Hello, my name is Adam Shepherd - and I'm a podcast planning addict.
I've been struggling with my addiction in secret for some time, but the time has come to be honest about my problem. Whenever I encounter an interesting story, idea or format, I feel an uncontrollable urge to turn it into a podcast.
The problem began, unsurprisingly enough, after I first started recording podcasts. It was manageable enough at first; every once in a while, someone would mention a particularly unique concept that lent itself very naturally to audio storytelling, and I'd think to myself, 'that might make a good podcast' - then the thought would pass, and I'd get on with my life.
Lately, however, my symptoms have been getting more severe. I've gone from thinking about new podcast ideas in a very fleeting, abstract sort of way to constantly fixating on how I could turn the people and stories that I see around me into audio content. I’ve even started going as far as mentally planning out design schemes, workshopping names, and devising promotional strategies.
This affliction is one that I know many others in the podcast community suffer with; I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard the phrase “that should be a podcast” in conversations between industry professionals. I’m sure that there are more than a few producers and creators that have notebooks full of half-written ideas for new shows that will never see the light of day.
This is perhaps to be expected with any creative medium; I’d imagine the same is true for filmmakers, authors and playwrights, as well as podcasters. It’s becoming more and more distracting for me, however, and although I haven't yet reached the stage where I’m actually writing these ideas down and keeping track of them, I fear it can’t be far off.
I should stress that I don't actually think any of these concepts are particularly unique or good - if I did, I'd be pitching them to production companies in earnest - but I can’t seem to stop them from popping unbidden into my brain, usually when I’m trying to do something else. I also feel a little bit guilty for “wasting” time thinking about new podcast ideas that are never going to be more than hypothetical, when I could be spending that time planning out future episodes of PodPod, and coming up with new ideas for guests.
That attitude is unhelpful, of course. It’s impossible for anyone to be in work mode 24/7, and thinking about this sort of thing does arguably help keep the creative juices flowing for when it’s actually necessary, but I still feel like I need an outlet for all of these half-baked podcast pitches. At present, they're just rattling around distractingly in my brain; like how, when you get a tune stuck in your head, the only way to get it out is to just listen to the damn thing.
I don't have the time, skills or motivation to make all of these shows (or, in fact, any of them), so what I need is a way to rid myself of them without actually having to create them. With this in mind, if any production companies want to hire me to come into their office and fire out podcast ideas while inhaling cappuccinos and Danish pastries, then get at me. My fees are very reasonable - and we can even come up with a suitably meaningless corporate job title, like ‘chief audio ideation consultant”, or “vice-admiral of talking bollocks into a mic”.