Don't Commit to an Interval

There’s always pressure to produce content regularly.

One game per month.

One podcast per week.

One drawing per day.

Sometimes working on an interval can be great. It can help your audience find your work and establish a healthy rhythm.

But are you ready for an interval? Can you guarantee scheduled releases? What if you or a family member gets sick or injured? Will your audience resent you or abandon you if you cannot keep up?

Committing to weekly episodes essentially killed Lostcast, the podcast I ran with Geoff Blair for six years. At first, we were producing episodes simply whenever it felt right. This format was flexible, but it felt like a half-step. Were we really dedicated to it? When is the next episode? How can our audience get excited when they don’t know what to expect, or to expect anything at all?

The idea of a weekly show sounded great, but when you combined planning, editing, 60+ minutes recording the damn thing, uploading the file, managing metadata across platforms, spreading the word …

In the face of life's normal responsibilities, sometimes it was too much. I would often find myself resenting that day of the week because it was more stressful, had more responsibilities, and teased the potential for a more spectacular public fail than an average day.

We'd probably still record an episode occasionally if we had kept things open-ended. As it was, we couldn't keep up the pace and eventually had to shut it down.

We’ve all seen messages like this:

“Sorry guys, there won’t be a (comic/blog/video) today, I just need some time for self care …”

Leading up to and writing posts like that can be super stressful on their own. Inability to maintain an interval can take a toll on the creator as much as it deflates the unsatisfied audience. It can feel like a lose/lose scenario.

Besides, when it comes to creativity, "when it's ready" is usually the best answer (because we don't really know anyway).