Post-Oprah Shock Waves
My hour-long interview on Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday aired four days ago.
I was wondering what the after-effects would be. Would there be a sudden surge in visibility for The War of Art? For this site? If so, would it change how I feel about what we’re trying to do here?
The answers are yes, yes, and no (with an asterisk).
The War of Art got a big bump. (Thank you, Oprah!) But it didn’t change the way I feel about this blog, except for evolutionary alterations that Shawn, Callie, Jeff and I have been talking about for quite a while.
This blog is evolving. Here’s what we’re thinking:
Readers of blogs used to sit down at their computers and physically log on to sites they were interested in. I know I did. Now that exchange is getting much more automated (readers subscribe) and it’s taking place much more on mobile devices, smartphones and tablets—so that blog posts and other material come directly to inboxes. That’s how I do it with the blogs I follow. I’ll read the ones that strike me that particular day, or that I have time for, and either delete or save for later the others. I imagine just about everybody is doing the same.
This blog is trying to evolve too, to serve this new way of “delivering the mail.” We want to make the blog more phone- and tablet-friendly and easier for posts to reach readers—and we want to make the material better, deliver it in more interesting formats, and make it more useful.
Yesterday we sent out, by e-mail, an hour-long audio Q&A that Shawn and I did: answers to questions that readers who had bought The Authentic Swing sent in. (Plus the 12,000-word transcript of the session.) It was fun. The response has already been overwhelming. And it was an eye-opener. We got about 250 questions, many of which were absolutely great—and on unexpected aspects of writing, Resistance, professionalism, etc.
Alas, in an hour you can answer ten questions, maybe fifteen. We could barely scratch the surface.
So we’re gonna do this again. And again after that.
It’ll all be free.
It’ll go to readers who have signed up for First Access (sign up here; it’s not too late, you’ll receive the podcast about an hour after you register).
We’re thinking maybe three or four times a year, possibly more if there’s a demand, we’ll do audio or video Q&As and other stuff. Whatever sounds like fun and seems like it’ll be of interest. (We’ll even try answering some of the 240 unanswered questions from The Authentic Swing submissions.)
One idea we’re kicking around is doing Q&As on specific topics. Maybe one that’s about Resistance and nothing else. Maybe one about the Writer and the Editor, or one about Organizing A Work Day.
So I’d like to ask right now:
Is there a particular topic you’d like to hear me and Shawn address (or Callie or Jeff)? What is it? Or would you prefer an “Ask Me Anything,” responding to questions on all topics?
Does this seem like a good idea in general? Too complicated? Too lame? Does it not go far enough?
Please respond in the Comments section below. If you hate this idea, be honest. If no one’s interested, we’ll drop it.
Our overall intent is to keep the blog going exactly as is for everyone who likes logging on and for others who discover it by accident or referral. We won’t change the way we’re doing blog posts; we’ll still do Writing Wednesdays and What It Takes exactly as we always have.
What’ll change is we’ll e-mail those in appropriately-sized formats (i.e., for tablets and smartphones as well as computers) to those who sign up at First Look and thus give us permission.
And we’ll add for subscribers, from time to time, other longer-form material—audio and video stuff, interviews, Q&As, whatever sounds fun and interesting.
It’ll be free. No obligation.
In fact, if you missed the hour-long Q&A audio yesterday, you can still get it free by entering your e-mail address in the First Look Access sign-up.
And if you missed Oprah-and-me—and you want to see it—click here.
Thanks again to everybody who sent in questions. We’ll keep doing this if you want us to.