I still remember two summers ago reading “Podcasting For Dummies” and trying to think about what exactly I want to podcast about, the format, cover art, web design, etc., when Claudia finally said, “Stop thinking about it and just do it.” What transpired was 60 episodes of chaotic amateurish audio recording that I’ll always cherish.
I had decided on doing an amalgamation of a bunch of formats of shows that I enjoyed listening to. In between podsafe music, Claudia and I would talk about a variety of topics ranging from the irreverent, to current affairs, to subjects that interested us. Occasionally we would have theme shows based on cultural days or regular US holidays (i.e. Colombian Independence Day, Christmas, etc). As much fun as I got out of this hobby, the thing I’ll miss the least will be the time expended on editing. A half-ass effort would take four hours for every hour of recording alone. A decent edit job could take a day or more.
The impulse that got me interested to podcast was a need to do something creative and to add dimension to a rather dull life in the suburbs. I’m a lifelong pedestrian and without a car in the suburbs you are stranded to whatever is within walking distance for entertainment. If I wasn’t married, I probably would have gone nuts for not having much to do or anyone to socialize with. In that setting, my only real options for recreation were watching TV, reading, and listening to music or podcast/audiobooks. And yes, I understand that I could’ve used that time on creative writing or drawing, but I don’t do well mentally with limited choices. It has a dampening, oppressive, suffocating effect on me. I thrive on a plethora of options, which thankfully, living in New York City now facilitates. Plus, they say writing comes from your experiences and I didn’t have much to say for the past few years besides “I walked around the neighborhood again. Saw more ‘Foreclosure’ and ‘For Sale’ signs today.” My life was especially monotonous living in Bridgeport, CT. One day would blend into the next with little variance. Podcasting filled my void of stimulus and creativity.
Of course not being one for moderation I went from a life of few distractions to “the city that never sleeps”, from having some time to kill to not having enough time to get anything done. With each night of social activities, the necessity of podcasting began to dwindle. I was getting my stimulus from my new surroundings (or rather from my original surroundings but that’s a tale for another time) and as I was becoming more outgoing in the real world, my internet social life was becoming less necessary. Also, with constantly being on the run, I was feeling less inclined to just record my thoughts as they came to me in a stream of conscious fashion. The idea of taking a breath, sitting back and jotting down my thoughts in a more constructive and passive manner became more appealing. With this refreshing new perspective, writing and blogging have become more inviting hobbies.
Lastly, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not a good public speaker and I’m absolutely atrocious at ad lib. I’m better at putting my thoughts down in text, letting them lie for a bit, revising them and so on. Plus, writing is once again appealing to the perfectionist in me.
I’m glad I got to do podcasting. I’ll continue to remember my experiences with “The Julio From NY Show” fondly. Now it’s time to move on to the next creative endeavor.