Pen To Print

Click "Enter" to submit the form.

Friday Feature: My Journey To Podcasting

By Don Scoby

How I Got Into Podcasting

Writing On Whidbey Island started when talking with my friend and fellow author, Tom Trimbath. Somehow, one of our discussions about becoming audiobook narrators morphed into the idea of co-producing and hosting a writing-themed podcast. The pieces rather fit… Tom pointed out there are myriad authors and other individuals involved in publishing living on our island – and he gave examples of a number of intriguing individuals. I pointed out I have a humble collection of audio gear, including a few portable recording units coming from one of my other passions: being a professional musician and recording artist. Together, Tom and I put together a few simple guidelines for our show WOWI and we launched during the summer of 2019.

(My personal history as to how I got to this point is more detailed and will be available in the directors’ extended edition.  I suggest brewing a strong pot of coffee for that story.)

The Sorts Of Things I Talk About

The writing scene on Whidbey is big – authors, established writing retreats, editors and graphic artists, scores of writing groups –  all of these being supported by enthusiastic local bookstore owners. When it comes to Writing On Whidbey Island, as our website by-line reads, it’s an informal, unofficial blog and podcast about writing and writers on Whidbey Island, and it really is just that. Tom and I are self-published authors and we have extemporaneous conversations with writers/authors and other people who make up the scene. While we prepare notes for our shows and may have some points we might bring up, we don’t do a hard Q&A-style show, asking quick questions and looking for equally short answers from our guests, letting it flow. We invite our guests to talk about their book/s or involvement in the writing industry, they’re welcome to promote their work or speaking events, we laugh and we learn. No two authors are the same and, as a result, no two WOWI episodes are the same. So far, our guests have been great. Some of them have been so fascinating and fun we could easily have continued our recording session, talking with them all day. The feedback we’ve received from our audience indicates our content and approach has traction.

Favourite Guest

I don’t have one single favourite guest. However, off the top of my head…

Librarian Vicky Welfare gave a behind-the-scenes insight into how our library system is flexing and functioning during COVID-19 closures, continuing to offer services and expanding their offerings.

Poet Daniel Edward Moore was a powerhouse in interview – passionate about life, poetry, and supporting developing poets.

Kingfisher Bookstore owner, Meg Olsen, shared her stories of becoming the owner of Kingfisher along with how she supports local authors.

Our friend PJ Beaven was a delight, talking about how she turned from being a zoo keeper into an animal-and-earth-focused diet and exercise guru

David Gregor is an engaging author, musician, and owner of Gregor Rare Books We could have talked all day about his corner of the literary world.

Top Tips For Anyone Thinking About Starting A Podcast

Research and Plan! Podcasts are more than getting a cheap computer mic and having a few ‘yuk-yuks’ with your friends. You can do that, but the show is likely to not resonate with many listeners and equally likely to become disinteresting to your friends after a few episodes. Research online how to start a podcast. Focus on what you want to do with the show, how you want to structure your show; also figure out your long-term direction and goals. As an example – for Writing On Whidbey Island we know the beginning, middle and end content of our episodes; we have guidelines for who can be guests on the show, along with content we want to hear about and what we prefer to avoid. Tom and I, in part, want to use the show to develop greater continuity between Whidbey Island authors and our literature industry people and we have discussed a few types of live events we would like to see develop as a result of the show. If you don’t have a good understanding of your aim and show before you start, your broadcast is prone to last only a few mediocre episodes. If you can identify and cement these details beforehand and fine-tune it as you get started, your podcast ought to last a number of satisfying years (for your audience and for you),  and if you’re not enjoying doing your show … what’s the point?

Read the latest issue of Write On! magazine online.

If you don’t have a good understanding of your aim and show before you start, your broadcast is prone to last only a few mediocre episodes.