I have been podcasting for about 2–1/2 years now, with interview episodes being a main focus for about half of this time. I have met some amazing people through the podcast, both in the podcasting community as well as guests. It is the guests that I want to focus on in this post because those are the connections that I find the most difficult to navigate.
I posted the below nagging idea in a community group recently about my conundrum:
“Just had a weird realization and wanted to get your impressions of this. My podcast turned interview style about a year ago. I love finding people and I love talking to them but something has been wearing me out and I could not put my finger on it, until today. It feels weird to say, but its the frequency that I am publishing their episodes.
It’s a bit people taxing to switch guests each week. I was kinda surprised to have this thought but I find it hard to focus on one person (my guest) for a week and then switch to someone else. Even with keeping in touch on social media and revisiting episodes with flashback days, it feels wrong somehow, to cycle through people this fast.
I know I can change the frequency, and I probably will. But mostly I was just surprised to even have this thought. Does anyone else feel this way with a guest related podcast. If so, what do you do with these feelings. lol. REO Speedwagon’s song “I cant fight this feeling” just came to mind. I will hum this song until I hear from ya. Thanks.”
You see, before podcasting I was convinced that I was an extrovert. I visibly slow down when I don’t energy feed off of others. But what I have come to learn is that I am a somewhat wallflower extrovert. Is that a thing? That should be a thing because that is my thing. I do need the energy of others but intense and personal connections, like those that are surprisingly formed during these interviews, are energy draining for me.
During the interviews I am fueled with the conversation, the connection and the person I am talking to. And after I am often mentally stimulated for hours. In fact, I learned the hard way that late night interviews in my timezone with guests across the globe was dangerous because I would inevitably be awake for hours after burning off the energy we created together. But then after a few of these conversations and I needed some serious alone time. Close the blinds, turn off the phone, on the bed kind of alone time.
Guest Conveyor Belt
But I only publish the podcast weekly so the interviews themselves do not take up that much time and energy. What is now confusing me is the promotional aspect of it. I feel in some way that by only devoting one week to each guest’s digital soul project that I am disrespecting them. Yes, I do flashback episodes to keep an episode and the guest’s brilliance alive and well. But the main promotion that I do is the first week their episode is published.
1 week per guest x 4 guests per month x 3 months per season = 12 guests to promote and put on the shelf
Can we put people on shelves? Am I putting them on a shelf? As someone who has been interviewed on other podcasts I do not feel this way when the Host moves onto their next guest BUT I do feel this way with my own guests. So this is clearly a me thing. Or it is?
Timeline Of Reactions
Going back to the post I did on a social media group recently. Some of the replies I got were (and I am paraphrasing here:)
“I am glad you said this. I feel the same way but didn’t know what to do about it.”
“I have no problem with this. I batch my interviews and do 3 to 4 a day and feel fine.”
“My Co-Host and I switched to 2 episodes a month instead of 4 for this very reason.”
and on and on. The interesting thing about this post and the feedback it got is that it is still getting comments almost two weeks in. Usually when I write things on podcasting like this there are a few thumbs up and it gets buried in the chatter. But this post went through a very real timeline of reactions. The first wave of reactions were people that felt the same way and wanted to talk about it some more. DMs were exchanged and that is happening even more privately. The second wave of people were those that thought it was an interesting idea but did not experience this problem directly. And the latest wave of comments are people who have no problem with this at all and are sharing choppy quips like “Be true to yourself” and “Do you”.
Root of the Dis-ease
I have no problem identifying a problem and adjusting. I already massaged my next season to publish less and revisit guests more. I might even (gasp) ask the same guests back on the podcast sooner than I thought.
What I do have a problem with, even after pondering this for two weeks is trying to tease out the cause of this dis-ease. It is NOT an extrovert/introvert issue, it is NOT a time issue, it is NOT a money issue. What is it then?
Why the rush?
I can’t help but wonder if it is just a craving for deeper connections. In interview podcasts, am I/are we, going too fast? If the goal is to build up a community of people to talk about a niche topic or issue like my podcast is then why am I rushing through guests? Why aren’t I savoring their words, their ideas their guest appearances in vocal form on the show? Why the rush?
As always, I have more questions than answers. If you are thinking about this too, as a Host, Listener or simply a curious person, I would love to hear from you.