One of the things that I sometimes struggle with on the getting Paid to Play front is the idea that I might wind up making a job for myself that I care about as much as the day job I packed in about a year ago.
Yesterday, I finally realised that I’ve done just that.
The job in question is called, “The Paid to Play Podcast.”
As you read this, I’m already four days overdue in posting the latest chat episode. Yet, every time I sit down to listen through and edit it, I find myself wanting to stop and go and do something else. Anything else. Write a blog post. Help keep the house clean. Weed the vege bed.
The annoying thing is, I have reason to get the post done and up, especially before the end of the month. It’s paying my hosting and domain name fees. through Patreon.
So, yeah, if I don’t do it, I don’t get paid. Just like a day job.
And I don’t care.
No, that’s not right. I’m not apathetic. I have an emotional reaction tho this situation. It’s just negative.
I’m sick of this damned show. So much so I’m tempted to just put the hosting fees back in the weekly budget. And if the money isn’t enough reason for me to give up my spare time on this project, why the hell am I investing my spare time on it?
The last time I stopped making episodes I had one (two, if you count the one that got locked within a non-functioning PC) episode I hadn’t published (sorry again for the delay, Isiah). Right now I have four more chats to get up and virtually no enthusiasm to assemble any of them.
So what’s going on? Why am I suddenly over this podcast again?
I’ve been doing weekly episodes for the past few months, alternating between chats and web log style updates on my own efforts. And there’s not much exciting there any more. Even the folks I enjoy chatting with.
Plus, this podcast is pretty much a one-man endeavour. I record and edit every episode, write the blog posts, assemble the videos, do the tagging and social media marketing. I’m very glad that Gavin Dunne was gracious enough to let me use his tune “Big Ten” as the intro and outro music and that Marcus and I have an amicable hosting relationship, but the main grunt work of the show is basically me. And it gets frustrating and exhausting at times.
Which leads me to…
Maybe soloness is a better word. That particular aspect comes in two flavours.
- Each chat episode is with someone new or someone I’ve not spoken with for ages. It’s a good way of making contacts, but… I dunno. Maybe this is the spoiled kid in me talking, but I don’t want to make “contacts”, I want to get to know fun people with whom I can do cool stuff.
- Also, it sometimes feels tiring to be shouting into the wilderness all the time. Or, perhaps more accurately, talking politely into the wilderness. Maybe I’m undervaluing my people, especially my Patreon backers, but I want to feel like I’m connecting with folks, that my shows do some good, get people thinking, talking, moving. But mainly talking. With me. How many of the off-week, even episode shows have I done where I’ve announced the mailbag and had no mail to read out?
I guess my main, unstated goal for this podcast is for it to be a vehicle that allows me to connect with people, give them something to talk about and hopefully involve me in the conversation.
No idea where to go with it?
One idea behind the Paid to Play Podcast is it being some sort of product, or an advertisement for a product. Maybe my voice talent skills. Maybe some sort of coaching. Maybe hosting other people’s podcasts.
But I don’t know what the hell I’m meant to be doing with it or how I’m supposed to grow its audience / revenue base / whatever. Maybe it’s because the nature of the show is so general, it resists any attempt to give it direction. Especially when my longest listeners love the variety of my guests – or, at least, would be upset if I got too geeky.
Not being a fan of my own show?
In all honesty, The Paid to Play Podcast isn’t a show I listen to unless I force myself to. I need to improve my craft. I’ve got to listen to the chat back to edit out random noise and write down things discussed that would make good show notes for blog and YouTube updates.
So which podcasts do I enjoy?
Bungie is the game design studio that started the Halo franchise and are now publishing / supporting the game Destiny. The team haven’t made a new episode since early 2014 and there have been a few staff changes in the menatime. As much as I’m looking to get into Destiny, what I really want more of from new episodes of this show are the lads just sitting around and having a chat about the craft of game-making and what they got up to as much as dropping game hints and stoking fan hype.
The makers of Red vs. Blue, RWBY and a bunch of other crazy web stuff (and whom, as I’ve stated in the past, I quite envy) have a regular roundtable about what they’re working on and the odd life-things that happen when your day job is working with your friends on what you love doing. This one is still going strong, although it for me. are fun to listen to although the table gets a bit crowded at times (and the talk sometimes gets a bit too ripe).
These folks started following me on Twitter recently, and of all the podcaster Twitter followers I’ve got I think they’re the first mob I’ve really enjoyed. Three friends talking over each other as they geek out about their video games. They’re energetic and enthusiastic and rude at times but boy, do I wish I had a podcast like theirs. I feel like they’re speaking my language, even if I don’t know half of the games they’re talking about.
And maybe that’s the thing. I don’t feel like there’s enough “me” in my own damned show. I’m being all gracious and responsible and politely curious and driving / moderating the conversation and host-y when all I really want to do is be me.
So what do I want out of my own podcast?
I want to be god damned lit up throughout each and every fucking episode!
I would love every show to be more like those ten freaking minutes of awesomeness I got to share with Beethy at the beginning of Episode 39.
Basically, I’d love every episode to be my own Top Gear-esque “gang show” with my own gang of guys and / or girls with whom I can’t wait to hang out, even if only virtually.
And without any Clarkson-esque moments of rampant pig-headedness, of course.
Am I asking too much? I don’t know, but the Video Game Outsiders crew have been doing it for over 400 episodes. There’s got to be something to it.
So, who do I get involved? Who’s interested? Who’s available?
What are you doing?
How have you made something you do more about you? How did it work out?