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One thing I’ve learned about podcasting over the years, and I’m terrible at it, is clarity.
At first, I thought it was the problem of consistency. But that’s not it. Whenever I have the time, or made the time, and I have material, there was no problem with me being consistent. It didn’t matter if I had to get up at 2 AM or stay up till 2 AM. It didn’t matter. I would get it done.
The problem has always been about getting to a certain point in my progress, and then I wonder about the message I’m trying to convey. I get overly concerned about what you, the listener, are getting from me.
Now you could say, “Jamie, that’s a good thing! You’re concerned about what the message is! You’re concerned about me, as the listener, as the reader.” But that’s not what I mean by the “real,” problem.
What I’m doing is second-guessing what I’m trying to say.
It’s that little voice inside me, from the marketing demon in my brain. A voice that keeps shouting, “Make sure you give them the message that will entice them to do what you want them to do.”
You might not agree with me, and that’s fine, but when I look at myself in the mirror, that’s not the person I want to be. That’s actually not my personality. So I end up having this internal conflict that eats me up, and I start second-guessing everything that I say, and taking time off to double check my intent.
Now, if you told me this part was a good thing, I would agree with you. I want to be a kind person. I want to be a good person. I want to be a thoughtful, giving individual. Most of all, I want to earn your trust, because I want to give you mine.
And that came down to the message.
So I took a little time off to think. It was far more important to me I was doing the right thing for the right reasons, rather than keeping a podcast schedule. Not that the schedule wasn’t important. It’s not that you weren’t important. It was about the intent, authenticity, and value being the MOST important.
Both for you and for me.
What was I doing with this podcast?
What was I doing with a Life of Fiction?
What is the purpose?
Where am I taking you?
What value am I creating for those who read what I write or listen to what I say?
What was my actual goal?
Those are the questions I started asking myself. Questions I had to answer before I could come back.
Yes, I want to tell you my stories. Yes, I want to encourage people to subscribe, and to buy my books. But I’ve never been comfortable with those being a primary motivation. They should be the natural result of doing the right thing for the right reason. I want to give you something that you can use for yourself. To provide value to your life, because you interact with me.
If it’s just entertainment, and that’s all that YOU want…great. But that wasn’t all that I wanted to give you.
So how do I handle this?
The good part about this is that I love to learn. I enjoy solving problems. I like to fix things if I can, so why not fix my OWN problems?
That led me to YouTube, and a recommendation from my father. My dad’s kind of a funny guy, and he’s one of the smartest around. Here he is, 84 years old, and he knows more about the Internet and technology than most adults I know. In fact, I would say that in many respects, he could go toe to toe with any millennial about technology.
He recommended a video by Dan Koe. I’ll leave a link to his channel in the show notes.
Dan will never hear this podcast, but I’d like to give him a shout out, anyway. Thank you, Dan…it’s my dad’s name and you’re awesome. I’ve been alive a hell of a lot longer than he has, but I think Dan is one of the most brilliant minds on the Internet. His tenacity, the way he thinks, how he communicates, and his willingness to lift a middle finger to the naysayers impressed me.
Going through his material and listening to him on his videos, I realized I had everything that I need. Everything that I needed to solve my own problems, to communicate clearly, to add value to you and other listeners and readers. After a couple of hours, Dan showed me that my consistency was amazing — I was just consistent in the wrong areas. Funny thing, when you take off in a rocket to the moon, if you’re off by just 1%, you’ll miss the entire planet by roughly 4900 miles!
What I had to do was get out of my head and get out of my way. I had to stop thinking for YOU, and start thinking for myself.
As I considered my life goals, I realized I am leading readers through a carefully constructed and interconnected fictional world. I might be insane here, sure, but why am I holding back? Why am I not letting my heart have what it wants? A fictional world that allows me to write stories, publish books, and even create games, without limit. What’s wrong with me wanting to craft adventures readers want to immerse themselves in?
All the things that make me so incredibly happy.
That made me consider the content I wanted to provide.
I want to do more than write these stories. I want to take you on the adventures that I have had in real life, as a writer, as a creator. To allow you the opportunity to look over my shoulder, and see what I’ve done, and why I’ve done it. If you ask me what I think of publishing today and the Indie landscape, I’d tell you I hate it. I’d tell you I have had to become an anomaly just to survive. That I walk a non-traditional path, even now.
As an Indie Author, I want to show you, in case you’re writing yourself, the roadblocks that you’d encounter, and how I got around them. How I solved them, ignored them, or smashed them to dust when others said I couldn’t.
When I saw the material I wanted to share, I had to look at the mediums I was using. Yes, I have the written word — and that will be my preferred medium — but now I can choose from a variety of options. I have this podcast, yes. I also have audio itself. What I mean by that is providing snippets in my articles. Using apps on my iPhone to express things when I can’t write. That’s huge.
Add to that the ability to do videos. I have the equipment with HD cameras, but also my iPhone, to have a conversation with you and my readers. Anywhere.
I started asking myself, “Why am I not doing that?”
There’s been so many times that I had an idea, and I wanted to sit down and share that with you, but noisy children dominated the house.
I love my noisy children, but it doesn’t make a suitable environment for podcasting.
With an iPhone, I could do a mobile podcast, or a mobile video. In fact, I could have a cup of coffee and sit down and share some of my baffling ideas.
That led me to the realization that I had even more information to share, because I have experience. Life experience. Decades of being a freelance cartoonist, a freelance writer, a novelist, a comic book creator, and other crazy skills you might not believe until I explain it to you. Every one of those experiences can solve problems for Indie Authors out in the world. I can help people collapse the time frame from start to finish with similar goals by systematizing what I’ve already overcome.
That…made me smile.
So here I am, in this podcast, to tell you that Life of Fiction is a public hub of my experiences and creations. It feels so good to say that. From this point forward, I want to be more open, more genuine, and more transparent. I’d like to share the experiences that I have had, that I am having, and the ones that I will have in the future, as I work towards the goals that I have set for myself. Because in the end, I believe anyone who interacts with me will benefit from it.
Even if I show you what NOT to do.