Why did you start a podcast? Now that’s a question I’ve been asked a few times. And to be honest, I can’t say that I ever imagined doing it, until I was inspired. You know how creativity works, right? Inspiration and then… perspiration.
Just over a year ago, my wife handed me the kindle and said, “Here, read this.” She had downloaded Dan Miller’s 48 Days to the Work You Love. At that point, I was a year and a half out from an unexpected layoff, and looking for any suggestions I could get. Dan’s book was informative and extremely encouraging, but at the same time…challenging. To be sure, my formal education had short-changed me when it came to entrepreneurship, and this was the beginning of my new non-degree program.
Within a matter of days after finishing the 48 Days book, I noticed a friend—well, really an acquaintance I had just met a couple of months earlier—had posted something about the book on facebook. I immediately messaged him to see if he wanted to meet for lunch.
I was a little intimidated to meet with Devin Dabney for lunch that day, not so much because of what I didn’t know about him, but more so because of what I did. 3 things: he was an excellent piano player, his family home-schooled, and he worked in IT. Shame on me for stereotyping, but I was afraid we wouldn’t have much to talk about. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I don’t remember if we spent time on extended introductions or just jumped into the idea frenzy, but the lunch was over and we barely had time to eat our sandwiches. Devin had so many creative ideas and what seemed like an unending list of resources and networks. I learned about the 48 Days Idea Networking site, fiverr, and so many others.
Devin also began to describe a podcast he had started just a few weeks earlier. His podcast, called Connected Homeschooling, was geared toward encouraging and informing home-school families. Devin mentioned some of the guests he had interviewed and the topics they addressed. But mostly, I remember him talking about the steep learning curve of putting together a podcast, from connecting with guests, to developing questions, recording, editing and posting. I listened sympathetically, but I had no idea about all the technology. After all, Devin worked in IT, right?
A strange thing happened over the next couple of days. As I went about the job I was doing, I kept thinking about podcasting. The recurring thought was this: I love meeting new people, asking questions, and I have a curious mind. I think I would enjoy doing that. But what topic would I address? Hmm. Within a couple of days, I had landed on the creative arts–more specifically, exploring the process of developing the arts. And instead of longer interviews, I decided to keep them short in hopes of being more accessible to an already busy world. Just like that the name came to me: Twelve Minute Muse.
Sometime in November, I began working on a logo, a website, and began utilizing the web for tutorials on podcasting. I also started namestorming a list of potential guests. Then I had to set a launch date because I knew without a deadline, I would never take the plunge. So the first Tuesday of the new year was it!
Here we are a year later, and Twelve Minute Muse has posted 36 episodes with an incredibly gifted group of diverse guests. My family has been tremendously patient and encouraging along the way, and I’ve made some great friends around the country as a result of it.
So if you ask me today what I’ve gained from starting a podcast, I’d share these four biggest benefits:
- The challenge to grow in the area of technology and media production.
- The opportunity to meet and interact with dozens of kind, brilliant people.
- The privilege of introducing excellent creative work to at least a few new fans.
- Best of all, each week I’ve learned something new about the creative process.
Many of the lessons are similar, but each one has renewed my sense of wonder and mystery about the human mind’s capacity to chase a spark of inspiration until it becomes a completed work of art. Can you imagine what life would be like without music, stories, art, films, or humor? It’s a truly magnificent gift from the God of the universe. So if you’re new to the Muse, check out some of the episodes and leave a comment. And by the way…
What spark of inspiration are you chasing?