Behind the scenes at Ordinary Chaos

Ordinary Chaos is my new podcast, found wherever you get your podcasts (though I’m having trouble at Google), and has been in the works for over three months.

What has taken three months??

The obvious things: the interviews, the art, the music, the trailer. Less obvious but not invisible: the hosting, the website, the show notes. Invisible: getting all the podcast players to pick it up, all of the tech issues. Hopefully invisible: editing the interviews. 

Part of it is: I have never done interviews. So I’ve had a lot to learn (and continue to have a lot to learn) about interviewing. I had some fantastic mentors and opportunities to practice off-mic.

The value of a good mentor or coworking group can’t be overstated.

I’ve not recorded interviews—or myself—before. I did a few vlog posts years ago, and I did some mixing in Garage Band when my students wrote and recorded their own hip hop songs, and that’s the extent of my previous experience.

If I had to interview to get the podcast job, I would not have been picked.

The good news is, I didn’t have to be interviewed, and I didn’t have to be picked—I just had to do it. Some of it was tedious and I had to push myself to do the work. Some of it was a joy and I couldn’t wait to do more.

The combination of my inexperiences led to three complete interviews that were not viable. Two of them, I edited fully before confirming that no, this isn’t good enough. That added up to a lot of time with nothing tangible to show for it. A chunk of the three months.

The episodes don’t need to be perfect, and I’m relaxing into what good enough means in this context. Those three didn’t meet that threshold.

As a result, I’ve also gotten better at communicating with people and saying hey, this didn’t work. Are you interested in trying it again or should we let it go? Even within a sample set of three, answers vary.

As I’m listening to others’ podcasts now, I notice more details than I did before. Pauses, ums, missteps, places where music is too loud or the spliced-in audio isn’t the same volume. Some of them have professional producers, and they’re still making these mistakes.

I feel better about what I’m producing.

Everyone is interesting. I already know this to be true. Some people’s interesting is harder to access, because as much as the popular advice is to ask questions because everyone loves to talk about themselves, not everyone loves to talk about themselves.

We’re all living in our own ordinary. And ordinary doesn’t feel interesting. But many of us are interested in other people’s ordinary. “What do you do all day?” is a question that has been used in judgement against stay-at-home moms, and it’s often loaded when it’s asked of anyone. But it’s a question that I wonder about most people in most jobs, because I haven’t had most jobs, and I don’t know what the nitty gritty looks like. Even in jobs I’ve had, I don’t have other people’s brains or processes and seeing the Venn diagram of my work and theirs would be interesting.

Do I want a play-by-play of every single day? Nope. But I’d love to see work space and hear details about tasks and people and timelines and money and where you eat lunch and with whom and why and what decorates your space if anything (or if you have space to decorate) and what you wear and if that changes on days when More Important Than Usual People are going to show up and on and on.

If you’d like to share a tiny piece of your ordinary and participate in the first bonus episode, click here and see how you can be part of the Chaos.

Also in creative work: I wrote a book and am working my way through the process of getting it published. I’m not writing about it here because I have a newsletter exclusively for that. If you’d like to read bits about that process as it unfolds, sign up here. And, because all places that ask for emails nowadays are suspect, I can assure you that:

1- I’m a one-woman show (with the occasional pop-in from Rocket Kid);

2- I hate the distrustful slime pit that electronic life has become as much as anyone;

3- that list is completely separate from my main newsletter list, so being on that list will not get you added to any others. That also means that if you want to be on both, you need to sign up for both separately. However, points 1 and 2 apply to all of my work, all of my email collection places, etc.

Thanks for reading, for listening, for sharing, for interacting. Without you, I’m just a crazy lady talking to herself 😉

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