An oblique strategy

I’m in Wales with my dad today, Good Friday, taking him for a Covid test before he has a cataract operation Monday. He’s been waiting six years to get both eyes treated, and he’s worried something will happen to cancel it, which has happened several times already. I head home tomorrow and my sister takes over the ferrying around. I’ve had Covid this month, and my wife still has it, so I could do with a couple of days at home to settle my mind and reconnect with myself before I start back at work on Tuesday.

Sunday will be my tenth podcast on Patreon, so that’s ten weeks of learning how to speak clearly, record my voice, listen to my voice (which was uncomfortable to begin with), and think on my feet in front of a microphone. Of course, it’s just me, I’m not interviewing someone or in conversation, which is something else again, but I’ve learned a new skill. Part of the point was to offer something personal to patrons. Patreon doesn’t provide analytics, but from the lack of feedback, I suspect hardly anyone listens to it. Ten is a nice round number, so I’m wondering if that’s a good place to pause and think of something new to put on Patreon, or at least plot a new course for the podcast.

I’m using Twitter less, partly because I need to avoid the news since Russia started the war with Ukraine, and partly so that I could make more time to read books to talk about on the podcast. It’s an oblique strategy to get me reading, and from there to get me writing. My online activity starves me of literature while stuffing me full of semi-connections with distant people. All of this makes me think about the relationships between a writer, readers and other writers. The bottom line is, I need more in-person activity.

(I put up a Twitter poll about making a public podcast and amusingly half of the respondents said there were already enough podcasts. I don’t know why I asked, because if I do it, it will be for myself, not other people. Vanity, I suppose. Or I was fishing for compliments. Either way, it was a lesson in humility.)

I’m looking forward to the weather getting warmer. There’s a lot I want to do, and sunshine and warmth helps. Now that I’ve had Covid, a weight has lifted that I didn’t know was there. The monster wasn’t as fierce in my body as I’d feared, and I have at least a season’s grace. I’m excited for the spring into summer.