Blog 005 – Spring Break on Actual Fluency

After a quiet period I'm back with another blog update. In this update I talk about what's going on currently. This includes the podcast season finale, taking a break, finding my priorities and much more.

Podcast season 3 is officially over.

Originally I had imagined recording a few more episodes before the season concluded, but after hitting yet another technical problem in the last recording I've decided to call it quits early. 20 episodes is a nice round number so that works out.

For the next season I'm going to prepare a lot more in advance, instead of rushing to record last-minute and then running into the inevitable technical or scheduling problems. I'm sorry for the lack of warning, but I had hoped I was going to bring you at least 22-24 episodes this season.

Either way, it's time to work towards season 4. I've already got a few guests lined up, so that will be very exciting.


In conjunction with the above, I have to address something that's been on my mind lately.

I've felt really overwhelmed recently, mainly due to the fact I'm a very ambitious person, but it doesn't work to just take on every task and keep adding more stuff to do. Even if I had the actual hours, the weight on my shoulders would, and have been too much.

Take my own language learning for instance. It's been almost completely dead for weeks.

There's just too much to do with my job, AF and god knows what else I spend my time on.

And as I talked with one of my language learning friends about recently, blogging or making content about learning languages is great, but without doing the actual learning the content becomes a bit shallow and I'm clearly prioritising incorrectly.

That doesn't mean I'm going to significantly alter the Actual Fluency experience, particularly the podcast, but it does mean that I need to be more selective about what repeating tasks I give myself to work on the side.

I experimented a bit with video in 2016, but I'm not feeling it. I have no problem doing the vlog updates, but editing or shooting complex video is way too time consuming for me right now and I simply don't have the talent nor the experience to make it worthwhile – for now.

I still have ambitions to one day make a living out of Actual Fluency and related projects, which would free up time from my job to do more creative work. I realise this will also be tough, but anyway.

Spring cleaning on Actual Fluency

I recently had a look at my stats for Actual Fluency and from my brief analysis (full analysis coming soon for the March income report) I've been stagnating for a long time.

This is of course not a particularly nice thing to discover, especially considering the time commitment I've put into the site.

However, it won't stop me.

I've done some reflection on the topic and I've come to the conclusion that my high school habits of cutting corners and doing only the minimum have followed me into adulthood too.

It's not that I think any content on this site is particularly bad – it's just not GREAT either, and I know I have the talent and ability to produce GREAT content, instead of just “OK” content.

For the record I always thought my podcast was good, technical problems aside, but you're unlikely to have a lot of people find you via your podcast. Usually it's the other way around.

So what I'm going to do, in the next month or two, is to go back and fix up some of the old posts. Maybe delete some that are outdated or below my acceptable standard.

Also draft new epic posts that could generate a lot of buzz.

Then I'd formulate some kind of posting schedule I could maintain in relation to that. With larger, more epic posts I would probably post less than once every two weeks. It's just not worth it to post quantity over quality.

I'd also like to improve the resources page and write more reviews.

Big top secret projects coming soon!

Also another part of my overwhelmedness(?) has come from carrying the weight of two immense projects around. One I've already revealed to my email list, and the other will be the first Actual Fluency branded product.

It's going to be super cool and I'm extremely excited to offer it to you very soon. Since the Polyglot Gathering begins on May 5th I aim to finish one of the projects and get a good start on the second. Once I've finished my part in the first big project I will hand it over to a team, who will then do the post-production editing necessary.

I'm thinking about doing a crowd-funding for the second project, once I've got some sustainable headway with it but we'll see where I am in a month.

Spring break on Actual Fluency

My strategy for all of the above means that I will be posting very little content for the next two months. Once I'm back from Berlin in the middle of May I hope to be able to resume normal programming schedule.

And get my own damn language learning on track! Everything else feels so pointless if I don't get to do any learning of my own.

How is your spring language learning going?


  • dandiprat

    Good luck during the break. I hope everything goes well. I will miss the podcasts for the next few months because they’re really awesome, but I’m sure you know when it’s time to take a break and recharge and get back to language study, which for me is what’s really fun.

  • Hey, Chris! I’ve been listening to your podcast from the fist season. I like the format of your podcast. I would like to make something like that in multiple languages. Thanks for the great job!