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Welcome to Easy Stories in English, the podcast that will take your English from OK to Good, and from Good to Great.
I am Ariel Goodbody, your host for this show. This is not a story. This is an announcement! I’m back. You can find a transcript of today’s episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Back. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Back. There, you can also download the episode as a Word document or a PDF.
So yeah, I’m back! It has been almost half a year since the last episode of the podcast, and it feels strange and exciting to be talking to you again.
As you know, if you listened to the last episode, I had a period of bad health. I wasn’t able to talk for a while and I had a lot of problems with movement and fatigue—tiredness. Basically, I burned out—I worked too hard and lost all my energy.
As you can hear, though, I am doing much better now. Over the last few months, I have done lots of language learning, reading and writing—all of the things that I find relaxing and that give me energy. I have spent a lot of time thinking about how I can make my life less stressful, how to reduce fatigue, and how to stop myself from burning out again in future.
So, although I am returning to the podcast, there are going to be some changes.
First of all, I am going to release an episode once a fortnight—once every two weeks—instead of once a week. So instead of 52 episodes a year, there will be about 25.
This is because I noticed that, even though I stopped recording new episodes, many people still listened to the podcast. This surprised me. When you read information about starting a podcast, they always tell you that you must release an episode every week, and that if you stop making episodes, then people will stop listening.
But that wasn’t what happened with Easy Stories in English. So many of you have still listened to the episodes. Which is fantastic! I think this is because the stories are evergreen content. ‘Evergreen’ is a word we use to talk about trees. Some trees go brown in the winter and lose their leaves, but some trees are green all year round. These trees are evergreen trees, because they are forever green. So when we talk about ‘evergreen content’, we mean podcasts, videos and blog posts that are always useful. Some podcasts are only important when they first come out, because they are about news or culture. But if a podcast has evergreen content, it is useful and interesting even years after an episode comes out.
That is why I have decided to release only one episode every fortnight, because I don’t think I need to release a new episode every week. This will also mean that I am less stressed and will have more time to write really great stories.
The second change is that I am going to stop teaching. I have really enjoyed teaching podcast listeners in the past, but I find online teaching very stressful, and it uses a lot of energy. The problem is, writing stories is a job that takes up all your energy, because even when you’re not writing, you’re often thinking about your stories. Teaching is the same. When you’re not teaching, you’re often planning classes in your head, or thinking about how to teach better. So doing both was just too much for me, which is why I have decided to stop teaching.
The third change is to do with how I write the podcast episodes. When we say something is ‘to do with’ something else, we mean it is related to that, that it is about that. So the third change is to do with how I write the episodes, it is about how I write the episodes.
As you know, in most episodes I have a conversation section before or after the story, where I talk about the news or about my life. Many of you have said you really enjoy this section, but it’s the most annoying part for me to do. This is because I improvise it—I don’t plan what I’m going to say. Then, after I improvise the conversation, I have to transcribe it—write it down. This means I have to listen to everything I said and write it all down. It doesn’t take that long, but I find it really boring!
So I have decided that, instead of improvising the conversation section, I will script it, I will write out what I am going to say before I record it. That’s how I’ve done today’s episode. I know it will sound a bit less natural than me improvising it, but it will mean that I will speak more slowly and clearly, and my language will be easier to understand, because I will have planned and prepared it. It also means less work for me. Yay!
The fourth change is to do with the email newsletter. If you don’t know, I used to send an email to my newsletter once a fortnight with language learning advice. I know many of you found this really useful. However, it was quite stressful to write, as I had to think of a new topic to write about every time I did it.
So, I have decided that the newsletter will simply be about news. I will send out an email every time there is a new episode of the podcast, and when I am doing a live stream, or if I have other news I want to share. I might write about my life on there, but I really don’t know. For now, I just want to keep it simple and easy. If you decide to leave the newsletter because of this change, I completely understand!
The fifth change is to do with the Patreon. As you may know, I have a Patreon page where listeners can pledge—they can give—a few dollars a month, and then they get some bonuses, some rewards, for pledging. In the past, I offered exercises for people who pledged $2 a month, and at the $5 level, I did a monthly bonus story, and a separate podcast called Elevenses with Ariel.
I have decided to change this. Instead of the bonus stories and Elevenses with Ariel, at the $5 level I will offer a monthly Q&A live stream. ‘Q&A’ means questions and answers. So if you join the Patreon at the $5 level, you will be able to send me questions every month, and I will do a private live stream where I answer the questions. Even if you can’t go to the live stream, you will be able to watch the video afterwards, and if you can come to the live stream, you can ask me any other questions you think of.
I am also adding a $10 Patreon level. This is for people who really love the podcast and want to show their appreciation. If you pledge $10 a month, I will mention your name at the end of every episode. By the way, the new names for each of the Patreon levels are: Hard Workers, Star Students and Teacher’s Pets. ‘Teacher’s pet’ is the teacher’s favourite student in a class, if you didn’t know.
So, just to sum up, to remind you: the $2 level with exercises will still be there, I will stop doing Elevenses with Ariel and the bonus episodes at the $5 level and start doing monthly Q&A live streams, and I am adding a $10 Teacher’s Pet level, where I will read out the names of all the supporters at the end of every episode. If you join at any level, I will also mention your name in the first episode after you join.
Phew! That’s a lot of information. I know today’s episode was a bit boring because there was no story, but don’t worry, the next episode is coming out next week! It’s a story that I actually wrote for New Year’s, but I couldn’t record it back then. But I think you’ll still enjoy it!
By the way, thank you to everyone who contacted me over the past few months. I’ve received so many kind messages. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to reply to most of you.
And thank you all for listening! It’s so nice to be back. If you want to say ‘thank you’, you can join the Patreon at Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish, you can buy me a coffee at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com, or you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter, @arielgoodbody. Thanks again, and see you next week!