I’ve been a fan of podcasts for about a year now, and while my interest grew, so did my interest in hosting and producing a podcast. For a number of months I was on the podcast precipice, not quite ready to jump. To be completely honest, I was insecure about the sound of my voice and the lisp that sometimes comes out. But, my curiosity of the podcast medium kept growing, and in March, I decided to move forward. I wanted to start a podcast in spite (and perhaps because of) my insecurities, but I didn’t want to do it alone, so I looked to my partner in crime, my roommate, my blood–my sister.
We were driving down the 85 when I dropped the podcast idea on my sister, Shaena, not quite sure what she was going to think. I really wanted to do a creative project with someone else. Writing is a bit of a lonely pursuit, fulfilling, but something that you do largely alone. There is a lot of freedom in being the only person in charge of a creative project, but there is much to gain from collaboration (i.e. someone to relieve the pressure and push you to be better). I also knew that it would be special to work creatively with family, especially my sister. For all those reasons, I hoped that she would say yes.
Obviously, she did, and as we sped down the highway it quickly became apparent that there was only one topic for us to talk about: libraries. It’s the big love that we share, so we decided to jump right in, and Library Life was born. We raced down to Best Buy to buy a microphone and then promptly realize that we had no idea what we were doing.
We stood in the very small section of microphones and started Googling, and we didn’t stop the first episode came out. We had to learn about how to create a good sound environment, everything about audio editing and come up with content. It was fun and exciting to start a new project, but it was also intimidating. When the first episode was all recorded, and we were about to publish it, I hesitated.
That moment of hesitation was filled with a lot of things. Perhaps the biggest was that I knew that the podcast wasn’t perfect. There was a clicking sound in the background when our headphones hit against the mic (only later, after some Nancy Drew-ing, did we figure that out). At times, we repeated ourselves, and we sounded a bit robotic. The first episode didn’t sound at all like Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History that we had listened to for hours on our last road trip. All-in-all the first episode wasn’t perfect, but we (and by “we,” I mean Shaena) clicked “publish” anyways.
It was really hard to put something out there that I knew wasn’t perfect. I’ve put out less-than-great content before, but I always thought it was good at the time, haha, and only realized it still needed work with more time and experience under my belt. Producing Library Life was the first time that I knew I was putting out something that was good, but not great.
The reason why we published the episode, despite my reservations, was because we decided that it was good for people to see the process. So many times we only see the super polished, finished versions of pieces and it’s discouraging to new creators. It’s the same with writing. Your first draft always looks crappy against the published book that’s been through rounds and rounds of edits. Learning the merits of beginning is good for all creative endeavours.
We are still learning how to podcast and that’s reflected in the way Library Life is produced. If we waited until the podcast was perfect before we put it out in the world then it would never get made, and we’d never have any opportunities for learning. Every episode we learn a little more, the episodes get a little tighter, and we get a little more confident. Some episodes are better than others, and sometimes we try new things that don’t always work out, but that’s okay. I want to be committed to showing process and creating without the barrier of perfection.
It’s still hard for me to click publish when I know I could do a little more with the episode, but, I try to stand behind the philosophy I’ve just written about. Again the phrase rings true, finished is better than perfect. Something is better than nothing, and I’m proud of the “something” we’ve created so far.
If you’re one of the kind people that have already listened to Library Life, thank you! It means so much to have people support us in this new project. And, if this blog post is the first you’re hearing of the podcast, we’d love for you to listen. You can navigate over to the podcast page on this website for more information or you can head to Library Life HQ, our Anchor website.