The lonely life of a podcaster
Someone asked me “what does life as podcaster look like?”
Intense. Lonely. Creative.
You wake up on Monday morning, a vortex of concerns crashing around in your head. How will I pay rent next month? Where will I find time to record that interview with such-and-such?
You get up and make yourself a coffee, sit down and pour out the water from your head, filling a to-do list as big as a swimming pool.
And then you’re in. You flap, flail. A seemingly endless body of water to paddle through. Creating another draft of an episode, getting feedback on this other one, doing something unrelated that actually gets the bills paid.
By Friday, you’re exhausted. But even then it’s not over. Saturday is spent finishing a couple more laps - last minute article write ups, booking tickets.
You tell yourself you’re going to rest on Sunday. But somehow the laptop has snuggled up to you in bed and you're tapping away transcribing an old episode.
In-between frantic work sessions, you take a sip of coffee. But with each sip, another idea fills your head. A story lead, inspiration for Instagram.
By Sunday night, you collapse to bed, the sound of water roaring in your ears.
Monday appears on the horizon, and it begins all over again.
Out of the swirling madness, a small boat emerges. A fully formed, sturdy Filter Stories episode. Once a month, you pick it up off the waters of your mind and set it on the storming seas of reality. The real world.
It’s tiny - a spec compared to the giant media ships. You see a few ripples of attention. An episode hits someone's radar and you receive a crackled message on your radio - “this episode was amazing, it made me cry”. You soak in every crackled pop, feel the goosebumps rising.
And then silence. Long, long periods of silence.
What does this mean? Is it worth this mad life spent thrashing around, just barely keeping my head above water?
One day I decide to answer this question: I put together a Kickstarter where my listeners can try coffee from the story. The ultimate test. Are these stories good enough to convince someone to dig into their pockets to actually taste this coffee?
I click "launch."
My radio explodes in a flurry of beeps and messages. It cracks 200% funded in a week.
I turn up the volume and press my ear to the speaker, feeling every hiss and pop. It’ll be a long time before this happens again.
For a brief minute, the raging waters in my head calm down and I take a deep, grateful breath.