Yesterday I took a step that has been months in the making: I announced a start date for my new podcast. In less than a week, on December 7, the first of 10 initial episodes (and 10 shorter bonus episodes) of the Sweet Valley Diaries podcast will be available for public consumption. I'm thrilled, excited, even a little nervous. But above all, I feel content: I think my friends and I have done a good job with the show, and even if not a soul ever listens to it, I had so much fun making it that I kind of want to invent some fake podcasts just to trick people I like into having highly direct, interview-style conversations around a table with me.
I wrote about the launch date yesterday on the Sweet Valley Diaries blog, and I‘ve included the body of that post below. But I think of this blog as a place where I tell true stories about myself and muse about the creative process, so let me give you a glimpse into this whole “setting a release date“ thing: I’ve been trying to do it since September.
Every month, I make a plan – goals I have and tasks I want to accomplish. (For example, since today is the 1st of December, I’ve been sneaking new-month planning time in between loads of laundry.) At the very start of a new month, those four-plus weeks stretch out as wide and slow as a mid-afternoon cat. It’s easy for me to imagine I’ll have “plenty of time” to accomplish a long list of somewhat complex goals, and I rarely bother to break those steps down into smaller steps, because my goals sheet only has so many slots and I want to be able to fill them all up with amazing, unrealistic future accomplishments! Even though I kept writing “set podcast release schedule” and “set and announce premiere date” as monthly goals, first in September, then in October…it just wasn’t quite happening.
I wanted to set a release date, but I didn’t have all my guests scheduled. I wanted to set a release date, but it was taking me hours and hours to edit episode one. I wanted to set a release date but I was still planning my bonus content. I wanted to set a release date, but I have never made a podcast myself before and there were so many unknowns.
One think I knew for sure? A release date was a deadline, and I never miss a deadline. In this case in fact, a release date was more like a series of deadlines, because I want to make sure and get a new episode out on each successive Thursday (Thursday, Dec 7, was the day I finally landed on; very few of the shows I listen to release on Thursday, and “7” is a go-to number for one of Sweet Valley’s main characters, Jessica Wakefield). As soon as I made the call, the next 20 weeks of my life were to be deadline-ified.
You may have heard that a deadline is a strategy (perhaps from Gretchen Rubin, who would no doubt recognize me as an Obliger). For me, it’s such an effective strategy that I was a little afraid of it. I had to be ready. Or at least ready enough. And call it first-of-the-month optimism, but I think I am.
The below is from sweetvalleydiaries.net, Nov 30, 2017
VERY BIG NEWS: It's Almost Podcasting Time!
Sweet Valley High. It's been an interest bordering on an obsession, and getting dangerously reminiscent of an "area of expertise" in the years since this blog was born.
But I've developed a side passion: podcasts.
Like my love of SVH, my podcast passion has been a long time in the making (the very first podcasts were coming on to the scene around the same time as The Diaries first began!). And I'm beyond thrilled to finally announce that, over the past few months, I've been working hard to merge these two passions together, like the hottest couple in school, making out at Miller's Point in broad daylight.
One week from today, on December 7, The first episode of the Sweet Valley Diaries Podcast will launch on all your favorite podcasting platforms. I know that Sweet Valley fans are my target demo, but the entire show is designed to do something I have never been quite able to achieve with the blog: to let non-die hards (or even total Sweet Valley neophytes) get a glimpse of the beautiful, absurd, dark perfection that is Sweet Valley High.
I love you for reading this and sticking with me all these years. And I say with all humility that I think this is the most exciting thing to happen in the world of Sweet Valley since 10 Years Later. More details to come as the week goes on, but here's a little teaser from my freshly-minted SVD Insta account:
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