Sometimes, it’s the simple questions that have the biggest impact. The ones you think about asking yourself, but maybe aren’t sure you are going to like the answer.
So this is The Big Ask. Sometimes simple question, and sometime difficult ones. A bit of self-reflection for your soul, perhaps. Or maybe just a few ideas to kick around.
I think every podcast producer should ask this question, and answer as honestly as possible:
Would you listen to your own show, if you weren’t the one who made it?
I’ve kicked this question around in various ways for a few years. One of my shows, The Rink Podcast, is on hiatus because the answer to this is emphatically No. I’m not happy about that, but maybe it’s a part of the evolution of being a podcaster. You don’t want to get bored with yourself, you want to make something worth listening to, but you also want to make something you are proud of.
I hear plenty of shows that I think could benefit from this question. A little more effort, a change in attitude, a different way to produce the show, and you could have something different and special. Instead, the question never comes up. People get stuck in the same production techniques, the same sound, and they stop trying.
With The Rink, I felt like I was making something special, or at the very least, something that had something special to it. Then it stopped being that way, and it became a commodity, and eventually a hassle. Had it been something that I had changed up, that I grew and evolved, perhaps I wouldn’t have felt that way.
As it stands, I don’t want to bring The Rink back in it’s old form. I want to do something different with it. Just what that looks like is still in the idea phase, but it is something I would want to listen to.
If your show isn’t something you would spend your time listening to, then why are you spending your time making it?
Merlin Mann put it best: