When I started this blog, I thought it would do two things; it would help me continue to satisfy my lifelong desire to write and it would help raise awareness of stroke by telling my story and my experiences as a stroke-survivor.
There's no doubt it has done that. I'm not sure about my readership figures (and as long as someone somewhere finds it, reads it and feels inspired, that's what matters to me), but I do know that an awful lot of people are aware of it because they tell me.
It did take a while to develop its current incarnation on this website, because a series of technical problems and my inability to deal with them meant a number of false starts. If you look hard enough on t'internet, you'll find me blogging under various guises on various platforms, as far back as 2008. But I count this version, on askthewarrior.com itself, talking solely about stroke-awareness and under the Warrior flag, as 'the proper one.'
I was similarly slow to move into audio. I thought about launching a podcast for months before taking the plunge, partly for financial reasons and partly because I wasn't sure I could handle the technical stuff.
Then I spoke to Pete Morgan, of a company called Monkey Pants Productions. I went to one of his seminars on podcast-production, finally realised I wanted to do it but also finally realised that self-production was a complete non-starter. I'm a words person and all the technicalities would be beyond me, even with a complete and fully-functioning brain.
So we agreed that I would hand production duties over to Pete. Once a month, he sets up a mini-studio in the kitchen at Warrillow Towers, he interviews me or a guest and roughly five days later, I get a social media link to the podcast edition itself, the relevant page on the platform where all the editions live, plus a link to iTunes from which people can subscribe. I then promote it as hard as I can on social media.
It's easier than I thought and it's going much better than I expected. The Warrior Podcast appears to be the only one in this fast-growing part of the social-media forest which is talking about this stuff from the perspective of someone who has been through a stroke and can explain in a coherent fashion what life as a strokie is like.
So now, I'm preparing for another leap into the unknown - and it's fair to say that before my stroke, I didn't do leaps into the unknown. I won't say too much yet, but two conversations this week have hopefully paved the way to take the marketing of The Warrior podcast on to a completely different level.
Meanwhile, two other conversations may have opened the door to take my public-speaking about stroke to a different level. Comfort zones may be about to be demolished.
And if you haven't heard The Warrior podcast yet, why not? The latest edition, featuring a former senior teacher explaining how the stresses of the profession gave him a stroke, is compelling listening, even if I say so myself. You can hear it at http://traffic.libsyn.com/thewarriorpodcast/4_-_Interview_with_Trevor_Baker.mp3. The podcast page is http://thewarriorpodcast.libsyn.com and it's also on iTunes.