Sunday, June 2, 2019

Self-restraint and new worlds of podcasting

This week marks the third episode of our new podcast, The Watsonian Weekly, and when I say "our," I'm not using it in the sense of the royal "we." I'm using it in the sense of "we, the John H. Watson Society," the group . of which the podcast is the audio arm. I may be assembling it and putting it out there, but it's the group's podcast, which is something unique for me in terms of creative ventures.

Whether it was The Dangling Prussian Amateur Press Association, The Holmes & Watson Report, the "Sherlock Peoria" website and blog posts, or any of the little self-published monographs I've done in the past, I tend to choose creative venues where I don't have to answer to anyone but myself. Selling a committee on a vision that may be too unique for easy visualization is always a challenge, and, on occasion, I've worked around such barriers just to get something fun into place. At my job, I can be a great team player, but in my off time, well, a person wants to relax and go where they want to go.

But, hey, I'm of an age now where I've really begun to see the benefits of community, and when the urge came to do a more recent events podcast came along, the community of the John H. Watson Society seemed like a good place to give it a shot. And the society leadership liked the idea. So off we've gone.

The new part of this, though it may be hard to believe if you listen to the latest episode, is practicing a little restraint on the Keefauverian in favor of the Watsonian.  A friend expressed disbelief just this week that I practiced any self-censoring in my normal Sherlockian discourse, like this blog, and despite the fact that I can be very open about certain subjects many a Sherlockian holds back from speaking publicly on, I do keep myself on a very tight leash. Why?

A good many of you probably know, as you're doing it yourselves. We're fans, despite the ivory towers a few of us sit atop, and fan is short for fanatic. Fanatics, by definition, are folks who take their passion for a thing too far. We have a single-minded zeal for a thing that drives us to go further than any non-fan would go to accomplish our ends. We're given to extremes, and extremes can be a bit dangerous, especially when our full-bodied charge forward starts crashing through other unsuspecting folk following that same path at a lower speed.

We do get a little carried away sometimes, even the best of us. And the greater one knows one's passion for a subject is, the greater one must be careful to keeps those demons of fandom in check.

So, personally, I'm trying to practice a little restraint when it comes to The Watsonian Weekly, while still letting enough of those passions come out to make it worthwhile to the John H. Watson Society. It's getting to be interesting, and I hope I can find a good balance before disgusting and terrifying (or boring and disinteresting) all concerned. But it is the John H. Watson Society's podcast after all, so the more hands I can get on deck, the better off we're all apt to be.

Give the show a listen, see what you think, and let me know at if you'd like to try joining the party for an episode or forever. We're trying to be as open and inclusive as we can, but I can't write everyone individually and invite them -- because I don't really know everyone. And we'd all like more voices that don't sound like mine, more brains that don't think like mine, just to make the show as especially Watsonian as it can be.

On to next week! (Podcast-wise. Blog-wise, I'll be back well before.)

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