Happy Monday! I hope the weekend treated you well. And if you were hit by the east coast blizzard, I hope your electricity is running strong and your podcast playlists are running low. Here's what I've been thinking about lately...
1. While holed up for the weekend, I finally got around to reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. It was so good. And I don't usually go for books of the self-help variety. Here's a taste from one of my favorite chapters:
"Are you considering becoming a creative person? Too late, you already are one. To even call someone a 'creative person' is almost laughably redundant; creativity is the hallmark of our species. We have the senses for it; we have the curiosity for it; we have the opposable thumbs for it; we have the rhythm for it; we have the language and the excitement and the innate connection to divinity for it. If you're alive, you're a creative person." -- Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic, page 89
If you loved Elizabeth Gilbert's podcast Magic Lessons and haven't checked out this book yet, you have to. It's a quick read, and it's one that'll definitely be living on my bedside table for months to come.
2. Did you happen to see this tweet from tech columnist Christopher Mims? So you don't get lost on his brilliant page, here it is: "The thing about podcasts is they're the only medium that achieves the emotional intimacy of a movie on 1% of the budget." It stopped me in my tracks -- it totally rings true for me. It's tough for any other form of media to beat a podcast with great sound quality, beautiful music, and top notch storytelling. Throw in a pair of earbuds, a gorgeous fall hike, or a piping hot shower, and nothing can compare -- not a YouTube video, not a Netflix show, not even a movie playing on an IMAX screen. And the thing I love most is that it doesn't take a million bucks to create a great show, which means I get to hear from new and exciting voices every day, not just the ones who've been at it for more than a decade. Before this dives into super cheesy depths I just want to say: I really love podcasts, I'm so glad they exist, and that tweet from Christopher Mims was spot-on.
3. Finally, I'm curious -- what are your favorite podcast newsletters? I've been a longtime fan of Hot Pod (mainly news about the podcast industry), The Audit (a few great recommendations delivered every week), The Audio Signal (a hefty list of short reviews from an audio archivist), and the Spammer (playlists, reviews, beautiful artwork, and notes from the folks behind The Timbre). I've discovered so many great new shows through these four and get absurdly excited to see a fresh one in my inbox. If newsletters are your kind of thing, you might be interested in signing up for my own! The first one will be going out shortly, and you can sign up in the sidebar, over to the right.