Podcasting is one the greatest DIY movements ever. Inspired do-it-yourselfers from around the globe have filled the iTunes Store with nearly 250,000 podcasts. However, I believe the next phase in podcasting is quitting.
Last December I released the final episode of The Gentlemen’s Club with Caleb Bacon. Launched in July of 2009, my men’s interest interview program was a show where I chatted with a mix of comedians, television personalities, and pornstars. But by last spring, I was sort of over it. Because of that the episodes I put out over the show’s last eight months were sporadic and often uninspired.
A good friend kindly suggested that maybe my show had run its course and that maybe it was time to quit. But I felt like I couldn’t stop. How could I let go of my baby? My show had lead to great friendships, unforgettable experiences (like when I took the show to the AVN Awards – the Porno Awards! – in Las Vegas,) and fun interactions with listeners from around the world. I fought myself for months and then decided my friend was right. I retired The Gentlemen’s Club.
It felt weird at first but very shortly afterwards my imagination opened up and an idea for a new show popped into my head. I realized I needed to produce a show that was about something important to me and much more than goofing around with fun people.
Over the years, I’ve had plenty of struggles. What really started to turn things around for me were the honest conversations I had with other men about their difficult experiences. I know from my experience that if you’re a man who wants to make some positive changes in your life that listening to what other guys have been through is a great and motivating place to start. And that’s the focus of my new podcast — and it’s an exciting mix of honesty and fun.
On February 1st, I launched Man School with Caleb Bacon on the Sideshow Network. After fourteen episodes, I can honestly say I’ve never been a happier podcaster.
Maybe you are a podcaster who is stuck and aren’t sure what to do.
And maybe you should quit.
1. QUIT if you don’t love podcasting anymore!
Did you get into podcasting to have bags of money thrown at you? Did you learn Garageband as a way to meet chicks? Did you beg all of your co-workers to listen to your show because you didn’t care about it? Probably no, no, and no. Podcasters are creative people who believe they have something to say and want others to hear it. However, maybe you’ve already said it.
2. QUIT if you don’t love YOUR podcast anymore.
I got stuck releasing shows because I was afraid to quit my show. My show suffered for it. Yours will, too. You can still podcast but maybe the only way to do that is to first quit your podcast.
3. QUIT if your audience is mad at you.
The last hundred episodes of The Gentlemen’s Club were one-on-one interviews with “people,” I’d say atop each episode, “men find interesting.” Most shows featured either comedians or female pornstars. The comedy fans hated the pornstars and the pornstar fans… well, just wanted more porn. My listeners were mad at me because I was basically doing two different shows. People got frustrated and many abandoned ship. I don’t believe you need to bend to each listener’s request but in this case my audience’s anger was really telling me something.
4. QUIT your podcast to start another podcast.
What are you most passionate about? That should be the theme of your show. It took me hundreds of recording hours to get to that. And now, I couldn’t be more excited to put weekly MP3s out into the world.
5. QUIT your podcast… for now.
Take a break. Step away from your show. That new freedom might open your mind up to your next step – whether it be a new creative project (podcast or not) or perhaps quit entirely. By taking a break you can reconnect with the voice in your head that told you to podcast in the first place. What is it saying now?
6. QUIT if you’ve spent too many afternoons sitting around waiting on tardy pornstars who don’t text you until you’ve finally decided they’re not coming and then do show up and are intoxicated and can’t find parking despite the specific instructions you emailed them and have in tow some guy who is wearing MC Hammer pants and drinking a Four Loko.
Okay… maybe that was just a problem specific to The Gentlemen’s Club.
Image credit: Stubbed Out Cigarette by Trostle via Flickr
[box size=”large” style=”rounded” border=”full”] Caleb Bacon is a LA-based writer and, surprisingly, not a director. He’s currently writing on the Vince Vaughn-produced sitcom “Sullivan and Son.” Season Two comes to TBS on June 13. He also hosts the podcast, “Man School with Caleb Bacon.” It’s an honest and funny interview show dedicated to men’s defining life moments. It’s a show for guys who want to become better men but hate boring how-to’s, forced advice, and so-called “experts.” Man School is part of the Sideshow Network. He’s also written for LA Weekly, HuffPo, and LAist. And, no, he’s not related to Kevin but his last name really is “Bacon.” Follow him @CalebEatsBacon [/box]