A few weeks ago, I was talking to Dave one evening and said something that made him laugh a lot. Out of the blue, he said, “We’re really funny. We should do a podcast.” I don’t think he was being serious, but the idea took root in my brain and just would not let go.
I kept thinking about it and bringing it up in conversation, but while Dave wasn’t against the idea, we didn’t come up with any concrete plans for a while. Then, last week, while we were in Norway, we started talking about it properly and came up with a concept. We decided we would take turns to make each other watch media we love that the other one dislikes or has no interest in, and then discuss our reactions. I said we should call the show For Better Or Worse.
On a whim, I checked Spotify and it turns out there’s already a podcast where a married couple make each other watch media they love that the other one dislikes or had no interest in, and then discuss their reactions. And it’s called For Better Or Worse…
Back to the drawing board!
In the meantime, I remembered that one of my favourite podcasters, Kristen Meinzer of By The Book, was bringing out a how-to guide called So You Want To Start A Podcast. It was released that same week, so I downloaded the Kindle version and read the whole thing in three days, making copious notes along the way.
Amusingly, Kristen says it’s important to know why you want to start a podcast, and that a particularly bad reason is, “because my friend Dave and I are really funny”! Apparently, either Kristen is speaking directly to us in her book, or ‘my friend Dave and I’ are wildly unoriginal in our thought processes… Hey ho.
Spurred on by further discussion, excellent advice from Kristen’s book, and my own experience of the format of podcasts I enjoy, I believe we have now established a good plan.
In the space of a week, we have developed a concept, a title, and a standard episode outline. I have made show art, found a free-to-use theme tune and written a master script. Dave has purchased microphones and set up both an email and Twitter account for the show. We know what our subject for the first episode is (which I am going to research and make notes on this afternoon) and we’re set to record a test pilot on Saturday!
I’m ridiculously excited about the whole thing and have been obsessing over it more than I have about anything in a long time. The amount of thought and effort I’ve put into the project over the last couple of weeks is quite staggering, and I’m really looking forward to getting to grips with the actual recording of an episode.
However, I have a feeling that the technology side of things is where our skills and enthusiasm are going to face their greatest test. Achieving good sound quality and editing are probably going to be more difficult and time consuming than we anticipate and the whole project may stall before it really gets going. However, I do have a plan! On a recent reading retreat, I met someone who co-hosts (and produces) an excellent podcast (with amazing sound quality), The Book Club Review - and she has kindly offered to help us out if we run into problems.
Despite my over-eagerness, we’re not in a rush to release anything, and Kristen suggests in her book that recording three or four episodes before uploading the first one is a good idea, so you have a buffer in case there are delays in later production. This means that, even if everything goes really well at the weekend, we’re not going to be launching the show for a while. But we’re keen, we have everything in place and we know where to go for help if we need it.
So, fingers crossed that our podcast will become a real thing that’s out in the world before the end of the year. Watch this space!
On Saturday May 11 2019, my winning entry for the Just Back travel writing competition was printed in the travel section of the Daily Telegraph.