Step 1. Lose your Fear.
Updated: Mar 6
How to start a PodCast, from scratch
Greetings fellow travellers, I’ve been out in the wide world creating, getting paid for it, and having some fun. I’ve also taught myself how to make a PodCast, from scratch and I've made 3 episodes so far. I'm not an expert, but I’m doing it. If you’re interested in learning how to PodCast too, read on :)
Step 1, lose Your Fear
Part 2 - the Practicalities - can be found here.
The first thing you must attempt is to stop giving a damn about what other people think of you.
I mean, obviously we all care to some extent what others think of us, unless we’re actual psychopaths. I once knew a psychopath rather well, I've attempted several times to write that story and am determined to one day succeed. And I can assure you she didn't give a flying fuck about anyone's feelings but her own, up to and including those of her own children and her poor husband. But unless you're also missing the ability to feel empathy, shame, fear, love or guilt, you're likely to worry to a greater or lesser extent about how people perceive you.
However, you can choose to stop letting that stop you. Years ago, I had Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, initially to manage PTSD. A wonderful side-effect of the many sessions I attended is that I'm rarely shy, or particularly bothered by strangers thinking or saying negative things about me. I'll sometimes feel an initial sting, but it quickly dissipates and doesn’t usually affect me much in any meaningful way.
It's true that my personal shyness/social anxiety/self esteem concerns varied by age and some of my confidence may be that I'm simply reverting to the courageous child I was before that was beaten out of me, both literally and metaphorically. But overall I did worry a lot more about what people thought of me before CBT, and I do believe much of my ability to say “what the hell” and just over-ride my fears about embarrassing myself is because I integrated some of the wisdom of CBT into my psyche. Particularly the discussions about how we're all the heroes in our own stories, but that for most of the rest of the world we’re barely a blip.
CBT is a complex and wide ranging therapeutic practice, and here I’m merely distilling a few drops of wisdom from months of work, which stuck with me. I also realise that it’s much harder to incorporate this into your reality without the actual therapy sessions.
There is one great little app which I find personally useful. If you can't access therapy, or don't want to, but are looking for something based on cognitive science to aid you, you might take a look at this app. It’s a bit different to many mental health apps I’ve come across:
In my opinion, Intellect is a nifty wee app, and worth a look. Better still would be CBT sessions with a trained professional, but I realise we don’t all have the resources or inclination for that. And sometimes simply re-framing the situation can be enough to give us a courage booster.
CBT words of wisdom
1. I particularly appreciated when my psychologist asked me to try to recall the most embarrassing moments of my life. There were far too many and they were far too easy to retrieve from the memory vaults. David, my psychologist at the time, then asked me to give examples of the most embarrassing moments experienced by friends, family, acquaintances, or loved ones. And I found myself really struggling. Apart from a few stand out funny moments, nothing jumped to mind.
He then pointed out that most of my friends feel the same way about my embarrassing moments. People just don’t think about "me" much, they're too busy being the protagonists in their own theatre of life. Theyre thinking about themselves and not much about you or I. And people who barely me probably think of me not at all.
2. Then there’s the CBT tenet “where’s your evidence for that?”
So, supposing you’re thinking that someone may mock you if you make a PodCast. You might make a fool of yourself. When my inner voice tries to slyly slip that thought past me I now respond robustly "Well, so fucking what?”
I have no evidence anyone will mock me, in fact my evidence so far is to the contrary. And even if they did, who, actually, cares? What material harm can they do me? The answer is probably none, except inside my own head.
So, if you're keen to try out PodCasting but find yourself saying “Oh I could never do that!” perhaps you should ask yourself, oh really? Why not?"
Of course, you might not simply be allowing anxiety to rule your decisions. You may not have have the money for a microphone, or a quiet room to record in, or the know-how to start a PodCast. I can at least help with the third issue.
So stay tuned to this site to read about the simplest microphone and recording software I was able to find, how to use them, and how I picked a PodCast host. All of this and more will be addressed in how to make a PodCast from Scratch: Part 2. The Basics. Coming soon.
And if the real reason you’re not making that PodCast is that you’re afraid you’ll fail, or feel foolish, why are you allowing imaginary not-yet-seen possible repercussions which you have no evidence for prevent you from doing what you want to do?
Q: Who, actually, cares if you make an arse of yourself?
A: Probably mainly you.
Q: And what actual repercussions can embarrassing yourself have?
A: Probably none, except in your head. (Unless possibly you make a video or PodCast about something illegal or something that the cancel culture wokemongering synthetic leftists decide they want to try to sack you for.)
As for me, I've accepted the reality that nobody really cares much what I get up to, one way or the other, bar my nearest and dearest. So when people do pay attention I feel good and when they dislike me I don’t much care.
It’s a pretty sweet life philosophy, I definitely recommend you try it.
And don't forget, you can tip the chef here, showing me your support is quick and easy!
Till next time, constant reader,
Fair winds and a following sea.
Alison, Queensland Australia, February 2021
Copyright Alison Tennent 2021, all rights reserved. Scottish by birth, upbringing and bloodline, Australian by citizenship. If you’re reading this anywhere but The Garrulous Glaswegian or Medium, this work may have been plagiarised.