when I sat down with George. The energy level was buzzing. He had written for books and spoken in front of large audiences numerous times about this topic, but the microphone represented a new, invigorating challenge – something fresh and different.
Not only that, but I also received a confirmation email Saturday night of another interview that’s in the works. This one also gives me tingles, which tells me this whole podcasting thing is becoming less of a fear and more of a thrill.
Finally. That’s even why I’m blogging directly about it, not just slipping it onto Facebook feeds and hoping no one even saw it. I hid both times after pressing Publish on the podcast. My voice sounds so odd, I told myself. So many stumbles and stutters. Such uninteresting stories. Narcissism at its finest. It took me back to when I walked into my sixth grade classroom with a daring haircut, like racing stripes on the side. Hopefully the other kids wouldn’t make fun of me. Maybe some would even think it looked cool.
Sure, when I started blogging back in July it was a little daunting. I had released blogs on several websites before that, I personally knew a dozen other people who were already blogging, and everyone had read a blog at one time or another. Therefore, I wasn’t putting myself out there too far to say “hey, check out my blog.” But podcasting? That’s different. It’s a much less controlled method of sending a message, and nobody says “Podcasting? Is that a gluten free or a vegan thing?”
I really took a step out onto a ledge with this one. But it also made perfect sense.
Finding My Calling
In my job I host a call with top level executives about letters sent to customers. It requires me to speak slowly, coherently and confidently, and to think on my feet. I value that, however, If you asked my pre-teen self what I would think of that I’d wonder where my baseball bat was, and my high school self, my Stratocaster. But thanks to a book by Jeff Goins I recently read, ‘The Art of Work,’ I’ve come to realize that our work calling is a mix of many elements, and as he puts it, we normally form a portfolio life, pulling from a wide spread of life experiences and learned skills.
I’m still trying to transfer the skills I’ve gained in those conference calls, but I’ve got a ways to go. I used to mumble, mutter and talk too fast, but thanks to those conference calls I’ve improved vastly. Goins hit the nail on the head, as I’m pulling from all areas of my life for my calling: Sharing a message about overcoming fear through faith in Jesus. Here’s my decleration: the podcast is officially an integral part of that message.
I’d highly recommend reading Jeff’s message, and if you act fast you can receive a free (!!!) copy if you just pay shipping and handling. Click here to find out more.
Shake Hands with Podcasting
Are you familiar with podcasting? If not, I invite you to start with mine, because it’s here to stay.
According to this Washington Post article, in 2013 the number of podcast subscriptions reached 1 billion. That isn’t the number of downloads, that’s just subscriptions. Meaning, each podcast (ahem, like ‘Fear Less’) has a subscribe option that allows the listener to receive episodes, like how people receive magazines in their mailboxes.
Not only that, the number of podcast listeners has tripled from five years earlier, 25 million to 75 million. Why? Because smart phones are making it easier to download content, and everywhere you look people have headphones in their ears.
Of course I want everyone to spend time clicking into my blogs and enjoying the written word. I’ll always consider that my bread and butter content. But if people are asking for a loaf of bread, why give them a stone? And when the music’s playing, well, it’s time to dance.
Question: Do you have a dream and something seems like the natural next step, but it scares you? Please share in the comments.