Seven Episodes In . . .What I’ve Learned.
Friday I will post my seventh episode at Edacious. According to my podcasting teacher Cliff Ravenscraft, seven is the one separating the serious casters from the hobbyists. By the seventh episode the entire process has become seamless, your voice has found its voice, and you aren’t so timid about speaking into a mike. It feels more like a regular gig and not something you took up on a lark because it sounded fun. You have a better sense of what the podcast is and could be. And your listeners, if you’ve been posting regularly, realize you’re in it for the long haul.
For me, some of this is true. I still get nervous doing an interview – it takes me until about minute 22 to settle in and get out of my head. Doing the intro and outro comments? I put it off until the last minute because the sound of my own voice makes me cringe. But the process has become easier, and I’m banking interviews at the average rate of one a week. I’m definitely in this. It’s not just a lark. And I’ve learned a few things:
No One’s Here for The Money.
Not one person I’ve interviewed has said they cook, bake, grow, write about, or sell food to make a buck. They hope to make a living certainly, but they do what they do to make a life. The passion and zeal I hear in their voices is infectious. Not only do we live in a terrific food community, but the way the person I’m interviewing speaks with love and support for other folks (often in the same industry) leaves me astounded. So much mutual respect for others in our food community bodes well for Charlottesville as it emerges onto the national scene. And it will. It makes me really glad I chose this path. You know that feeling when you sense all your “ships” are in alignment and the wind is at your back? I feel that with every interview.
Beginning and Ending.
The hardest part is starting and finishing the interview. I get overwhelmed when I glance down and realize I have 50 areas to hit and only 45 minutes to an hour to do it. Which makes finishing the interview even more awkward. Time is up and I want to keep going. Beginning the interview is like opening a Pandora’s Box. One question leads down a path I never even considered and before you know it you’re lost within a forest of great conversation. Not a bad thing.
It’s Taking Me Away From Writing.
Which isn’t necessarily terrible. This very post was supposed to be up last Friday, but because of podcast interviews I’m late. I’m not worried because I know the more I talk, the more ideas will emerge, the more topics will float to the surface. Which can only make my writing better when I sit down to do it. Podcasting has become another facet to my writing because I’m not so isolated at home with my thoughts. I’m out and about, getting a behind the scenes look at how things are done and made and getting to know these folks. That can only help when I finally sit down to put words together.
The Topic Of The Day is Kind Of Pointless.
Because the question I ask rarely ends up being what the conversation is about. Where you start out isn’t where you end up. Again a very nice thing. Being lost in a forest of conversation, not knowing where the path will take you, forgetting to leave breadcrumbs so you can get back to the topic at hand, allowing yourself to become lost. It’s scary. But nice. At its best, at its most pure, I can actually see the conversational energy between us like a great white cloud. Call me a hippie but when the conversation is flowing, I feel in the zone. A rare thing for me.
The Interview Is Never Over.
Because in the car on the way home and for two days after I think of things I should have asked, topics I could have covered. It’s just the beginning of my thoughts on the subject and thank god for voice memo on the iPhone, otherwise all these magical brainstorms would be lost forever. The thoughts and brainstorms on the way home are even better than the ones I came up with before the interview and I see them as a thin, fragile, gossamer thread, tying me to the next interview, the next topic. A web of possibilities! Says the writer whose parents were hippies. It’s in my DNA ;)
I’m excited about the direction podcasting is taking me in, I can see a soft outline of something, some goal in the far future, but as of yet I’ve no idea where I’ll end up. That’s fearful, and exciting at the same time. Already my personality has changed. The very fact I’m interviewing folks like I know what I’m doing, calling people I don’t even know to talk to me for an hour is kind of a miracle for a dyed-in-the-wool introvert like me. I still have to rest up after an interview. Recharge my energy from all that social interaction. But it’s a good kind of tired. An accomplished kind of tired. One I could definitely get used to. And I hope you’ll join me in the forest. It’s pretty fucking cool.