As you may have noticed, Howell Creek Radio hasn’t had any new episodes for a couple of years. Now I’m formally closing the book. There won’t be any more regular episodes.
Back in May of this year I quietly added the
itunes:complete tag to the podcast’s feed, which signals to iTunes and other directories that no more episodes will be added. I didn’t announce it because I was reluctant to tap that final nail in. I kept thinking maybe there was a way I could still fit this project into my life. But there isn’t.
Perhaps if this had been a different kind of podcast – something with broader potential appeal – I could have found a way to make it a responsible use of my time as well as an enjoyable one (that is, a way to make it pay). Or perhaps if I hadn’t had children, perhaps I would have had enough free time, and few enough other obligations, to continue putting in those hours for all the same happy reasons as before.
But the biggest reason I’m closing up shop has to do with a basic fact about podcasts. In order to keep a podcast going for years and years, you need subject matter – a huge source of ready material. Whatever that source is, you’ll end up strip-mining it for raw creative fuel. I didn’t know this when I started. From the beginning, Howell Creek Radio’s source of material was “Joel’s mundane life and thoughts”, and, well, I used up my mundane life and thoughts pretty quickly. I was always uneasy about having to analyze everything in my life and everyone I knew as possible podcast material. Looking back, I’m surprised I kept it going with any amount of regularity for as long as I did.
If I were ever to start a podcast again, it would probably be something with a more focused theme and a commitment of no more than 8–12 episodes at a time, where I could write and record all the episodes in advance.
Meanwhile, I’m still practicing intermittent creativity at The Local Yarn, the site where I’ve been writing since 1998. The site has an email newsletter and an RSS feed of its own. Definitely subscribe to one or both of those if you want to keep in touch.