Creating Your Podcast Content – Podcasting: Part 2
by Kay Cote
If you're at the point where you want to launch a podcast, yet need how to create great content, you're going to love this article.
Content + Flow State
Like many of you reading my have experienced, I tend to get stuck in my creative process - especially when it comes to overthinking including overthinking content for my podcast. I continually check in with myself to see if that tendency has crept into my headspace and is influencing my work.
Don't get me wrong, it is good to have thought and direction when creating, yet it's important not to let overthinking get in the way. This article will help you hone in on the sweet spot of productive creativity that feels effortless.
What is Flow State?
The term Flow State was coined by Hungarian Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and has been referenced by artists, authors, and behavioral psychologists since. But what is Flow State?
Go with the Flow State
According to author and entrepreneur, Steven Kotler, flow is a state of effortless effort.
It’s a place in which we can accomplish all that we need without fear, tension, or anxiety. Being in Flow State makes you feel like you're on your A-game! And that's because you are! You are fully immersed in your craft and are confident in what you are doing. It's where your creativity meets empowerment and results in success.
Opposite of the state of hustle or grind, Flow State is freeing, empowering, and feels good.
You may be asking yourself how you can access Flow State. Accessing flow looks a little different for everyone. I'm here to share what I've discovered that works for me to help inspire you to learn how to access yours.
Prep Work: Let's Clean House
It's important to look at what's not working. Ask yourself what in your creative process is not working?
Are there places where you feel stuck? Next, dive into why things might not be working. Take into account your 5 senses. Are you physically in a place that is blocking your creative flow?
At one time in my life, I was podcasting from a closet and in a monologue style. The content became flat and robotic. I realized I had to pivot from that physical state of being to find inspiration. I also discovered the energy of my podcasts is much better when I'm interviewing someone. I thrive with dialogue rather than monologue.
Access + Stay In Flow
Key components to think about to help you access flow in the work you do:
The best authors, writers, and creators use what they know to inspire them. When you stay authentic to who you are, your content will reflect that. It's great to be inspired by what others are doing, but don't forget to stay authentic to you.
The truest you is the best you, and by staying true, you will attract the right people you are meant to serve.
When it comes to inspiration, ask yourself what you like to do for fun.
What do you enjoy that doesn't feel like work for you. For me it's music, movement, and good conversations that help me to access flow.
I spend time moving my body every day. I also put on music that gets me into a state of feeling good. When I need a creative boost I grab coffee with someone I can have a great conversation with. Other times I get up from what I'm working on and dance around in my living room. (Yes, I really do this!)
Recalibrate What's Not Working:
For this one I share one of my favorite metaphors - which is a litmus test I use for all aspects of my life, including podcasting. Think of your creative flow like a top, spinning effortlessly, and suddenly there's a small rock on it causing it to be off-balance and wobble.
Ask yourself, what are "rocks" that may be causing your creative flow to wobble? Maybe it's the content you're creating, maybe it's who you're creating for?
Look at the alignment, adjust and recalibrate.
Strive for consistency, not perfection. As creatives, we can find ourselves in a state of perfection paralysis.
This is where I pull out my favorite mantra: Done is better than perfect.
This helps me overcome the ugly monsters of imposter syndrome or perfection paralysis, which can be debilitating to creating good work.
Brain Dump Emotions:
If you're stuck, you've got to release whatever's got you there.
I like to write it out. Brain dump any emotions that may be holding you back. I like to use the time to pray to God or write an encouraging letter to myself. Also reading old letters to myself encouragement I've received from others so inspire me to keep going. Another way to brain dump is to talk it over with a trusted friend or mentor. Also getting out in nature for a walk or run can help you work through your thoughts.
When accessing Flow State to create great work to take a trip down memory lane. Use your past to rediscover who you are today.
I think back on my childhood. I was an active kid with a lot of spunk and creativity. I enjoyed drawing, gymnastics, and recording my pretend radio show on a cassette tape.
Remembering these things was my ah-ha moment discovering how to access Flow State in my work today. My cassette radio show from back then is now my podcast. Drawing then is designing now. Gymnastics then is teaching fitness now. Our childhood can tell us a lot about ourselves and can be a huge tool in helping you rediscover your authenticity and allow you to access Flow State.
Let Emotions Be Your Fuel:
So many great writers use their emotions as fuel. Think of any great singer-songwriter and the soul-reaching lyrics they produce. You feel the emotions when you hear their work. You relate to their emotions. You connect to them through their emotions. You, too, can use emotions to fuel your work.
Schedule Time for Work & Rest:
We can't be robotic-producing machines constantly churning out work on a conveyer belt.
Yes, there are times in life we will need to be in high-productivity mode, yet it's important to take rest to refuel our mind, body, and soul after completing large works.
In the day-to-day, it's also wise to incorporate small moments of rest. I like to break my creative time into blocks of 90 minutes. When that 90 minutes is up, I eat a meal, get in some movement or snuggle with my sweet cat, LizaJade. This helps me refuel and prepare for the next round of creative work.
Fuel Yourself with Optimism:
I'm a person who is optimistic and encouraging to others, but often lack giving that same encouragement to myself. I notice when I'm negative towards myself or hard on myself my productivity declines. When I' treating myself well it increases. Many of us have negative self-talk, yet this is detrimental to not only our productivity but our well-being as well.
Think of the words you say, and if you wouldn't say them to a friend, don't say them to yourself.
Content creation can be challenging, yet I'm confident in you and your abilities.
Remember: when you stay authentic to who you are and take care of yourself in your mind, body and soul, your creativity will blossom and you will access Flow State. Remember to be good to yourself, and treat yourself as a good friend.
Give yourself grace when you falter and do things that bring you joy every day.
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More on Podcasting?
Meet the Author
Kay Cote Kay Cote is a podcaster and digital content creator in collaboration with Forum Communications.
On her show, This Week in Wellness, Kay connects listeners to wellness events happening in and around the community. On her long-format podcast, The Wow Factor, she shares inspiration through interviews on how to tap into your God-given gifts and talents and live a life in alignment with them.
Kay has been featured in Fargo Monthly and has written for Design & Living Magazine, Midwest Nest Magazine, and Area Woman Magazine. She is also published in the Midwest Mediterranean Cookbook and helped co-design a cocktail, The Heart of Fargo, inspired by herbs from her mom's garden. The drink is served at Teddy's in Downtown Fargo. Kay also works with West Acres Mall on seasonal campaigns and marketing.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Petrus, and their cat, LizaJade. She also enjoys traveling, long runs, wine tasting, cooking, and attending community events.