Kathryn Nicolai: becoming a writer, aphantasia and how to launch a hit podcast

by Joanna Pieters | Follow her on Facebook here

When Kathryn Nicolai decided to launch a podcast Nothing Much Happens: Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups, she didn’t plan much fuss or fanfare. After all, she was a yoga teacher, not a writer. Since she was a small child, she’d told herself bedtime stories to get to sleep, and that’s what she was sharing with other people to help them doze off. ‘A little creative project, that’s all’, she thought.

13 episodes later, it had been listened to over a million times. That’s an extraordinary number for any new podcast, never mind a little indie one from someone with very little public profile.

There are some terrific lessons in our conversation. Kathryn’s just launching her second series of Nothing Much Happens, and we talk about how she’s approached it. We get into exactly how she writes and records, and how she’s gone from almost no social media presence to having a community of fans who can’t get enough. We also talk about Kathryn’s journey of discovering herself as a writer, and how it’s already become central to her daily life.

“My brother sent me a text a couple of weeks after I launched and he said, why does your voice make me cry? And I said, I don’t know, but I cry when I read them sometimes. And it’s just that feeling of being in that really open, vulnerable emotional space that just opens the floodgates for me.”

I learn about aphantasia for the first time, which Kathryn has: a condition where she doesn’t visualise pictures in her head. We talk about how she brings the senses and emotions in her stories so powerfully to life, in tales where, literally, nothing else much happens.

Whether you’ve got a niggling dream you’d like to bring to life, have an urge to launch a podcast yourself, or just want to know that anything really is possible, this is such a great listen.

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