“This Week on The Habit Podcast” is usually the last section of this letter, but this week I’m promoting the podcast to the main body of the letter in order to celebrate a milestone: we just released the hundredth episode. To commemorate, we put together a retrospective of the first ninety-nine episodes. I asked listeners to send me their favorite moments from the last two years of The Habit Podcast. Then I sat down with producer/engineer Drew Miller to play through those favorite clips and discuss them. Then Asher Peterson, the podcast’s new producer/engineer, put it all together into an episode that I think you’ll really enjoy. Actually, Asher put it all together into two episodes. This week’s retrospective is part 1 of 2. Part 2 will release next week.
I love doing the podcast because it gives me a reason to do more of what I like to do anyway: I talk to people I want to talk to about the things I like to talk about, then invite people to listen in on those conversations. We start out talking about writing (the tagline, after all, is “Conversations with Writers About Writing”), but since writing touches on all of life, the conversations end up being very wide-ranging.
And if you’ve listened to the podcast, you can hear, I hope, that these are real conversations, not pre-fabricated question-and-answer sessions. I always send my guests an email ahead of time proposing topics for conversation, but once we start talking, we just follow the conversation where it goes. Almost every week, the most interesting ideas in the conversations are the ideas we didn’t see coming—you know, like in a real conversation. About forty of those conversations have been with people who were friends already. As you can imagine, that’s a real joy. But I also have loved having an excuse to reach out to people whose work I admire and appreciate and say, “I know we aren’t friends or anything, but would you like to talk?”
I am deeply grateful to the people at the Rabbit Room for providing the infrastructure to make The Habit Podcast possible. All of the podcasts on the Rabbit Room Podcast Network are made possible by the generous support of Rabbit Room members. I’m especially grateful to Drew Miller and to Asher Peterson, who have made the podcast sound as good as it can sound, given the limitations of Zoom recording and occasionally spotty Internet and my occasionally forgetting to plug in my good microphone. One of these days, I hope, we can get back into a real studio, the way we did it in the old days before the pandemic.
I am also grateful to Jen Rose Yokel, who transcribes the episodes. (You can find those transcripts here). Thanks also to The Arcadian Wild, Jess Ray, and Taylor Leonhardt for letting us use their songs as theme music for Seasons 1, 2, and 3 respectively.
How You Can Help Celebrate
If The Habit Podcast has been good to you these last hundred weeks, I would be exceedingly grateful if you’d help spread the word about it. Recommend it to friends who might enjoy and benefit from it (the podcast apps have a “share” button that you might find helpful in this regard). Or if you’re feeling especially generous and ambitious, write and post a review.
Posting a podcast review is surprisingly tricky. So I will walk you through it:
How to leave an rating or review in Apple Podcasts (on an iOS device or computer)
- Open the Podcasts app (look for this icon) or go to podcasts.apple.com.
- Choose “Search” and search for The Habit Podcast.
- Select the show under Shows (not under Episodes)
- Scroll down past the first few episodes until you see Ratings & Reviews
- Click “Write a Review” underneath the displayed reviews from other listeners.
Supposedly there’s a way to post reviews on Spotify and Stitcher, but I haven’t figured it out.
If you aren’t a Habit Podcast listener, this week’s episode might be a good place to start.