I posted the last episode of the podcast this afternoon. In it I speak with Lauri Hornik, President and Publisher of Dial Books for Young Readers, and reflect a bit on the journey overall. This whole podcast endeavor has been a way of reflecting, I suppose. Or processing, trying to understand everything that’s happened and happening with the book while it’s still fresh (or at least not yet stale).
To be honest the strongest emotion I feel right now is relief. Will feel, once this letter is sent. I grossly underestimated how grueling and stressful it would be to produce this kind of podcast on a weekly schedule. I was reminded again and again of the documentary Six Days to Air, about the making of a single weekly episode of the show South Park. Except the South Park guys do it as a full-time job, and they have an entire team behind them.
While working on the final episode I went back and listened to all of the previous episodes, and maybe the most noticeable difference between the first and last was that I learned how to talk into a microphone. There are things I’ve learned about writing, too, that haven’t fully revealed themselves yet. But one of them might be this: Whenever I’m stuck or overwhelmed with a story, it helps to go back and listen (or read) from the very start. The image that comes to mind is of a zipper splitting from too much pressure; you unzip to the beginning and start over again. Containment happens tooth by tooth.