For the Love of It

The podcast mic still shines from the back corner of the closet, wrapped up in chords and tucked away near storage boxes. I purchased it last year with some award money I received for my graduate thesis. I had been determined to put the money towards something that pushed me to keep creating. The only problem–and this is always my problem–is that I can’t land on the intention of the podcast.

What content matters amidst our constant inundation from so many voices these days? What format is the most engaging? How long should it be?

What outcomes will I use to measure the success of this thing? After all, I don’t want to engage in some kind of self-aggrandizing waste of sound waves.

It didn’t take long for a simple creative invitation to start feeling strained by the accoutrements my mind had attached to it: the mark, the music, the name, publicizing it, monetizing it.

I’ll remind you that I have an instagram following of 341 people. This little endeavor will not be the pathway toward quitting my day job or building “my brand.”

“It’s for fun, Katy,” I remind myself.

And yes, for me, fun still needs to be intentional; it has to have meaning. But maybe I can let something be just a season or grow organically, the way any well-loved project should.

Maybe I don’t need an entire rollout strategy to engage in a bit of play.

I know I am not the only one barricading myself from play because I struggle to quantify the purpose of my own creativity. What passion have you shoved into a closet to do the “more important things”? And what if, this week, that project got to have a room in your heart instead of the closet?

We’re all a little desperate for fun these days, aren’t we?

Last night, my fiancé decided to go to a “Get Sad” Emo Night at a concert venue downtown, his own playful adventure complete with ripped up shorts, vans, and a flannel shirt. You could not have paid me to participate. Instead, as he drove away, I broke out my podcast mic and recorded another episode–shorter this time and geared specifically toward creatives like me.

Listening back, I find myself smiling, “I think I might have something here.” Our passions need not be profitable, friends; sometimes life is simply for the love of it.

Katy Johnson lives, dreams, writes, and edits in a messy, watercolored world. She’s a 32 year old, discovering her hope, her longings, and the wild spaces in her own heart. Her favorite creative project right now is called Will I Break?, and someday, that manuscript may see the light of day. For now, she shares her thoughts here.