I'm excited to share the launch of a month-long creative project, the RISING*SHINING audioblog! During the month of April I will be releasing all blog posts in two formats: written and in podcast form in which they will be read aloud by me. In addition to new content I'm also going to experiment with releasing older blog posts as new episodes as a way to refresh older content and to give listeners more episodes.
To hear the audioblog you'll be able to listen in two ways: use the embedded player at the top of the post or subscribe to the RISING*SHINING podcast feed. The podcast feed is live now so you should be able to find it by searching in your podcast player. Unfortunately I don't think I'm able to get my feed on Spotify at this time but it is live on Apple Podcasts and my preferred pod player, Pocket Casts. To see photos and hyperlinks included in the written post use the link in the notes of your podcast player.
I had the idea for this project in December because of a glitch with The Girl Next Door Podcast. I wasn't able to publish our 2020 Wrap Up episode because of technical difficulties but didn't want listeners to find their podcast feeds empty. So I quickly wrote and recorded an update about the delayed episode and also shared recommendations for things I was enjoying lately. Thinking of it afterwards I realized that the quick episode I recorded was really similar to a blog post. It was also fun reading from a "script" instead of recording a conversation like we normally do for Girl Next Door episodes. Plus the process of recording and editing was much faster. My wheels started spinning...
Reflecting on the podcasts I subscribe to I thought about how much I enjoy conversational podcasts hosted by women. I love getting to know a host and enjoy hearing conversations about the everyday things I would talk about with a friend. Often the topics are things I would love to read a blog post about or write about myself. I also thought about how much I still enjoy reading personal blogs, and especially so this year, but how fewer women are writing the kinds of blogs I enjoy reading. While I can think of a couple of solo-podcasters, I don't know of anyone publishing podcast episodes that are more similar to personal blog posts. As an avid podcast listener and blog reader I would love to see the two combined. I would love to listen to my favorite bloggers read their blog posts to me while I fold laundry, drive in the car, and go on walks with Maeve.
All of this left me thinking of my guiding creative principle: create the kind of content you want to consume. I would love to listen to someone else's audioblog so maybe there will be people who would enjoy listening to mine. Just thinking about creating something new and marrying two mediums I love gives me so much energy – always the sign of a good idea. So I decided to do it! My goal this year is to release two months of audioblog content during the months of April and October. My only goal is to try something new and to stretch creatively. I also hope that I might entice people who already read or listen to my content to try something new. Perhaps a dedicated blog reader will try a podcast for the first time. Or maybe someone who loves listening to The Girl Next Door will enjoy reading or listening to my blog.
Behind the scenes
I'd love to share a little bit more about the behind the scenes of how I created this audioblog. My podcast cover art was designed by Emily Spivak of Spii Designs. Emily also designed our Girl Next Door Podcast cover art and she was the first person I thought of when I considered hiring someone for this project. I absolutely love the design Emily came up with and she perfectly captured the friendly, cheerful spirit that I hope my audioblog has. Emily also designed a new blog banner for me. My previous blog banner was from 2016 – yikes! For theme music, the Girl Next Door Podcast also inspired me. I reached out to my co-host Erica's brother David who composed the theme music for that podcast. I loved what he composed and you'll hear it playing behind the intro and outro of the audioblog.
With cover art and theme music a new podcast can be born. I created a new podcast feed in Acast (the podcast hosting service I already use), began recording narrated versions of blog posts, and turned them into episodes. It's been exciting to work behind the scenes getting this project ready to launch. I'm reminded of the advice a philosopher friend of ours shared about what helps you feel fulfilled in life: novelty and progress. This project is giving me both which has been so energizing. I've even been going to bed before 8:30 p.m. so that I can wake up at 4 a.m. and have time to write. If that is not the definition of energizing I don't know what is.
So I hope you'll enjoy this month-long creative experiment. I would love to hear your feedback! And to my blogging friends out there, a surprising number of you also have podcast experience and equipment. If you are inspired to try something similar please do! I would love to listen. I also started percolating an idea about a podcast feed that features audioblog episodes from several different women bloggers. I don't think I'm ready to take that project on but if someone else is please do it!
Thanks so much for reading and listening, friends!