It’s weird not having a deadline. That’s been my usual response to people asking how our break is going. One of the first things I’m asked is, ‘What are you doing, exactly?’ I feel sheepish about saying I’m doing a lot of thinking right now, because that doesn’t exactly seem productive.
But that’s really what we’re doing at this point. Thinking. And talking. We’re discussing the things that we’ve done well, the things that haven’t worked. We’ve talked about what we want for the show, what we want to accomplish. We’ve also been listening. We’ve gotten some great feedback from listeners. But ... it’s weird not having a deadline. The time away from the daily grind has allowed me to reflect about why I’m still drawn to the work we do on RadioWest and in public radio. Here’s why:
It’s because there is still creative work to be done. The medium of radio is changing so fast right now with podcasting and on-demand listening, and it’s given me a new kind of excitement about telling stories and working through ideas.
It’s because people want deeper conversations right now. One of the things we’ve been hearing time and time again from listeners is that they want to get beyond the surface. They feel manipulated by marketing and talking points and just want to hear something genuine.
It’s because complacency kills originality. When you get too comfortable you get boring. You get set in your ways and it makes you tedious and smug. It’s good to feel nervous and unsure of yourself because it helps you focus on what you really wanted to do in the first place. This makes me think about something Ira Glass once said about a story, that in its simplest form it’s about motion. In the same way any valuable creative enterprise has to keep moving.