Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A thing I have not done

It will come as no surprise to people who follow me on Twitter that I'm a pretty big fan of podcasts.  Since before Serial* even, since that's probably something I should say to sound like a hipster.  Kai Ryssdal and the excellent folks at Marketplace keep me company every weekday while I clean.  Michelle Philippe's daily updates make me grin.  NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour brightens every Friday as Linda, Glen, Stephen and the gang say really smart things about topics I didn't think I'd care about and make me reconsider my own media engagement while also persuading me that perhaps Pop Culture isn't beneath NPR's dignity.  I've listened to 49 different programs, am subscribed to 39, and probably listen to more than half the episodes of about 20 of them.  I listen to a lot of podcasts.  I argue along on Twitter with the good folks at Intelligence Squared (who even change my mind sometimes), and enjoy having my mind blown weekly by Melvyn Bragg and his guests.  I'm enough of a public radio enthusiast to enjoy it's own inside baseball podcast: Current's The Pub (I think Adam Ragusea is overly optimistic about the virtues a diverse newsroom can bring, but that's audio I should be sending him, not typing here).

I listen to a lot of podcasts.

I try really hard to listen to SFF podcasts.  I really do.  If you can name one, I've probably tried it.  And probably dropped it.  Most likely it's over an hour long, and if you're going to be that long you'd better be either fascinating & well-edited or a guilty pleasure whose voices I've become accustomed to. Most SFF podcasts I've listened to seem to either feature interviews with authors on the publicity circuit or resemble a panel of friends at a con sitting & chatting and having fun together.  Neither of these are necessarily bad, but they're not the podcast I want to listen to.  Tea & Jeopardy with Emma Newman is a ray of sunshine.  Renay and Ana in Fangirl Happy Hour have become a podcast I schedule my week around.  Writing Excuses is short and smart, but also targeted at authors, which I'm not.  My perfect podcast isn't out there, yet.

My perfect podcast is about 25-30 minutes long.  It features readers rather than authors, with a focus on the reading experience.  I want to pump my fist in my recognition when someone mentions books, scenes, and characters I recognize.  I want to put some titles on a list for my next trip to the library or bookstore.  I want to discover how readers who love the books I love have come to them, and what they see in those books.  I don't really care much about characters (or maybe characterization, the concepts are a little fuzzy in my head), so I'm hoping to get someone to explain them to me.  Ditto with prose, which I've always viewed as simply the words needed to get me my story and particularly the wondrous worldbuilding I've fallen in love with.

I listen to a lot of podcasts, and I haven't found that one yet.

But that's the great thing about podcasts - anyone can make one.  Get a microphone and a domain, be able to record a Skype conversation if you want to get fancy with interviews.  I've been planning on starting one for a bit now.  The one that I want to listen to.  I even did a couple test interviews and got one edited to a state that I like.  I had a great discussion with a good friend about Ancillary Justice that made me want to read it again.  I've recorded about three other pieces that I'd want to fit into a podcast.

And now I'm throwing up hurdles to myself.  The quality won't be good enough.  I won't be able to get any guests and I don't have anything interesting to say.  Good interviews are hard and bad interviews really bother me.  Imposter syndrome of all sorts.  I am (re)discovering that I'm not actually good at follow-through.

So, um, if anyone has words of advice or encouragement, kicks in the pants or practical suggestions, I'll take them.

*Secret confession - I listened to only about half of Serial and didn't particularly like it for lots of reasons that I don't want to throw quickly on a blog, but would love to chat about if you're so inclined.

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