Podcasts bury books. Popularity-wise, I mean. Bodes well for a soon-to-be MFA grad, like myself. 

Sam Harris, a 5x New York Times bestselling writer, says the cumulative lifetime sales of his books is roughly equivalent to the total reach of ONE of his podcast episodes. ONE podcast. 

Consider a book’s time investment. Grinding out page after page. Proofing. Editing. Revising. Send to agent. Then a year before printing. 

Podcasts can be recorded, edited, uploaded and accepted by iTunes in less than 24 hours. And reach 10x more people. 

Astronomically more impactful. What does the rise of the podcast mean for writers?

Never mind that. Podcasts are the new anti-depressant. 

I’ve been walking and driving around with my headphones in. Voice memo on. Just saying whatever comes to my head. Alt Dad Diary Podcast #3 is an example. My trip to Shri Hari grocery store in Macon. 

Episodes 1 & 2 were different. Me and Kate at the dinner table. Snowball mic between us. Going through a list of questions I’d thought about before hand. Whether she “sees” me. What it’s like to be the Mrs. vis-a-vis The Alt Dad Diary. 

My sister, the one in Fargo who also has a 4-month-old goobagoobaunder her wing, says she loves all my podcasts. But especially loves the ones with Kate. Which is, another way of saying I should spend less time walking around with the red record button flashing on the iPhone. More table-time with Kate. Or at least don’t bore others with the obligation to pity-like my disquisitions. 

Yesterday’s new word: disquisition. A long or elaborate essay or discussion on a particular subject.

But you gotta do you. You know? Joanne, Gaga’s 2016 album, seems flat. Like she’s trying to make another podcast people will like. Sit down with Kate. Instead of releasing the juicy jam sash she’s really into. The winding dirt road, wind-blown slam soliloquy. 

That’s super presumptuous of me to say. And potentially insulting. If she’s 100% into Joanne. Maybe she set her standards so atmospheric with Fame that it’s practically impossible to get higher?

Artists used to accept jobs. Paint the cathedral ceiling. Portrait work. Because the king and baron paid big bones. They’d rebel by tinkering with details. Shade a middle finger, in low relief. 

There’s tension between who we are and who we want to be. 

My unpublished podcast is here. It didn’t make the Podcast App cut. Maybe I’ll change my mind. I should. Just for artistic integrity.

Lastly. Before I fire my posts out into the ether, I ask whether I’ve confessed something. Unearthed a secret, or a shame. Told a truth. Or if I’ve just blah blah blahed. 

That’s my mission. More than facts. Or stories. Or cute lines. Was tie-loosening truth told? 

I’m a college professor of first-year students. The truth? I see them as both contemporaries and pupils. Colleagues and subservients. 

Equal because of our manic emotional water fountain, barely under the surface of our throat skin. The speed with which one emotional state is leveled by another. The angst about our self-importance, or lack thereof. The trembling fingertips on the desk, because we know the song in our earbuds is the most profound siren we can’t scream or shout, but hear echoing in our ears. 

Growing up happens so fast. Almost before the first year of college is over. Majors are decided. Blinders on. Compass and ambition set. The interesting part, the human part is the floating. Our thread-bare kite string tentatively moored to here and now. While our multi-colored Kanye kite floats up, up, up in shrill oxygen-less cloudy wind.