SSR podcast

summer 2018 podcast recommendations.

As you might expect, since the launch of my own podcast a few weeks ago, my whole perspective on the podcasting world has changed.

But I’m no less obsessed as a listener.

I was worried that spending hours every week preparing for, recording, editing, and promoting episodes of my own show would somehow make me less interested in the others that I’ve always loved listening to — but, if anything, launching SSR has given me that much more respect for the podcasting community as a whole. Now that I know how much work goes into producing a podcast, I want to support the creators even more by subscribing and listening!

It’s been a while since I shared podcast recommendations — or, quite honestly, since I talked about any show other than my own — and with summer more than half over, I thought it was the perfect time to give you some ideas for great content you can listen to during your travels. (Check out my previous recommendation posts here, here, and here.) Here are a few pods I’ve been really into lately. I hope you find one you love!

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1. Anna Faris Is UnqualifiedI feel like I might be a little late to the party on this one, but I’m going to own that proudly, because I’m totally loving it, anyway. When I was growing up, I loved listening to advice radio shows when I was in the backseat of my parents’ car, and Unqualified brings me right back to that… but with an added element of celebrity. I’ve never been a huge fan of Anna Faris, but I’m really enjoying her as a podcast host and as an advice-giver to the listeners that call in!

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2. RISE TogetherThere are tons of podcasts out there all about personal and professional development, but this one is all about developing as a couple! It’s brand new, and as I’m writing this post, there’s only one episode available, but I really enjoyed it. I recently read (in a day!) Rachel Hollis’s book Girl, Wash Your Face and I’ve been following her on Instagram for a while, but I particularly like what she has to say about marriage, as well as the dynamic between her and her husband Dave. I’m excited to see how this podcast develops over time.

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3. Armchair Expert with Dax ShepardLike pretty much everyone else I know, I find Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard to be total #marriagegoals, but it wasn’t until I tuned in to Armchair Expert that I realized just how impressive Dax is all on his own. Every week, he chats with a fellow celebrity about pretty much anything and everything you can imagine. This guy is smart, and I love listening to the way he encourages his guests to open up and share their opinions (even the controversial ones) with him. He’s a fantastic example of someone who can engage in respectful conversation even when he disagrees with the other person, and since I spend a lot of time interviewing people for stories I’m writing and for podcast episodes, I find this so impressive.

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4. For The Love Of Money PodcastEarlier this year, I went to Amber Lilyestrom’s Ignite Your Soul Summit, where Chris and Lori Harder were guest speakers. Chris is an expert on money mindset, and as you might remember if you read my post about making the decision to join The Wing back in May, his speech at the summit was a game changer for me. The For The Love of Money podcast offers similar food for thought on a more regular basis, and I would absolutely recommend it for anyone who struggles to find a healthy relationship with earning and spending money.

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5. Can He Do That?Clearly, this one might not appeal to people across the political spectrum, but I think that what the Washington Post has done here is create a really interesting frame through which to discuss current events. I’ve learned a lot from it, and I encourage you to give it a try even if you have some misgivings.

Obviously, I’d love if you would check out The SSR Podcast, too!

What podcasts have you been loving lately? Feel free to share in the comments below! 

Have a great weekend! I’ll see you back here on Monday for GIVEAWAY DAY!

 

 

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thoughts on how to support your freelancing + side hustlin’ + WFH friends.

I honestly don’t know how I would have made it through these first (almost) two years of freelancing and of working from home and for myself if I didn’t have the support of some pretty kick-butt people. I was reminded of how lucky I am to have such amazing humans in my corner more recently when I launched The SSR Podcast. This whole “nontraditional career” thing is no joke, and as much as I create structure and routine for myself, it can sometimes be the people in my life who provide me with what I really need to move forward with my writing — and now with the podcast, too.

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I’ve been thinking about writing a post like this for a while, but I found myself hesitating about it a few times over the last few months. I never wanted anyone to feel, when reading it, that they had done something “wrong” in approaching a friend who, like me, is pursuing a freelance or self-employed lifestyle or who is trying to launch a business or side hustle. The truth is that any effort you make to support a friend who’s doing this is meaningful, and I know I speak for all of us when I say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for the love!

In the past two years, I’ve been on the receiving end of all kinds of efforts to support and understand what I do, and since freelancing and side hustles seem to be on the rise (at least, according to my editors!), I thought it might be interesting to organize some of my thoughts about the best ways to be there for people in those situations. I do think that there are a lot of misunderstandings out there about what it’s actually like to be your own boss or to work from home, and it’s easy for those of us who do it to be oversensitive about them. Hopefully, these tips will help you cut through those misunderstandings so you can (respectfully!) be the cheerleader I know you want to be : )

1. Ask questions. When I left my corporate job to pursue writing full-time in 2016, I’m sure that plenty of my friends felt confused about what I was doing. And I totally understood that! There were moments when everyone’s confusion made me question what I was doing, but what helped were the many great conversations that came from it. When people asked genuine, earnest questions, it gave me the opportunity to get more and more clear about where I was going. More importantly, it made me feel like they respected me enough to talk to me about my “work stuff,” even if they didn’t quite understand it right away. And that’s still true! Ask your freelance, WFH, and side hustle friends respectful questions about the work they do, just as you would anyone else. You’ll learn more about their world and you’ll boost their confidence by giving them a chance to demonstrate some of their expertise.

2. Minimize assumptions. Yes, working from home or running your own business can afford you flexibility when it comes to when and where you work. But that doesn’t mean that we freelancers or WFH-ers don’t have routines that are necessary in order for us to be productive! When people equate working from home or being your own boss to habitually sleeping in, taking long weekends, and blowing off work commitments in favor of last-minute fun, it can strike a nerve! While all of those things can happen, they’re the exception and not the rule for most of us.

3. Celebrate milestones. If one of your friends who worked in a more traditional career got a new job offer or earned a promotion, you’d probably congratulate them, right? You might buy them a drink or call them to hear more about the good news. Your friends who have side hustles or work in less traditional settings don’t have those clear milestones, and they probably struggle with that themselves! We’re taught to pursue logical checkpoints, to achieve things in a linear way — and as rewarding as it can be to be your own boss, that lack of a clear path can be a bit of a mind game, too. Look for opportunities to celebrate major professional moments for your freelancin’ and side hustlin’ pals, whether it be when they bring on a new client, launch a new project, or earn enough money to upgrade their workspace.

4. Stay engaged. It’s 2018, and if your friend has their own business, side hustle, or passion project, I’m willing to bet that there’s at least one way that you can engage with it online or via social media. Liking, commenting, following, or subscribing might seem like a small gesture to you, but that kind of engagement is quite literally the fuel that keeps these projects going. Take every opportunity to participate in these ways, and to encourage other people in your circle to do the same.

5. Play the role of a boss or colleague (when appropriate!). Whenever I’m feeling down on myself because a new project isn’t growing quite as quickly as I want it or or because I’m struggling to make connections with the editors I want to work with, one of my best friends reminds me that I’m in unchartered territory and that I’ve already made strides down an untraditional path. This advice is a great motivator because it helps me remember that I’ve already proven myself capable! After that, she helps me talk through small goals that will allow me to make progress. In the absence of a boss to have these conversations with, I do need my loved ones that much more. You know your friend well — what kinds of conversations do you think they might be missing from an office environment, and what kinds of conversations will help them do more and do better with their work? Consider how you can be the one to facilitate those conversations, then make sure they know you’re available to have them if — and only if! — you need them.

How do you support friends and loved ones who work in untraditional ways? If you’re a freelancer or have a side hustle yourself, what kinds of support do you look for? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 

 

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monthly goals recap -> june + july.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

The holiday falls in such a weird way this year and I’m not quite sure what our day is going to look like around here, but it’s definitely a treat to get an extra weekday off with Matt! Before we officially kick off our holiday (as I try my hardest to stay away from work entirely), I thought I’d update you on my goals from last month and the weeks ahead. I won’t bore you with any more introductory details, because I want you to get out there and start BBQ-ing and watching fireworks as much as possible!

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All of those completed progress bars in my June Power Sheets feel good

Somehow, with everything that was on my list for June (here is last month’s recap if you need a reminder!), I managed to make it a pretty darn productive one. Here’s how last month’s goals played out:

  • Launch the SSR Podcast. √ YES! SSR went live last week with its first two full episodes, and just yesterday, the third one released on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. This is a living, breathing thing now, and I’m so proud to have made it happen. I’m not even going to try to play down my excitement by calling it a “humble brag.’
  • Push the SSR Podcast Web site, Facebook group, and Twitter live. √ YES! Check it out here, here, and here.
  • Rally the SSR Podcast Launch Team! √ YES! Seriously, thanks to everyone who was part of this. If you still want some bookmarks, let me know. Happy to send some your way!
  • Update list of target outlets. √ YES! Early this year, I made a list of dream-level Web sites and magazines where I would love to see my work appear someday. Physically creating this list was a really powerful experience, because it made these scary-seeming goals feel somehow more within my control. Halfway through the year, I’ve made some progress on this list, but I knew that it was important to revisit it so that it would still be a useful resource in the second half of 2018. I removed several outlets from the list, which didn’t feel great, but then I reminded myself of all of the unexpected things that I’ve accomplished so far this year… things I never could have planned for when I made the list initially! I also added a few prospects that have hit my radar more recently.
  • Read five books. √ YES! I finished a whopping seven books in June, thanks to our long weekend in Mexico and a mad dash to read a bunch of middle grade and young adult books in preparation for podcast recordings. You’ll hear all about the books I read for SSR on the show, but in terms of adult books, I finished The Female Persuasion (a really interesting commentary on modern feminism with great description and character development), You’ll Grow Out Of It (a laugh-out-loud collection of essays about lady things), The Ensemble (a novel about a group of classical musicians that I honestly didn’t love as much as I thought I would), and Hey Ladies! (a book you NEED to read if you’ve ever been on an email thread with a big group of women — I laughed until I cried!).
  • Get headshots. √ YES! My younger sister is an amazing photographer, and I asked her to help me out with these photos. I’m still a little shy about sharing them, but she did an amazing job!
  • Start book outline. Did LOTS of writing, but no outlining. Next month!
  • Refocus on phone boundariestried to do this successfully in June, but I definitely could have done better. I would give myself a very average score.

In my last goals post, I also talked more generally about how I knew that it was time for me to start streamlining my work. My freelance writing workload has grown substantially over the last few months, and adding my new podcasting responsibilities to the mix has definitely required me to take a step back and figure out how to more effectively manage all of the things that I have on my plate. It’s not anyone else’s job to do that for me!

Without getting too specific, I’m happy to report that I made some big strides toward streamlining in June. In the last week of the month, I made a major change to my schedule that will afford me some extra time and flexibility to get #allthethings done. If I’m being honest, it’s a little overwhelming to suddenly reset my routine and figure out how to handle that additional flexibility — but if I make that happen successfully, I know these decisions will have been the best I’ve made in a while.

With that in mind, here’s what I’m hoping and planning to accomplish in July:

  • Pitch to two target outlets. With my revamped target outlet list and the podcast launched, I feel like I’m once again in a good place to pursue some new opportunities with my freelancing hustle! I’m keeping my goals realistic this month and hoping to pitch larger-scale stories to at least two of these platforms. I already have some ideas brewing that I’m excited about!
  • Figure out weekly workflow for podcast production. Now that I’ve done some streamlining to my schedule, I want to be sure that I’m making the best possible use of my time by creating a consistent routine for all SSR-related tasks throughout the week. It’s going to take some time to figure out the best days to edit new episodes, write and record intros, reach out to potentials guests, and the like, but by the end of the month, I’d like to have a workflow like this in place.
  • Read five six books. Another SSR recording was scheduled this morning, so I increased my goal mid-post.
  • Network for podcast guests and pitch SSR for publicity on a weekly basis. Just because SSR has launched doesn’t mean that all of the hard work is behind me. In fact, the challenge is — in some ways, at least — really just beginning, because now I need to maintain momentum with booking guests and attracting new listeners to the show.
  • Start book outlining process. : )
  • Treadmill three times per week. I have an annual habit of more or less giving up running (almost) entirely for a few months after I finish the Brooklyn Half in May, opting for other kinds of exercise instead. After all of that training, it seems like a waste to lose those running legs! Going on regular runs is such a boost to my confidence and makes me feel great physically, so I’m planning to hit the treadmill at least three times a week in July.
  • Develop and stick to SSR social media calendar every week. One of my overall goals this year is to cultivate a community around the SSR Podcast, and social media is a huge part of that.
  • Read target outlets more regularly. I’m not as consistent about reading my target outlets on a regular basis as I should be, and I’d like to focus on changing that moving forward. They say that to be a good writer, you first need to be a good reader… so if I want to be a good writer for certain outlets, I need to be an especially good reader of those outlets, too!

What are your goals for July? Tell me more in the comments below. 

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the SSR Podcast is live!

It’s a crazy experience to have your head down so intensely in a passion project for months on end, and then to release it out into the universe in a way that probably feels very loud (and maybe even a little annoying) to the outside world but somehow seems very quiet to you, at least relative to how much louder it actually sounds in your head. Basically, when I dispatched all the social media announcing that The SSR Podcast was a living, breathing thing at about 5 AM yesterday morning, it may have felt a little spammy from an Instagram perspective… but it seemed surprisingly quiet and private for me — and not because I’m not getting support (because I am, and it’s been amazing!), but because I’ve been so consumed with getting all of this up and running that it was hard to believe that tapping those little “post” buttons was really all it took to make it happen. After so many hours, hitting “post” was the last thing standing between me and the moment I’d been stressing about? It was a pretty crazy feeling.

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Believe me — I still have plenty of work to do in order to really get things moving and grooving the way I want to for the podcast. But to have met this one major milestone in what felt like such a quick, quiet way was an extremely weird feeling.

You may already be tuned in to SSR’s social media accounts — and if you are, thank you, seriously! — but I just wanted to take a quick moment to share some easy links for my followers here who may have yet to jump on the SSR train. If you’re feeling like I’m being a little spammy, bear with me for just a little longer here, please. Getting the podcast off the ground has been a huge part of my journey in 2018 so far, and it would be weird if I wasn’t getting the official launch news out with all my pals here on the blog! I’ll resume regularly scheduled programming shortly, I promise : )

In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about yesterday’s official launch of The SSR Podcast

You can listen (and subscribe and leave reviews!) here…

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  • iTunes — if you’re going to subscribe and leave a rating or review, this is a great place to do it!
  • Google Play
  • Stitcher
  • the SSR Podcast website “Listen” page (this is a great place to go for fun show notes and extra resources, even if you actually listen to episodes elsewhere)

You can be part of The SSR Podcast community here…

I can’t wait to get your feedback on the show, and if you enjoy it, I hope you’ll share it with your loved ones! This feels more personal than anything I’ve done before — more even than the blog, which is kind of crazy — and inviting people into it is scary, but I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes me : )

And while I’m talking about sharing with loved ones…

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Don’t forget to enter this month’s giveaway! TWO of you will be getting a goodie bag full of all-natural lip balms from Bushel & a Peck (a woman-owned business YAAAAS!). Comment on my last post here to enter! I’ll be randomly drawing the winners this coming Friday 6/29, so get those entries in ASAP. I’ll announce the winner here on the blog. Unfortunately, you’re not eligible to win this contest if you live outside of North America, due to shipping concerns. I’m sorry about that! Good luck!

Product photo credit: Gallivan Photo (via Bushel & a Peck) 

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introducing… the SSR podcast!

*takes a deep breath, pushes her shoulders back, tries not to panic at the thought of putting this thing that she’s been working on for months out into the world*

**… but is mostly just so excited**

Friends, meet my podcast…

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(You have no idea how many times I’ve looked at this awesome logo — designed by the one and only Sophie Forman — thinking about how great it would be when I could finally share it. And now I can!)

Inspired by a little something called Silent Sustained Reading that was a staple of my elementary school days (you may have known it as “Sit Down, Shut Up, and Read!”), the show is called SSR: Literary Throwbacks Revisited. For an added punch, the show’s not-so-secret alternate title is Sh*t She Read, a nod to the fact that, each week, I’ll chat with a guest about a book that we millennials would have read in our tweens and teens. 

In the first few episodes, we’ll discuss Harriet the SpyThe Princess Diaries, and Matilda… and the list goes on and gets more awesome from there. I honestly can’t tell you how wonderful it’s been to revisit these books and to talk about them with each guest. These conversations have been so interesting and hilarious, and I am counting the minutes until June 26 when you can start listening to them.

You read that right. The launch is still a month away. So what can you do in the meantime? Well, in super fun news, the SSR Podcast social media starts to roll out today! Follow the show on Instagram here so you can take a peek at what this process has looked like so far and stay in the loop about new episodes come June. In the next few weeks, I’ll roll out our Twitter, as well as a Facebook group that will serve as a great place for book talk and (hopefully) a community for podcast fans. More on that to come!

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If you’re already feeling like you’re going to be an SSR Podcast superfan (because, duh), I’d love to have you join the launch team. I’ll send you a set of these crazy cute SSR bookmarks so you can start talking about the show to friends and family, and as we get closer to the launch date, I’ll provide you with plenty of social media graphics so you can help me get the word out within your own networks. If you’re interested in being part of this, please let me know with a comment below or send an email to hellossrpod@gmail.com.

It’s hard for me to put into words how much this project means to me and how excited I am to bring this podcast into existence.

As you probably know by now, books mean the world to me. They’re connected to so many of my own life experiences. In preparing to start SSR, I’ve found that even people who aren’t big readers as adults have intense memories associated with the stories they read during their childhood, and I can’t wait to create a platform where we can share those memories. And laugh. A lot.

Happy Memorial Day weekend, friends! Thanks for being part of this dream with me!

(… AND while we’re on the subject of books, don’t forget to enter to win this month’s giveaway! The prize is a $30 gift card to Barnes & Noble. Pick up the book that’s at the top of your summer reading list, or grab a copy of Harriet the Spy or The Princess Diaries so you’re up to speed for the podcast launch on June 26! All you have to do to enter to win is comment on my last post here. I’ll announce the winner right here on the blog next Wednesday 5/30. Good luck!)

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