At first, I wasn’t quite sure that had really gained anything beneficial out of the process. I am a natural skeptic so I, course, saw this as a terrible piece of audio production initially. However, the more I practiced the craft of speaking and process of editing, the more I realize I was not only getting better, but getting better at a rapid pace. Music was getting easy to find and edit to sound cohesive with my recording. The levels of sound felt appropriate and theme of the song was appealing to listen to whether it was the intro, body, or ending to the recording. I noticed after every single episode, my ability to speak to nobody was improving almost overnight. Malcom Gladwell claims in his book Outliers, that someone needs 10,000 hours of mindful practice to become truly masterful at any skill. Whether that’s been debunked or not is irrelevant; I can see improvements after 10 hours. Every recording is less stressful than the last. I slowly am losing my anxiety of trying to come up with things to say. One of my biggest goals of this project was to become a better speak. And not only a better speak, but gain a better ability to wrangle my thoughts and being to deliver them verbally without losing the key concepts and goals I was thinking about. I gained a lot of experience in perseverance with the pursuit of knowledge. There were so many steps of this process that made me want to stop because I was running into brick walls in research and mental blocks in recording content. I gained a level of patience I didn’t have before. I learned a new skill, hobby, and trade. I had no prior knowledge of GarageBand, Podcast Creation, and iTunes Connect. I furthered my writing abilities as I chronicled every experience I had, whether it good or bad. And I really learned a valuable skill of research documentation by way of doing that blog. By keep track of everything I did while blogging, I was able to enjoy it because I could put it in my own voice. I had no prior, valuable experience with qualitative research and data collection. I think most importantly, I was able to impress myself and get ok with my own voice. I tend to set high standards for myself that are almost unreachable. For once it feels like I was able to accomplish something that wasn’t in the frivolous manner. I can now take all these skills with me instead of leaving them in the educational dust. This isn’t something I can just forget now. Having this ability opens up doors to new hobbies, no potential career paths, and an ability to voice my thoughts and let go of negative ones.
I’ll start off by saying that a vast majority of negative experiences ended up becoming positive ones after utilizing some patience and persistence. I think the biggest negative I encountered was the inconsistency in various tutorials or guides provided by WordPress and/or Apple. I found myself having to go third part “how-to” sites very frequently to try and decipher what was being told to me in these supposed more legitimate guides. I was under the distinct impression that in order to flow through one of their guides seamlessly, you already needed a prerequisite base of knowledge in the subject area. A great example was with a step listed above; having to use Podcasts Connect and/or iTunes Connect in order to submit your podcast for approval. It simply said to use the service. The problem was they did not give a link to the service, to a guide how to use it, where to find it, or any other pertinent details that would of been helpful. It made me feel foolish as if I should of already known what they were talking about. If you’re providing a guide on how to use one of your services, and you leave out important details, it creates a brick wall in the process. This caused a lot of frustration and put a lot of doubt in my head. Luckily, I kept plugging away and found the answer, but it should of been like that. WordPress and Apple could of easily linked a “where to find” type section to the guid. It just took away from professionalism.
What I Learned
The biggest thing I learned was I was capable of improvement. I took a media platform that I had absolutely zero creationary experience with, and literally taught myself how to do it. Maybe it’s just our generation and the unbelievable oversaturation of data that exists on the internet. But, it felt very fulfilling to dial in my patience and sit with this project through the end. There’s definitely an appreciation you get when you figure out how to do stuff on your own. Aside from that, I learned I have a voice. And not only do I have a voice, I don’t have to use others’ voices. I ran into a problem in episode 2 or 3 where I was complaining quite heavily about some things that were happening at work. In the process, I was being particularly harsh towards the type of employees my employer hires. I was surely trying to be controversial, funny, and outrageous but I was trying much too hard. The entire recording I had to keep pausing and collecting my thoughts; struggling to come up with something wacky and clever to say about them. After finishing the episode and hearing the playback, I actually felt remorse. And more than remorse, I felt shame. I was realized I was being not only humorous, but malicious and vicious towards them. If anyone were to hear that, they would be immediately offended and it took away from my character. Burr, Sturn, and Rogan all have a great ability to be all of those features I was trying to be without being malicious or hurtful. But what I didn’t realize at the time was they’ve been honing that craft for decades while I’ve been honing it for a few hours. I ended up pulling the episode off iTunes, and rerecording it. I slowed down, had more collected thoughts (and maybe because I already had an hour of recording practice under my belt with the subject matter), and have a much smoother, less crude episode. I still kept to my subject matters but put it more in my voice as if I were talking to a friend. This definitely taught me an invaluable lesson that I am in no position to race to any podcasting finish line. If I stick to my pace as a beginner in the medium, I can go a lot further with more energy. I have all the time in the world to find my real voice, but until then, I won’t use others’.
My Thesis was a media package all centered around a podcast; Life Of Chenz. I had to create a website to start. The website allowed other media components to be present including a blog. I used the blog as a way to digitally journal every step of the way through the process of researching, creating, and implementing a fully fleshed out, public podcast. I researched topics like recording hardware, recording software, how to edit, how to add music legally, how to inject a podcast into my blog, how to take my podcast through Apple’s approval process to be seen publicly on iTunes, and more. I had no prerequisite knowledge of any of these topics going in. Now, I feel like I have a backbone in the subject matter and experiment to make it even better going forward. Why did I chose a podcast? I have a great affinity of listening to my favorite casters like Bill Burr, Joe Rogan, and Howard Stern; whether you consider Stern a podcaster is irrelevant because it’s long format spoken word. I also wanted to improve my ability to speak out my thoughts the way I think them using an increasingly popular information design topic. I feel I’ve successfully accomplished both tasks and more. I am gaining the ability to speak better more and more everyday and get comfortable with my own voice. This has been a truly awesome experience I can’t wait to see where it goes.