After five years of podcasting, I’ve found myself very interested in how to get into the Creative Process around podcast production. One of the things I didn’t think about or realize when I got started was that maintaining a show, and putting out an episode every week, takes sustainable creativity – and a process that is repeatable, dependable, while still leaving room to be creative. This is no small feat, and it’s one of the reasons that when I teach my podcasting class, I encourage anyone creating a show to pick a topic that they want to talk about, a lot. That they leave out any “shoulds” and talk about the things that inspire them, personally. What are the top ten reasons to develop a creative process to support your podcast production?
That’s what I’m talking about in this week’s show.
In my 20 years of advertising as a creative project manager,I’ve been an active participant in seeing creativity come alive under the pressure of deadlines, creative briefs, and specific desired outcomes from clients. What was interesting (and still is to me), is that some creative teams actually THRIVE when given a restrictive brief because they see it as a creative challenge. And, it is those teams, who rise to the challenge of the creative process, and embrace it, who win awards and keep clients happy, and keep them coming back for more.
These teams, comprised of a art director and copy writer (something that creative mastermind Bill Bernbach came up with at BBD) had a different kind of mindset. First, they work together well and love what are doing. The thing that stands out to me, is that they actively spend time to get ideas flowing. To do this, the schedules created for their work on any given project include brainstorm and concepting time. Lastly, these teams believe that the idea will come to them if they engage with the creative brief, get playful, and keep working.
The Lie that Fear Tells You About Podcast Production: I’ll Record When Inspiration Hits
Let’s cut to the chase here – I’m going to restate the importance of that point: Creativity comes when you make time for it, prioritize it, and invite it in. This is especially true for podcasting.
The thing that I hear WAY too many people say, and the big thing that holds them back from having a consistent posting schedule (in podcast production AND blogging and really anything creative) is that they believe this lie: that they will hit record / write the post / do the thing when the inspiration hits, or when they get their next idea, or, worse, when they have time.
This makes me go bonkers. To go all meta on us here and quote a great esurance ad, “that’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.”
The truth about repeatable, consistent, long lived creativity is that it happens when you build in the time to do it. The successful creative teams at agencies do not sit back and rest on the idea that creative these ideas will come to them in a fit of inspiration, at an unidentified time. They don’t wait around inspiration to happen, either. Creative teams engage with the content, get to know it well, get to know their client and their likes and dislikes, and create work that delivers a great message with a lovely aesthetic, and they do it every day because they plan it into the schedule.
In this episode, I’m sharing top ten reasons to develop a creative process to support your podcast production (and any other creative project you’re working on):
- Listen for the idea. Creative ideas will flirt with you, and get stuck in your head. It’s your job to listen, and say yes, and bring it to life.
- Lay the foundation. Much like advertising creative teams, you’ll be more likely to succeed if you put a bit of “process” into your creative process.
- Be true to the idea that’s come to play with you. Share in an authentic way, and not just for shock value. Get very clear on the value of what you’re bringing to the world through your creativity.
- Get curious. Now that the idea has come to roost, notice what else shows up. when you have set your mind on something, notice how many times there are little reassurances of it from the universe
- Show up and do the work. Set aside a time to work on your craft. Make it a conscious effort. From a practical standpoint, podcasting is not something that can be done in a rushed effort; everything about it takes time Honor your craft.
- Let your idea grow organically. My ideas for the podcast tend to mull for a week or so before they take shape. Sometimes I’m taking notes, sometimes I’m just noticing what’s going on. Past guest Fred Waitzkin recommends carrying a notepad with you to capture the inspirations you get as you’re going about your day.
- Be protective of your bubble. Fred Waitzkin and I chatted in episode 212. When you’re in the midst of your creative process, and doing the work, make sure and leave time and space for it. Be protective of this time. This can be difficult. and sometimes it means saying no to other things to make room for creativity.
- When it’s time to record / do the thing – give it structure. Honor that you’ll need time to create.
- Don’t get overwhelmed or let end thinking stop you. Fight the urge to make the outcome bigger than it needs to be. Keep it simple, and take the first steps that are right in front of you.
- Let go of the outcome, and let the journey take you.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert on Amazon
Elizabeth Gilbert: When a magical idea comes knocking, you have three options, in the Irish Times
Kathleen Davies on ‘More Light,’ Love, and Acceptance (Episode One)
Fred Waitzkin – Embracing Your Creative Process and Getting in the “Bubble” (Episode 212)
Charles Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California
John Steinbeck House and Museum in Salinas, California
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron on Amazon