I spent much of the last two months on moving-related stuff. I’ll spare you the details, but it turns out that living in a staged house is no fun. Thankfully, we’ve finally moved into the new house, and while there’s still much to do at the old house, I’m hopeful that being more settled will put me in a more creative mood.

I tell you this because moving tasks lend themselves to podcast listening, and I’ve been listening to a lot of them lately. I favor the true-crime variety (no surprise there), of which there are too many to count. I used to fantasize about producing my own true-crime podcast but decided there was too much competition and shoved that dream to the side.

Oh, who am I kidding? I still fantasize about starting a true-crime podcast. But it’s not my highest priority right now.

Even the most ardent true-crime fan can get tired of the genre, especially since it can be pretty dark. This past week, I needed light, so I took the opportunity to listen to a few non-crime-related podcasts. It was a good decision because one of them delivered a short but important message I needed to hear.

A couple of years ago, Elizabeth Gilbert of EAT PRAY LOVE fame had a podcast called “Magic Lessons.” It was devoted to helping aspiring artists overcome their fears and create more joyfully and featured guests like Neil GaimanMartha Beck, and Gary Shteyngart (full disclosure, the only one of these people I’ve heard of is Neil Gaiman). I don’t normally gravitate toward self-help of any sort, but I’d heard the podcast was good so I selected the final episode, “Show Up Before You’re Ready” with Glennon Doyle.

Doyle, who struggled with addiction and bulimia earlier in her life, founded Momastery in 2009. She’s gone on to become the best-selling author of books like UNTAMED, a memoir about how we women can learn to trust ourselves, set boundaries, make peace with our bodies, honor our anger, and “unleash our truest instincts” so we can become who we were truly meant to be.

While I recommend listening to the entire episode, the moment I’d like to highlight is when Gilbert asks Doyle how she grew her audience to become such a big success. Momastery began as a small blog in which Doyle fearlessly documented the details of her life and while she admits in the podcast that she wants to be heard, to be noticed, she says she never set out to grow her audience, at least not in any obvious way. Instead, she concentrated on serving the audience she had at any given time, no matter how small it was.

“Serve the audience you have.” That seems profound, but what does it mean? To me, it means forgetting about growth and focus on content. Write about what interests me with passion and honesty and trust that it will connect with the people it needs to connect with.

I’m not in a place where I’m aggressively trying to grow anything right now except, maybe, tomatoes. But for a long time, I’ve wanted this newsletter to be a creative outlet—I’m mostly uninterested in newsletters as a promotional tool alone. With that said, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want an audience, and as such, growing that audience is in the back of my mind, both for myself and my husband, who is also a writer and podcaster.

But the idea of serving the audience I have and forgetting about the rest is freeing. It’s also a bit daunting because serving an audience means that I’m responsible to it in some way. My hope is that, in living up to that responsibility, I create content I’m proud of while at the same time, expanding my own world as well as that of others.

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