Erin's Journals

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Just a thought… Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember – the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you. [Zig Ziglar]

You can watch a video version of this journal on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

I was writing today’s journal and an email came in from a site called Chartable. Having absolutely no attention span, especially when I’m trying to write, I opened the email. I think I was enrolled in Chartable back when my Drift with Erin sleep stories first came out through another company almost exactly two years ago. Through it, I get reports of rankings of my stories, how many downloads in the past week, if I have risen or fallen in the standings, that sort of thing. So here we are after last week’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Delightful!

Unlike when I was in radio, and where we stood determined whether the show was a success and would keep going, or the powers-that-be would give us performance bonuses or start making changes, the rankings for the podcasts I do don’t really matter. I know the RealTime one I do for the Canadian Real Estate Association is out of my hands, so I can only hope it’s hitting the target: realtors.

Gracefully & Frankly, which I do with Lisa Brandt, is growing now with our 21st episode about to drop on Thursday (we talk about the nudist camp Lisa worked at as a teen, medication for hot flashes and information every woman over 50 should know about a faulty study, plus more). But we saw a bit of a drop last week when we ever-so-slightly dipped our toes into politics and it was heard first in the teaser clip. Just that one segment about passports had a woman posting on my Facebook that she hoped I didn’t support Trudeau as he’s, in her words, a “monster.” I thought: Okay, let’s just not mention anyone’s name again, ever. Don’t want to alienate anyone, right?

With Drift, the steady climb towards 200,000 downloads shows me that I’m going in the right direction and I have numbers and comments like the beautiful ones on Facebook the other day, to confirm that. While I was poking around in Chartable, though, I saw this as my overall ranking: 

There was this lovely recent one that I’m reluctant to share because it’s so nice. But I will. 

Then, because I’m me, and I have to find something to make me feel unworthy, I scrolled the ratings a bit. I found one – yes ONE – from last November. And once I got over my surprise, I thought, oh, you’ve gotta see this.

One star in one review. And that’s the one I gave more time to than any other as I scrolled through. Then I remembered a nasty exchange via email that I had with someone who had seen me on CTV’s The Social at about that time, who called me all kinds of names. I basically told her to go away. I mean, that had to be it, right? Not definitely, but most likely.

It does happen. People who don’t like another’s politics go on to slag their book without having read it. Envious competitors – and to be clear, I don’t think there are mean people in the sleep community – go on the sites of others and try to tank their ratings. In the movie business, if someone has a near perfect ranking on Rotten Tomatoes, some so-and-so will post a negative one, just to keep them from the cherished 100% Fresh rating.

But then again, maybe, this person thought that my telling of, oh, Cinderella, The Frog Prince or Alice in Wonderland was disrespectful and arrogant? What part: the five minutes of relaxation with spa music, the gently-told story or the five minutes of waves at the end, I wonder?

Clearly, I have given this far too much thought. But it happens. Someone will always try to put you in your place. I was inadvertently slighted by a CBC piece I stumbled upon (and since haven’t been able to find again) on sleep podcasts that didn’t include Drift, and as far as I could see at a glance, excluded any Canadian podcasts. That was disappointing, as I’d love another chance to spread the word of our sleep stories on which I spend about 30 hours each re-writing, recording, editing and then producing – all a one-person crew here – but it’s not personal, I know.

What’s important is that you’re there, and I’ll keep putting these stories out as a labour of love. It’s not to get rich, that’s for sure, but because I always wanted to do something like this, and I love it. So, if this person decides she wants to take me down, let me ask you to help me out. It’s easy to leave a rating for a podcast on Apple, for example: just scroll down any show page and select a star rating, then type “write a review.” You can leave one per story if you want. The next tale (tail?) to come next Tuesday is The Little Mermaid, the Hans Christian Andersen version, just in time for the movie’s release next week.

In the meantime, I thank you. For being here, for listening to Gracefully & Frankly and, of course, for joining our Drift sleep community. And I thank Chartable for reminding me “NEVER READ THE REVIEWS!” You’d think I’d know by now, right?

Have a great short week and we’ll talk Monday.

Rob WhiteheadTuesday, May 23, 2023