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Why I won’t be a podcaster.

I’m not going to create a podcast (he says after so many failed attempts) because it dawns on me that the pool of people I know to have conversations with is relatively small. However, I won’t shy away from being on podcasts as those opportunities arise. Also, I’m not a massive fan of the way my voice sounds. Take, for instance, this vlog I tried doing a while ago. Yikes! Then there’s the matter of having something useful or interesting to say, or at the least, entertaining. Let’s put that another way: Podcasting takes a lot more work than you might imagine. You need the equipment, and you need to have something to say. Moreover, you would benefit from having a pool of people to speak to, who are willing to get themselves out there to the general public.

The energy I have to spin entertainment goes into writing fiction or blog posts.

Podcasts are wonderful. If you get good at them, you can make a lot of money, from what I understand. Podcasts are also pretty dull if you think about it. That might just be my opinion. Granted, some of them are hilarious, and I enjoy the ones that can crack a smile on my face or get me laughing out loud. Podcasts offer a way out of listening only to music all the time. Like a radio show with the filters turned off. And that’s a breath of fresh air. Here’s the thing, though, right now is the golden era of podcasting because people are really experimenting with this format. They’re taking risks and trying whatever they can reasonably get away with. 

Back to dull podcasts a moment; I love Sam Harri’s podcast. It’s controversial, yet well thought out…but I can’t listen to it all in one go. It takes a lot of time for me to stop it and start it again because there are so many bits of information that it’s hard for me to process what’s being said. Sometimes I have to listen over and over again to sentences he speaks out loud so I can understand it. It’s not that the words he uses are too challenging to comprehend; it’s that my brain is used to seeing words on a page, not spoken into my ears. Anyway, the point is, this all takes me well out of the experience of listening to a podcast. Songs have rhythm and percussion and are over in about 3.5 minutes. That’s awesome!

Here’s the other place I struggle. I process people’s spoken words differently than I do the written ones. I can speak eloquently off the cuff, but if I know I’m in front of a recording device, and I feel the least distracted or uncomfortable, my eloquence goes out the window and in comes the babbles, the ‘uh’s’ and the ‘uhm’s’ and the stumbling over my words.

My written words can be edited to something resembling coherence. I envy those people who have a million endless questions for their interviewees. Like Joe Rogan, he can keep a podcast going for five hours without breaking a sweat. And I know, I know, it’s not like he just got that way overnight. He may have had a talent already for gabbing with strangers and friends alike to begin with, but he had to develop a little skill to keep the (proverbial) ball rolling.

Here’s the difference for me. When I’m around a group of my beloved friends, someone usually takes over the conversation, and that’s typically not me. I tend to fade into the background, interjecting with my anecdotes or parallel stories, and yes, sometimes I even ask questions to keep them going. But for the most part, as I already said, I don’t want to hear myself talk out loud. Ok, so it’s not that I hate my voice (hate’s a strong word); it’s that I’m not a fan of the way it sounds. I wouldn’t want to have to listen to myself for an hour and feel annoyed while having to use audio software to cut out the extraneous pieces that went nowhere.

Talking isn’t my love. Some writers I know can use dictation to get their pieces together, but I sure can’t. My brain doesn’t think audibly. If I had my computer read back to me what this was saying, versus the way I talk out loud, they would be entirely different experiences. It’s an odd phenomenon, but I swear its true.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I have some other writing to do.

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