Happy New Year! to all of our great listeners. As you might have guessed by now, we decided to take a break for the holidays, but we wanted to be sure to say “Thank you!!!” for a great 2017. We’re looking forward to spending the new year with you as we continue to make our way through the story of the Civil War. For 2018, we have some exciting chapters in that story coming up on the podcast timeline- Fredericksburg… Chancellorsville… Vicksburg… and Gettysburg. We can’t wait!
Yes, the podcast is turning 5! Woo hoo!
We want to say “Thank you!” to those of you who have been with us from the beginning, and those of you who might have just discovered the podcast, and those of you who jumped on board somewhere in between- but thank you, thank you, thank you for your support & encouragement over the past five years.
Every once in a while we hear from someone who is starting or has started their own podcast and they ask us for a bit of advice (since, you know, we’re apparently old-timers in the podcast world). A short while ago, we received another one of those emails and we thought that we’d take this opportunity to share our reply with all of you…
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We’re really enjoying working our way through a chronological narrative of the Civil War & Reconstruction- although, to be honest, we really had no idea just what we were getting ourselves into when we first started this project. We thought it might take us five years to cover everything and wrap up the show. Well, next month the podcast will be five years old and we’re ‘only’ in October 1862. Yikes.
But I guess that actually kind of leads me into the answer to your question about “endurance” & “stamina”- First of all, we find the story of the Civil War endlessly fascinating and love sharing that story with people, so that helps us keep going. We’re still as excited about telling this story as when we started out five years ago. Second, when we first started out, we decided to just do the Civil War podcast that we ourselves would want to listen to, so that’s what we’ve done. We’re glad that other people like to listen to it too, of course, but remaining true to our original “mission statement” has also helped us stay excited about the show. Third, when we first realized that this was going to take us a lot longer than we’d first thought, we talked about it and decided that rather than feel overwhelmed by the scope of what we’d undertaken, we would focus on just tackling one story arc at a time, finishing it, then moving on to the next one. Kind of the one step at a time philosophy, I guess. We do have a master timeline that we drew up when we first started the podcast, and we refer to it quite often as far as what’s up next for reading & research and what’s up next for writing & recording. For example, right now we’re writing & recording about the battle of Perryville but we’re reading & researching the Vicksburg campaign. I’m not sure that makes sense, but by focusing on specific story arcs it helps keep us from feeling overwhelmed by the “big picture.”
Other than those things, it’s really just hard work and a determination to keep plugging away one episode at a time. We tell people that Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we’re going to see this thing through to the end. Having two of us doing it helps, too, since it’s very much a team effort and after five years the podcast has really become a part of our life & our marriage in a very weird but wonderful way.
We’re moved! And so are our thirty-one boxes of Civil War books. Soooo many books. We’re very glad the move is over and we’re in our new place, but we did want to let you guys know that I (Rich) recently found out that I have a detached retina and will be having surgery to repair it. The doctor wanted to do the surgery right away, last week, but with the move that wasn’t going to work, so it will be later this week instead. Unfortunately, that means you will have to wait a bit longer for Episode #200. Sorry!
Hey, everyone! Guess what— the podcast just turned four-years-old! Woo hoo! Alright, that’s enough exclamation points for one post. Well, maybe one more—because we want to say “Thank you!” for listening to the show. Some of you have been with us from the very beginning. And there are even a few of you diehards who have let us know that you listen to each episode more than once. We’re not sure how much that has contributed to the three million-plus total downloads we’re up to right now, or the 150,000 downloads that we’re averaging each month, but we’re pretty sure our parents are only responsible for a few hundred of the total. We’ve shared with some of you that when we were first talking about starting this project, we decided we’d do the Civil War podcast that we ourselves would want to listen to. That meant beginning, not with the first shots at Fort Sumter in April 1861, but with some background to the war. How much background to include was a matter of some debate, but we started out thinking we’d cover the background-stuff in ten episodes and then get to Fort Sumter with Episode #11. Right. We actually spent over thirty episodes on the background to the war and run-up to the first shots at Fort Sumter, so we were a bit off in our original calculations. That’s why we think it’s kind of funny when people ask us how long we think it’ll take us to complete this series, through the Civil War and Reconstruction. We always say: “We have no idea.” But Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we plan on seeing it through to the end.