Podcasting Without A Net

In the spirit of change and leaving comfort zones behind, I’m trying something different with this recording. I have to admit I’m doing this a little more for me than you, but I’ve done my best to leave you with some thoughts to take away.

Note: This post includes an audio version. If you don’t see the audio above, Click here to listen.

The reason for the change is that I have a vision for what I’d like this blog to be. I can see the posts clearly. I can see what I’ll be doing to feed the blog with ideas and inspiration clearly. And I can see how it will all be an improvement for anyone reading, listening, or watching.

What I don’t see so clearly is how to get here from there.

It’s not that I can’t see any of the steps I need to take, but rather the next few are shrouded in darkness. As difficult as it may be I need to take a step into the dark and trust that once I do the darkness will clear and I’ll know where to step next.

I’ve talked in the past about my process for writing blog posts. I won’t detail it again here other than to say there are 3 main phases to the process.

  1. Planning — note taking, outlining, and organization
  2. Creating — writing the draft
  3. Refining — through several rounds of editing

The process has helped me write what I think is pretty good content and more importantly it helps me continuously improve the quality of the content I produce. Granted that’s my opinion, but hopefully you agree.

The downside is it can be very time consuming, especially during the refining pages. I easily spend anywhere from 5–8 hours on a typical post and I need some of that time back to move toward where I want to go,

One of the reasons I started recording these podcasts was in the hope it would save some time. My thinking was to record and edit a 10–15 minute podcast I might spend an hour to an hour and half. It didn’t quite work out that way.

Without some kind of script in front of me I stumbled over my words and often wouldn’t know what to say next. To correct that I started writing a post first following my usual process and then recording after it was done. I use the finished post as a safety net for when I would get lost in the recording.

While I haven’t been reading directly from the posts, I have created a comfort zone for myself or rather fallen back into an old one, my blogging process.

To change and shake myself free, I record this podcast without a net, which is something of a frightening prospect. Comfort zones provide a measure of safety after all. I’ve been practicing a little in recent months by leaning on the script less and less and I had little trouble talking without getting in my own way.

I discovered during my first attempt at recording this podcast that while I could speak and record spontaneously I wasn’t really getting to any point. Before a second take I created a brief outline of what I wanted to say.

Having gotten through one recording in a more freeform way I think the approach can replace the draft and editing portions of my process, though I’ve realized I can’t entirely do away with the planning. I’ll have to modify that planning, but I’ll have to include it.

I’ve also realized that recording without a fleshed out script is going to take practice. This recording isn’t as smooth as I’d like and it’ll take some practice to talk for 10 minutes or so all the time leading up to the main point I want to make.

In the audio I mentioned that I wasn’t sure what I’d include as text below the file. What you presently see is the result of me writing spontaneously based on my notes and the knowledge of what’s in the podcast. I skipped the editing other than a quick proof and spell check.

I’m not sure this is what I’ll always do. More likely I’ll present the notes I made prior to recording a bit fleshed out so they make sense to more people than me. I’ll include a few relevant links as well. As I write this I’m still not sure. We can both be surprised about what’s coming next week.

I said I want to provide you with some thoughts to take away so here they are.

  • Step out of your comfort zone at times. Comfort zones make things less scary, but they also keep you from growing.
  • Sometimes you have to trust yourself and know that a step into the dark will be ok. At worst you can take a step back to where you started.
  • Release and then iterate toward perfection; not the other way around.
  • Practice is important. Releasing before perfecting is the right approach, but you still want your initial release to meet some basic minimum standard.

I’ll leave you with some previous posts/podcasts where I talked about change and stepping out of comfort zones. Next week I’ll try to be a bit less meta with the podcast topic.

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