Updated: Oct 25
Branding is complicated.
I started The Blanket Fortress of Solitude on Spotify in July of 2020. I barely knew what it meant to start a podcast, but that didn’t matter. Topics changed from episode to episode. I wasn’t looking to focus on any particular idea, I just wanted to feel less alone in the darkness of Summer 2020. So, topics alternated between self-publishing, short stories based on my novels, and interviews with creative people or random cool people I knew. It was experimental, and I didn’t care how many people listened to each episode.
We updated the brand several times, to the point where we found some success with the pop culture analysis. The pop culture episodes moved to YouTube, and the Spotify channel became, “The Derwin Lester Show.” The Spotify show featured Pandemic Perspectives episodes, personal stories, and military science fiction audio books. The Banket Fortress of Solitude on YouTube ran the pop culture episodes that aired on Spotify, along with new content. But I wasn't sure what the next step was, so I just worked on other things while the pre-recorded material ran on both channels.
Then, at a birthday party, one of the party goers saw my outfit and said, “That’s a great visual outfit. You should do YouTube videos dressed like that.” That was the trick. My most successful work on YouTube was always short videos with a visual component. So, the Derwin Lester Show will remain a long form podcast, with interviews, audio books and personal confessions. The Blanket Fortress of Solitude has a mix of new episodes and re-runs through mid-October. After those run through, we’ll transition to me being on camera and talking about pop culture in short form content. We’ll have guests on camera that analyze Star Trek, Star Wars and all the other touchstones of our pop culture landscape.
Branding is complicated. It changes constantly. There’s no one that’s going to tell you what your brand is. So, you gotta figure it out for yourself. That means there’s a lot of trying and failing to go through. Have fun trying. Eventually you’ll figure something out.
New This Week:
On The Blanket Fortress of Solitude:
Derwin and Evan go deep into the 1997 Kevin Smith classic, Chasing Amy! This movie is a snapshot into the binary gender dynamics of the 1990's, where the world said you were either Straight or Gay. This wonderful movie takes a lot of risks for its time and explores the space between.
The Derwin Lester Show:
The Monster under the bed is in pain. It's up to you to figure out why.
Find it here:
One Winston, Two Many: Episode 1
As of this writing, I'm putting the final touches on the second draft of Episode 1. My beta reader gave me some great suggestions on how to improve the second chapter, turning it into more of a slow burn. The third draft is me taking out the red pen and triming as much of the story as I can. After that, I'll start scheduling recording sessions with the actors I know.
The Victory Lap:
The upcoming documentary on transitioning from Active Duty to Civilian life is still in early development stages.
Seeking a plan for the end of the world.
Upcoming Podcast episode, or series of episodes on The Derwin Lester Show that talk about how the pandemic shattered my faith in the supply chain. It taught me the importance of recycling, of gardening, and of self-reliance.