A Podcast Love Story

If you are an artist or a work-at-home type, you have likely spent hours of time in the studio (or office) listening to music or maybe even listening to a podcast.

I will never forget the moment I listened to Debbie Millman’s podcast, Design Matters  . . .

My husband, John, who is far more techie than I, had been listening to podcasts for a while. When Serial came out, it seemed like the word podcast became top vocab for even the least likely of followers. I had been a long time listener of This American Life but that was about as far as it went for me. John had a whole list on his phone. The ear buds would go in as soon as he leashed up the dog for a walk or he’d plug in his phone to the stereo as soon as we got into the car. I liked the ones that he suggested to me and I often listened with excitement but still, it was his thing. One day he came home and said, “You know, Sarah, there are podcasts about things you like too!” And he rattled off a list of design podcasts. I got so excited. That was the day Debbie and I became friends. She’d accompany me in my studio and be there alongside me while I was figuring out a process or dreaming up a new product or overthinking why I was I thinking about thinking. She and her guests kept me company in what is otherwise a fairly solitary and often times, lonely endeavor.

At that moment in my life, John and I had been in the midst of what felt like a really important time. (Perspective here is not quite real since this was less than a year ago!)  We both had/have these budding side pursuits and were giving them our all. We were soaking up knowledge and expertise from anywhere we could find it. I listened to episode after episode of Design Matters that involved a woman. I wanted to hear how women poets and musicians and makers did it. How did they get to where they are? How did they make it all work when you work a full time job? How in the world do people do this with kids? I only have a dog and cat and can’t seem to make it work half the time. The more I listened, the more inspired I became and the more I wanted to move forward.

Now I have a long list of podcasts to which I subscribe, Designs Matters is still at the top. But I have added a few others that really make my heart sing with excitement, including Hidden Brain and How I Built This - both produced by NPR. Just today I devoured The Intern in a matter of…the morning. I still listen faithfully to This American Life too!

So in honor of PODCAST month – I encourage you to try a podcast (#trypod). Just listen. And then, if you feel inspired - write about it, tweet about it, and get your friends to listen. If you find the right one, it might even move you out of dreaming about doing something to just doing it! Thank you, Debbie!

xoxo Sarah

Sarah Bourne Rafferty