What was I thinking?

The question “What was I thinking?” has crossed my mind several times in the past few weeks. Usually the question is directed at my podcasting projects, but it also applies to my writing.

I decided well before NaNoWriMo that I was going to do a Science Fiction/Comedy podcast (note: I didn’t decide I was going to do it well. That part is an on-going battle). It was only a matter of time. As the days became weeks, I decided I would release the first episode just before Christmas. From there I would release an episode near the end of January and every two weeks after that. Oh, and I wouldn’t have the story written in advance (yes, that actually was the decision I made for the project). And so I began.

I think I gave myself six weeks to really hash out the details for the story. Little things like who my characters were, where they would play and so on. The only thing I didn’t really spend much time on was an overarching plot line. I did jot down some ideas for episodes but they never went more than a single line per idea.

Oh yeah, and I wrote the first episode too.

My son and I sat down and created the voices for all the main characters and I chose the music for the podcast. I gave some consideration to how I would produce the show.

When I sat down and recorded the first episode I was amazed at how smoothly it all went. The characters sounded the way I wanted (actually, some of them sounded MUCH better than I had ever hoped), the production methods I used worked like a charm. It all went very quickly. Before I knew it, and with my nerves in a jangle, I released the episode not knowing if anyone would actually like it.

So far so good. In fact, some of the new production methods have found their way into how I produce ‘Get Published’. And then, the second episode of ‘GalaxyBillies’ loomed.

I wrote furiously (in this case furiously means I wrote fast, not angry :P) and got a script pulled together. It was neither as long as I had hoped, nor as funny as I wanted (IMHO). Still, it was a transition episode, so there is only so much I could do so I went ahead and recorded it.

As luck (or poor planning) would have it, I did all the work on the same weekend I was doing my first-of-the-year-episode of ‘Get Published’. That was episode 22 and I wanted to do an episode that went back to the roots of the show. I wrote the show, recorded it, produced/mixed and released it into my feed at almost the same time that I did the second episode of ‘GalaxyBillies’. I also did an interview that most likely won’t ever see the light of day.

The weekend was over before I knew it had started. That was really when I started questioning my own sanity.

Except, something weird is happening. I’m getting stuff done. I’m now 12,000 words into my next novel (which is also the podcast). I hope that it turns out good enough that I can pitch it to publishers and agents one day soon. ‘Get Published’ is still happening on schedule and I’m hoping to have an episode of ‘GalaxyBillies’ out before the weekend. The goal there is to get my podcast production schedules offset so each is released on an opposing week. I think I might be able to pull it off.

I guess all this is just a reflection of my writing life in general. I don’t have the luxury of writing full time. At least not yet (and likely not for many years to come). I have to carve out time to write in the hours between work and bed and still give my family and other obligations their due. Maybe, just maybe, this is simply an extension of that. After all, the podcasting piece is an extension of the writing. It is being done to support my goal to get published, not supplant it.

I guess maybe I’m not so insane after all.

Personal Update

No news on the contest front yet. I probably won’t be hearing anything for some time. I still need to get ‘Goddess Renewed’ back into circulation and my other YA series will soon be competing in a contest of its own.

I also wanted to give you a quick peek behind the curtains for my podcasts. A normal episode (in this case, an interview episode) of ‘Get Published’ is a multi-hour effort. The interview usually takes 2.5 – 4 hours of preparation and actual interview time. Then I spend 1 – 2 hours cleaning the interview up for the episode. Writing the episode takes 30 – 60 minutes and recording, editing, mixing and final production take another 3 – 4 hours. The final step, QA, uploading and writing the show notes take another hour. That means a single episode of GP takes me anywhere from 7 – 11 hours from start to finish. That doesn’t even cover the time I spend getting guests and all the other stuff. ‘GalaxyBillies’ on the other hand is a different story. Most of my time is spent writing the episode’s script. I would say 4 – 6 hours writing time. Recording takes about 1 hour and the production takes another 4 – 5 hours. That means GB takes 9 – 12 hours from start to finish (gee, looks a lot like ‘Get Published’ from a time perspective).

I don’t tell you this to gain a sympathy vote, nor am I looking for a hero cookie. I’m simply telling you in case you are looking at podcasting as a possible way to extend your own writing. If it’s something you want to do (and I whole-heartily endorse it), make sure you give yourself enough time to put out a quality product. I enjoy podcasting and the effort is worthwhile for me (most of the time :D). I just have to do a better job of juggling the balls that are in the air right now.

Personal Plea

I rarely do this and I know I’ve mentioned Tee Morris and the loss of his wife already on my podcasts, but I’m going to ask for your consideration. An auction is being held over at theboomeffect.org to raise money for a trust fund for Tee’s daughter. I have two items available for auction: (1) a 3-month promo spot/show sponsorship for ‘Get Published’ and (2) a character spot on ‘GalaxyBillies’ including voice role. If you think you might be interested in either of these, or you simply want to see what’s available, please pop over to the site. There are some very cool items available.

I know the timing is bad, what with the disaster in Haiti and all, but take a look if you have any interest at all.



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