Blocks and excuses, I have a million of them. I can come up with a reason not to podcast at the drop of a hat.
It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, partially because I want to get more things done that make me happy rather than sit around wishing I were getting things done. At the same time, I’m trying to help a friend who wants to get some things done, and while we struggle together, I’ve been listening to Dan Benjamin and Merlin Mann talk about this very thing (and a lot more) on their podcast Back to Work. That podcast is a serious kick in the butt, and if you want to make your thing, or already do and want to make your thing better, you should listen to it (Don’t worry about not liking Merlin, it’s just a barrier to entry). They are two guys who really care about people getting their best work done.
It’s easy to act like I have it all together, but in reality, I don’t when it comes to this sort of stuff. There are things I’m good at, and things I know a lot about, but if I make it sound like I just breeze though life doing the things I want all the time, I’m either lying or giving the wrong impression. I love to podcast, and I love the feeling I get when I finish a podcast episode. But I’ve still made plenty of excuses that keep me from recording a podcast.
This room is too noisy:
What is this, NPR? Am I supposed to be in a sonically dead studio, or in the real world? I do two podcasts about hockey, and want to start a few more about other things. I know the neighbors are a little noisy at times, or the air conditioning is annoying, but that is a horrible excuse. I mean, I hate all the background noise in some podcasts, but those are few and far between.
I was staying in Anchorage, AK, which has to be the noisiest city in America. Aside from staying in an apartment in the take off path of the small airport downtown, I was also close to the military base where jets and large bombers took off from. Those things are noisy, and when they took off, the entire city knew it. Somehow, I still managed to persevere and record a few podcasts. It led to a funny moment were one of us stopped talking while a small prop plane flew by overhead, and casually continued on like nothing happened. Yes, you can hear it on the podcast episode. It still makes me laugh.
The internet connection sucks:
Anchorage was really bad as far as internet was concerned, but were other places. Hotels should be reprimanded for calling their internet ‘hi-speed.’ As for having a Skype connection, forget about it.
And still, there are ways around using Skype. If you record your podcast with someone over Skype, and they can record their end (and if it’s a regular recording partner, they really should), you can record a two-way. With a two-way, you each record your own audio, then combine the two local recordings later for a nice clean sound. I’ll get into this more in a later post. But this can be done using a regular phone or cell phone. I’ve done several of these, and while it isn’t convienient, it sure is easy, and gets you recording.
I have a studio I am really happy with, and will be talking about it and the gear I use here later. But I have used this excuse when I had crap gear as well. And somehow, when I wanted to record a podcast, I did. In Michigan, when the internet was deadly slow, I would get in the car with the laptop, drive to a coffee shop, and sit in the front seat with a mic, bootlegging the internet (I would buy plenty of coffee from them at other times, so I didn’t feel that bad).
One night, the mic I was using failed me in the worst way. It was a USB mic, and I didn’t know it hadn’t booted up properly, or whatever happens when USB mics aren’t happy and you have to unplug them and replug them for them to stop making noise. I couldn’t tell that this was happening, but the guy on the other end of the call could. Unfortunately, he thought it was just the Skype connection, and didn’t say anything. When I got home to listen back, I found out the audio was unlistenable. The next night, we rerecorded the show, except this time I used a Zoom H2 as my mic. It was a tighter, better show, since we knew what we were going to say, but still, it didn’t have to happen.
Somehow, with bad gear and a ‘tragic’ loss of some audio, we got the episode recorded.
Right now, my studio is packed up, and miles away. I travel a lot, and the studio comes with me on the road. It fits in a carry-on suitcase. I really can’t record, but after writing this, I kind of want to. Heck, I made a few excuses before writing this post, simply about writing this post. And somehow, I still did it. See what I’m doing there?
And I plan on doing this again. I plan on calling out my excuses every so often, and maybe exercising some those demons. Sometimes, I have to prove to myself, even though I know the truth already, that I will enjoy doing this thing called podcasting (and writing). I don’t think I’m alone in that.http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23podexcuses
Do you make excuses for not recording a podcast? Don’t be shy or embarrassed. Call those excuses out, and tell us what they are in the comments. Or even tweet about it with the #podexcuses tag. Let’s get rid of the excuses, and get back to recording.