I’ve joined Cathy Heller’s 5 Day Podcasting Challenge, after being a super-fan of her Don’t Keep Your Day Job podcast for over a year now (LISTEN TO THIS PODCAST!). My podcast obsession has turned into me wanting to be in the trenches, so I’m testing my footing through this challenge. Today is day 3 where we’ve been challenged to put our idea out into the world to ask for feedback.
So here it is. My idea. My plan. My podcast. I’d love to know what you think, if you’ll tune in, and if you have any suggestions!
Secret’s out today! This podcast junkie is diving in with both feet — I’m working on a podcast of my own.
My Podcast Idea
Stop Writing Alone! is the working title of my work in progress podcast. The focus of the show is just that, helping fellow writers to find their own writing community. My hope is that my podcast can introduce writers to the great benefits of a writing community through practice, as well as through interviews with writers who have experience with all levels of collaboration (virtual and local writing groups, critique partners, author mentor/mentee relationships, co-authors, etc.).
My current plan (which is still in the drafting phase, so it may sound completely different once I go live) is:
- A bi-monthly podcast with a private facebook group for members
- Each month will focus on a theme pulled from a “distant teacher” (a writer who has shared their journey publicly either through a memoir, blog, podcast, or some other accessible means).
- First episode of the month: 1. introduce the distant teacher and the teaching we will focus on for the month, 2. share the resources that “teacher” has made available for listeners to seek out, 3. share my progress in my own writing journey and struggles with the teaching of the month or a writing tip related to it, 3. provide a writing prompt for listeners to work on for the month (my *bigger plan* is to go Facebook live on the podcast’s FB page with the writing prompt each month for any listeners who want to set a time and date to get this writing activity done with a group. I will encourage participants to share of a video of them reading their writing aloud to the group!)
- Second episode of the month: 1. Read aloud my unedited writing from the prompt of the month and share a volunteer’s audio version of their recorded reading from the FB group (or any other previously agreed upon recording), 2. Discuss any listener-requested topics or questions around the theme of the month, the “distant teacher,” or how to find/build a writing community, 3. Interview an experienced writer with a focus on their experiences with sharing their work and their process with fellow writers for the purpose of growth as a writer.
Why I Think This Podcast Is Needed
Every writer begins their journey alone — either with paper and a pen, or in front of a screen — but for writers who wish to be published, it must be more. Online, there is an insatiable thirst among the writing community for beta readers — understanding eyes that will read one’s completed work and give constructive criticism — this is a brave first step, but if this is the only collaboration sought out it misses the mark. It focuses on the one piece of writing, instead of the writer. To truly stop writing alone, to truly grow as a writer, one must consistently present raw writing to understanding eyes, and one must be willing to be those understanding eyes for others! However, sharing early drafts can be terrifying, and providing feedback to others when you feel inexperienced yourself can feel insincere. Through Stop Writing Alone! I hope to help writers shed those fears and build their confidence so they can keep taking steps in the right direction for their writing growth.
Why I Think I Might Be The Right Person For This Gig
For a number of years I have been the co-organizer of a local writing group where I practice many of the things I hope to bring to a larger audience. In many ways I am thinking of my podcast as an audio version of my monthly meetings! It’s a simple plan, but after seeing the my growth and the growth of fellow writers again and again, its formula can not be denied. In addition to my work specifically related to writing, my twelve year career in the field of Education — as a NYC high school teacher and teaching coach — provides a solid foundation of experience on which I plan to draw. As a teaching coach I spent an immense amount of time helping new teachers conquer their own impostor syndrome, and helping them find paths to collaboration with colleagues for their own creative growth. I provided professional development and tried to serve as a constant source of new resources for the curious, creative teacher looking for new paths to explore — this is my comfort zone — I want to be this for my fellow writers as well. All I ever want to do is learn more and always, always share that knowledge — that sounds like podcasting material to me!