It began the way so many of my projects do: a friend of mine mentioned in her Facebook feed that she was going to participate in something called the Dog Days of Podcasting, in which podcasters committed to daily episodes from July 31st to August 31st. I don’t have a regular podcast of my own, but I like the idea of having some sort of external accountability. One of the reasons I don’t keep a journal, after all, is that I don’t see the point in writing stuff no one will read.
After vacillating about it for more than a week, I finally did some research and learned that there are several free programs that will allow you to record a podcast, upload, and share it with various social media sites, all from an iPhone or iPad. As the proud owner of both of these devices, that information is what sold me on joining. I downloaded an app, clicked a link , input some information, and there I was – podcasting from my kitchen table, or my living room, or – more than once – my bed.
For content, I’ve been using a combination of old and new pieces: café vignettes and flash fiction pieces going back to 2007, some pieces I’ve posted on Medium, a few new pieces of short-short fiction, and even some of my favorite pieces from this Sunday Brunch column.
What I’ve found is that people generally like what I’ve written, usually more than I like it myself. I’ve also learned that I tend to do in-line editing as I record – changing words, tightening structure, doing all the polishing I never bothered to do when I originally posted these pieces in various blogs because I wanted to just get them down, rather than over-think anything.
After just a week, I’ve become so hooked on this project that I’m in the process of setting up one of my many unused domains as a dedicated podcasting platform so I can continue regular uploads after the August project concludes – not daily, but probably once or twice a week. This will give me to have more time to pick and choose what to record (and create more pieces), as well as allow me to have my stuff added to the number of podcasts one can find via iTunes.
I’ve written before about my love of radio. As a child, I became fascinated with radio when I heard Bill Cosby’s “Chicken Heart” bit crackling out of the homemade transistor radio in my usual room at my grandparent’s home in New Jersey. As a teen, overnight talk radio kept me sane and helped me sleep when my vivid imagination worked against me, and to this day my favorite weekend ritual is to soak in a bubble bath on Saturday evenings, while NPR’s “Selected Shorts” program fills the air in my bathroom.
I’ve been as fascinated by the spoken word, as much as the written one, for my entire life, it seems, and while I’m still figuring out the techy side of things, having a podcast of my own, instead of – or rather, in addition to – the guest spots I do for friends, and the audio drama roles I play, seems a natural evolution of my talents and interests.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet may have been warning his players about bad acting when he admonished them to, “Speak the speech I pray you as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines,” but for me, speaking my own words is helping to jump start my creativity, re-engage my muse, and force me not to slack off.