Sometimes, an idea just doesn’t work out

Sometimes, an idea just doesn’t work out

Sometimes, an idea just doesn’t work out

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Sometimes, an idea just doesn’t work out

I’m suspending my podcast. If you listened to it last week, you heard me talk about some of the challenges I was having keeping it going, and that I was finding less and less pleasure in making it.

With some thinking and effort, I believe I can figure out a podcast that is a pleasure for me to create as much as it is enjoyable for you to hear. Unfortunately, as I look at the many things claiming my time and energy, I can’t prioritize revamping my podcast today.

I’m not giving up on this idea. I’m just deferring this until I can knock other priorities off my plate.

In my line of work, when something doesn’t work out or goes wrong, we gather the players and do a retrospective. We review the positive and the negative, and write down the lessons we should learn. Here’s a retrospective of the podcast.

What went well

I enjoyed using my voice doing this just as much as I did when I was a radio disk jockey 30 years ago.

I figured out how to produce the podcast without buying a lot of expensive equipment. My existing PC is quiet enough that its fan noise doesn’t intrude. Using Zoom to record, which was free, let me take advantage of its built-in noise reduction. It was enough to knock out light house noise. I found a headset for $30 with online reviews praising the microphone’s excellent quality, which spared me from buying a $100+ podcasting microphone.

I was able to use a tool I already owned and know how to use to edit and mix the podcast. I bought a perpetual license to GoldWave more than a decade ago when I digitized my radio aircheck cassettes. I know Audacity is free (and very popular), but I would have had to learn it.

Once I had a good idea, I could have a finished podcast in 20 minutes. The five-minute episode time limit helped that a lot. I can’t write anything but the most basic blog article in 20 minutes.

What didn’t go so well

I felt like many of the ideas I had weren’t interesting (and so I didn’t record them), and that other ideas I had were just retreading things I’ve written about on the blog.

I was surprised to find that recording takes a different, more focused energy than writing. I can write almost no matter how energized I feel. I’ve blogged while quite ill, for example. But I had to have good energy to do a good job recording.

Outlining the main points I wanted to hit sometimes did not create enough structure, and I’d either forget things I wanted to say, or I’d trip over my tongue trying to say things and have to re-record. But when I wrote more detail, it sounded like I was reading to you, rather than speaking extemporaneously.

I recorded at my desk, which is in the living room. House noise could intrude, such as when Margaret was cooking in the kitchen. People in the family room trying to watch a movie were disturbed when I recorded. My computer setup is not easily moved; even if it were, I have nowhere else to put it for recording.

Lessons to learn

I need to identify topic(s) would lend themselves more naturally for me to easily generate podcast episodes. While I’ve learned a lot about photography and creativity, the topics I chose, I’m still a learner. Perhaps something where I’m more of an expert would be better.

Maybe pontificating on a topic isn’t the best thing for me. Maybe I could do a group podcast, or an interview podcast — something that generates more natural speech flow and banter.

A private space for recording would help a lot. Fortunately, our two youngest children are working on moving out. Margaret and I would then have their bedrooms to use as our offices.

I’m most energetic from about noon to 3 pm. Maybe I can sketch out the podcast at any time, but always record in the early afternoon when I’m “on.” My work-from-home job allows me the flexibility to do that.

Thank you for listening to the Down the Road Podcast! If you enjoyed it, I am sorry that I need to suspend it.

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Hi, I’m Steven, a Florida native, who left my career in corporate wealth management six years ago to embark on a summer of soul searching that would change the course of my life forever.