November 30, 2022
Starting today, I am on hiatus.
That’s the TL;DR version.
Back in March 2018, I randomly took a class about podcasts/podcasting. I left realizing I had no interest in making a podcast but perhaps I would write a newsletter about them. A month later, I started what I thought was a simple and un-noteworthy thing – The Podcast Gumbo newsletter.
As with all things, the unexpected happened. Here is a list of many (not all) things that I never foresaw:
- Getting involved in the local podcast community
- Giving me a much-needed creative outlet
- Going to podcast conferences
- Getting a stipend to go to podcast conferences
- Getting logged as a journalist (this is really laughable) in an online database where PR people would find me
- Having MANY PR people pitching me
- Starting a local podcast Meetup group
- Meeting well-known podcasters of shows I enjoyed listening to
- Producing my own podcast (I buckled)
- Considering producing/hosting not one but two OTHER podcasts
- Sitting on a panel at the largest podcast conference with well-known industry leaders
- Having subscribers from all over the world
- Being a guest on other podcasts
- Paying money for a logo and getting stickers made
- Contributing to a well-respected podcast publication (Bello)
- Getting caught up in always wanting more subscribers.
- Using twitter. Taking a break from twitter. Coming back to twitter. Quitting twitter. Egads.
- Having 1700+ twitter followers when I quit. (Truly absurd)
- Applying for a podcast job
- Executing fun ideas like the Podcast Riddle Challenge
- Chatting with podcasters from all over the world like India, Tasmania, and Lithuania
- Having my ears opened up to amazing things I never could’ve expected
- Seriously considering developing a podcast-related app
- Providing feedback to podcasters who wanted my advice
- Having people thank me because they would see a bump in their download numbers after I recommended an episode of theirs
- Having people donate money to me as a thanks for getting my spam every week (and then every other week)
But honestly, the one thing that overrides all else is meeting so many wonderful people through this mutual love and interest of podcasts. Some have come and gone which is only natural. But I have made what I hope to be long-lasting friendships. For a self-proclaimed ISFJ (borderline-E), this has been incredibly special.
As everyone should, I would occasionally self-reflect. Do I still enjoy what I’m doing? What is the end goal? And as any smart person should do, I had multiple conversations with trusted friends, inside and outside the industry, about how I was currently feeling. And it took me a few weeks and many calls to come to where I’m at right now.
To be transparent, here is another (shorter) list of things that have been on my mind.
- Is this still giving me the same creative outlet? Not nearly as much.
- Am I seeing things in the industry that are making me upset and sad? Yes. The rose-colored glasses are gone.
- Am I feeling pressure to hit my bi-weekly deadlines? Yes.
- Is my consistent format hurting me? I believe so.
- Do I want to stop the never-ending chase for more subscribers? Yes.
- I NEVER wanted to waste someone’s bandwidth, and do I sense that that may be happening? Maybe.
- Am I listening less to what I would naturally listen to or want to? Yes – this has always been a big problem.
With all that in my mind, I came to one obvious conclusion. I needed a break.
Once I had a long break in my head, I wanted it to happen much sooner than later. Mainly, I didn’t think it was fair for me to go through the motions to hit some arbitrary date. So at the beginning of November (much of this is written on 11/4), I decided I would write two more newsletters, the last one dropping on November 30th, 2022.
So, here is what I’m thinking right now.
I’m coming back.
But Podcast Gumbo will be turned upside down. All I’ll say is that it’s not something that someone giving good advice about writing a newsletter would ever suggest.
At some point, I will begin iterating Podcast Gumbo 2.0 and if I feel it brings value, I shall return, perhaps around my 5th anniversary in mid-April, 2023.
Thank you for being a subscriber to Podcast Gumbo, whether it was for every edition or none. I hope you found it as enjoyable to read as it was to write. If you are a new subscriber, sorry. But(!) you can read every recommendation ever on my archives page.
p.s. This is not a joke.