MF 335 : What keeps me going during those lulls?
Updated: May 5
What keeps me creating a weekly podcast when the inspiration fades and I hit those lulls? More at www.bemovingforward.com.
Ready, set, meh
April is always a dicey month for me. The mercurial temperatures, ranging from chilly to humid and hot, combined with allergy season, wreaks havoc on me every year. This week, I was feeling that spring lull. After a long winter and an even longer pandemic, I just wasn't feeling up to doing another podcast episode.
This isn't the first time I've had a downswing and it won't be the last. Yet, I managed to put this into an episode, turning blah lemons into some kind of lemon beverage.
Content creation has the same starting line for anyone brave, bold, or foolish enough to enter the race. It's filled with excitement, energy and enthusiasm. So much so, it's easy to lose sight of the practical considerations. One, being, how long am I going to do this? Unlike other endeavors such as making a film, writing a book or launching a startup business, it's not always easy to see what the end of the tunnel will look like. I've talked about this on prior episodes, including the Podcast mini-series. However, since I'm going through one of those "lulls" today, I thought it might be helpful to share how I get through it and why I'm on episode 335 and not 35 after 6 six years.
Start with the exit
I'm a broken record when it comes to this philosophy but bear with me. This is as much a reminder for me as it is a content creation lesson I'm sharing with you. Before you begin any project or endeavor, start with the end. You won't be podcasting for the rest of your life. When you start a project with a definitive end, you plan your schedule and your efforts around it. The exit is first and foremost because it provides structure and boundaries. However, this is a little harder to see when it comes to content creation. Most people, myself included (back in 2015), don't think about the exit. We're too preoccupied with the why, the how, and the excitement of starting something new. Inspiration and excitement are great and a must needed catalyst to push you to the starting line. But much like the "honeymoon" period in a relationship, it won't last. At best, it will come and go in spurts. This is why you need something more substantive to keep you going; when it's not so exciting or new anymore. Having a clearly defined exit is where you can get the discipline to remain on task and consistent. Without it, you may find yourself "taking a break" that turns into a permanent vacation. I've seen too many content creators fade out just as they were starting to move the needle.
Exit first, then the good stuff
Once you have your exit, then you can focus on what you're chomping at the bit to get to: the purpose of your content, who it's aimed at, the format, etc.. Figure out how long you'll be doing this for. If it's a blog, podcast or YouTube channel, map out how many seasons (years), how many episodes or content pieces per year. Have the structure in place first. Make it the blueprint from which you'll build your house. From there, you can get to the fun stuff.
I cover all of this in greater detail in the Podcast launch kit so you can check out those episodes and write-ups for more. For today, I wanted to share or rather reiterate how you need something more than just the "honeymoon" excitement of launching and creating to sustain you over the long haul. For me, it's the exit. Knowing that there's a roof to the house means I'll keep building brick-by-brick, whether it's an up day or a meh one.
Check out the Podcast launch kit
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