Jackie Douge host of and producer of What is Black? and Talking About Books for Kids podcasts.

Mental Hurdles I Overcame to Start Podcasting

by Jacqueline Dougé

Let me tell you how much I love podcasting. I love it so much that I produce and host three podcasts! Yes, that’s right… three podcasts! You may be wondering, how does she do it all? Well, let me tell you. I learned about podcasts only three or four years ago. I started listening to a few during my commutes to and from work. The more I listened, the more I got hooked.

My interest in podcasts coincided with the universe whispering to me that it was time to make some life changes: to refocus my career and follow my dream of creating a media company focused on my interests in health, media, child and adolescent health advocacy, health equity, and race. Podcasting seemed like a great opportunity to start, but I didn’t know how to create a podcast.

While I pondered how to create a podcast, the universe spoke to me again, through a series of sequential events. During the day, I’m a pediatrician and an administrator. While at work, I explored how I could create media content to market a teen health website that I had developed. I reached out to the local community college because of their interest in working with my employer and spoke with the director of their radio and TV programming. During our meeting, she suggested that I speak with a colleague who produced podcasts for the college.

Gaining Momentum

Once I knew that I wanted to create, produce and host my own podcast, I spoke with my colleague from the community college and asked questions to help jump start my own podcast. The local community college really was a great way to learn about the production side of podcasts: booking guests, determining topics, writing show notes and marketing podcasts.

The next step was deciding on the focus of my podcast.

I had a lot of interests and wanted to do something I would enjoy. I’m a children’s writer and love to read books. I also knew that the books I wanted to create had to add to the diversity of children’s books. So, I finally decided to create a podcast about diverse children’s books.

Talking About Books for Kids was born in 2018.

Overcoming Fears

The hardest part for me when starting a podcast was overcoming the fear that I wouldn’t have any guests interested in being interviewed on the podcast. Self-doubt and not feeling worthy are real and can make you give up on your dreams if you don’t find a way to reframe the situation. Reframing was an important step for me to move forward with my idea. I had to remind myself that failure was just an opportunity to learn a greater lesson. Also, it helped to have supportive family and friends to cheer me on and be guests.

Finding Inspiration to Create My Third Show

By this point, I had two podcasts – the one for work and Talking About Books for Kids. But having two podcasts wasn’t enough for me. I had a calling to create the third one, What is Black? The idea for the podcast was sparked by my personal issues with race and dealing with whether I was Black enough when I was younger.  

I am also raising two Black young men and have had many conversations about issues they’ve faced growing up Black in America. What is Black? provides an opportunity to help parents raising Black children navigate the negative and positive narratives of what it means to be Black in America.

Lessons Learned

In my excitement to start What is Black? I overscheduled guests, which made it harder to allocate time to edit, write show notes, post, and market the podcast. It’s become a second job but it’s the proverbial job that I don’t care if I get paid for. It feeds my soul.

Since the podcast launched, I’ve worked on strategies to improve my time management. For time management, I edit and post podcasts on weekends. Interviews are scheduled on days I have off or evenings. I also changed the frequency of podcasts – Talking About Books for Kids is monthly and What is Black? is biweekly. The podcast for my job is a monthly podcast.

In addition, I pursued more education and a network of other podcasters for support, encouragement, and knowledge. I enrolled in a podcast accelerator program, Podcast Moguls, and joined WOC Podcasters’ Facebook group. Through these networks, I’m learning tools and tips to improve and market my podcasts.

How do I come up with content?

Creating content for the podcasts is based on current events, conversations with colleagues, things I see on social media, ideas that I find interesting or things I want to learn more about. 

After I’ve determined the content, I contact potential guests via colleague introductions, social media or email. More guests have said yes than no. This helps keep me motivated.

The other key to managing so many podcasts is self-care. It’s okay if your episode is a few days late. Take some time for yourself to do the things that bring you joy. Sleep, eat and spend time with loved ones or yourself.

I’m still learning on this journey of podcasting. It’s been fun, tiresome and sometimes frustrating but well worth it. I feel that I have found a way to incorporate my interests and purpose to help others. I get to be creative, innovative and meet a lot of interesting people. I’m grateful for so many people sharing their time, talents and gifts with me. I’m also grateful for those who listen. 

If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love 5 Steps For Starting Your Imperfect Podcast Journey.