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The Podcast




I’ve been meaning to write a blog post for quite a few days now but time at the computer has been limited to pushing out the latest podcast episode. It dropped last night and I hope you get some time to listen.


In case you don’t know I have a disability which means that I can’t spend extended periods of time at a table/desk or at the computer. If I do, I develop pins and needles in both my arms and intense pain in my hips. This indicates inflammation which is a warning. I have learned through adversity not to ignore the message, so I limit my time and try to use the restricted sessions as effectively as possible. Obvs.


I have actually just realised I can dictate into my phone through what I’d thought previously was the utterly useless Wix app, and is how I am writing this now. Happiness and joy for adaptive technology. And although I think the brain functions differently when a message is channeled through the fingers rather than through the mouth, I am glad for the mechanism. I will not mention the struggles I have with Siri understanding me. No. That will not occupy space in this missive.


Making the podcast has been an enormous learning curve for me. It still is despite the fact we are now at Episode 4. I have never really worked with sound in the past. That was the domain of Hec and Dad. Luckily technology actually makes the sound a visual, which means it is much easier for someone like me to manipulate and edit: akin to piecing together a puzzle or constructing a tapestry.


As timing would have it the first few episodes of the podcast were recorded in the space of a few days when I had an awful cold with snuffling congestion. So I have not only become accustomed to listening to a very muddy version of my voice but have also needed to unpick some very convoluted attempts at articulating ideas which I think have come from not being 100% clear in my head at the time I was talking to my very lovely, very patient, special guests.


All that said, I have wholly enjoyed revisiting the conversations and feel momentum growing as the catalogue of episode steadily grows.


The process in putting out an episode is:

  1. Record the conversation with my guest. All have been done through Zoom so far, but the next one is in person and very exciting!

  2. Revisit the audio three or four weeks later so I listen back with fresh ears.

  3. Transcribe. I have been doing this manually because it helps me process the ins and outs of what’s been said. I may however mechanise this process so the full day it takes to complete is better spent on other things.

  4. Edit the audio in Adobe Audition and record additional material.

  5. Publish.

  6. Promote. Promotion is limited to my Facebook and Instagram audiences. If you would like to share information about the podcast with your audience I would be thrilled. I’m not able at this stage to pay for further promotion but will look at doing that once the catalogue of episodes is bigger. And then I can get more bang for my buck.

This all takes about three days and is a bit of a slog.

One thing that has arisen and was wholly unexpected was the response from a guest following our conversation. A few weeks later, it was mentioned that the material could stress my mental health and that it was something concerning enough to mention. They felt, I think, that discussing grief and trauma with people could take a negative toll.


I am an introvert who doesn’t do superficial conversations with any sort of ease. I’m accustomed to getting into the nitty gritty with those I connect with, and in turn revealing a lot about myself and my perceptions without much of a filter. So discussing the material we cover in Where Art and Grief Meet podcast is not out of the ordinary for me. I am detached emotionally while still connected personally to those I am exchanging stories and observations.


It should be said that even though there maybe laughter and tears the conversations are not in any way grief counseling sessions. Rather, they are the stories of how creatives find their way through adversity in relation to their artistic expression, and how life’s slings and arrows impact their sense of self and their process. To date I have found these exchanges incredibly affirming and positive. And the community being built is also nothing short of a gift.


I was glad for the issue being raised however because it prompted an assessment of the podcast’s what where how and why, but I came out the other end all good.


I have however decided to introduce a disclaimer to the beginning of the episodes to say that issues of grief, loss and adversity are being touched on in the context of art making and creativity, in case someone does get triggered by the conversations. But I really don’t think they will. But you can never know. So better safe than sorry.


The sun has come up and I need to get into the day so thank you for reading. I hope you have a good one and I’ll say goodbye till next time.


NOTE

I need to note that in the last episode I said “quill” instead of “quiver” and it is going to haunt me forever.









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