After I stopped back in 2019 (wow), I couldn’t find my voice. I had lingering doubts about the truthfulness of Christianity, which was the foundation of my entire professional network and the genesis of my academic expertise.
Of course, when I finally accepted that the claims of Christianity were no longer true, I lost my footing. My methodology, habits of thought, and certainly even my sense of why I would ever record my own voice, dissolved.
It was creatively frightening, and I was almost certain I would never regain the confidence I had previously experienced. But I did. It took about a year, but I got that confidence back. And now, my podcast is very much a 1:1 reflection of who I really am.
Production vs. Documentation
Previously, I didn’t know what the recipe was supposed to be. 10% marketing, 50% jokes, and the remaining 40% sprinting to do or say something valuable enough to make people want to listen again.
Now, I realize that the best podcasting is completely selfish. I must create what I desire. This doesn’t mean that I now create what I would want to listen to. That’s something different. I simply press “Record” on what I’m already wanting for real life.
The Ties That Bind
In losing my framework for reality, I also lost my appreciation for the concept of “production.” GaryVee famously says, “Document, don’t create.” That has stuck with me. And I’ve found that now, it’s basically the only thing I can do. I don’t have the stomach for making anything up when I don’t have to play a guilt-driven game based on “community” and “purpose.”
Without those ties that bind, I — and each of us — is free to press “Record” and “Publish” on whatever makes us feel alive. “Helpful” and “Beneficial” and “Edifying” be damned. It’s edifying to me. And if you like to listen, then there it is — public. I love that that’s what podcasts are. Just public audio recordings. Not brands. Not collections of followings. A podcast episode is just a street sign, and you can read it or not.
I have most enjoyed people who integrate this approach into their own productions, and so I do my best to integrate it into mine.