Podcasts!

I’ve listened to a few podcasts here and there.  For a while I listed to one of Kevin Smith’s podcasts simply because he’s hilarious and I like things that make me laugh.  I found it difficult to make/find the time for podcasts, though.  The only other podcast I’ve managed to listen to most of is Welcome to Night Vale (highly recommended, by the way).  But today I’m going to talk about the podcast Serial.

Serial came out in the fall last year and it follows the story of this teenager, Adnon, who was arrested and later convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend in 1999.  He was 17 at the time.  They were asked to investigate his story by a family member (I think), because they were convinced of his innocence.  Even Adnon himself maintains to this day that he is innocent.  You can listen to it all for free on their website: serialpodcast.org.

It’s an extremely gripping podcast with emotional ups and downs throughout.  One minute you’re convinced he’s guilty, the next you’re certain he’s innocent.  The story is so intriguing, in fact, that I blew through all 12 episodes, each of them about an hour long, in just a few days.  I was listening to it in the car on the way to and from work, listening to it on my breaks at work, and finishing episodes as I walked in the door when I got home.

Listening to podcasts seems to suit me best when I’m in the car, and I’m actually hoping to find more to listen to – both fiction and non-fiction.  And I have to confess, listening to podcasts makes me want to make one of my own.  I toyed with the idea back when I was listening to Kevin Smith.  He encouraged everyone to do it.  “Just get out there and record yourself talking.  Don’t be afraid of it, just do it.”  Sage advice.  And difficult advice.

I approach the idea of podcasts the same way I do with my writing, only with even less confidence.  I’ve gained a lot of headway as far as my writing is concerned.  I’ve reached the point where I don’t really care if people read it or not.  It’s out there, those that want to read it will read it.  Sure, I’d love to have tons of followers and commenters, but I don’t require them.  With writing I do tend to run into that endless struggle of what do I write about?  Now, with podcasts it’s, what do I talk about?  And then there’s my recorded voice – I hate that.

I recognize these as excuses born of my fear.  Fear of what, exactly? Fear of rejection? Fear of bad comments? Fear of failure?  I think it’s likely fear of failure, but what is there to fail at? So what if I put a stupid recording out there of myself talking about absolutely nothing?  Really, the worst that could happen is that I’ll be a little embarrassed about it and move on.  The idea is in there, though, percolating in the back of my mind.

What could I potentially talk about? Well, video games, Cosplay, writing.  The only one of those things I’m doing with any frequency is writing for the moment, but that’s okay.  Then I think I could do group podcasts – interviews with friends where we just talk about whatever we want.  I could do a sort of Humans of New York thing (only for Eugene) – but that strikes me as just a little too scary.  I’d have to have someone along with me for that.  I don’t exactly fancy the idea of approaching random strangers by myself, it strikes me as opening myself up to a potentially dangerous situation unnecessarily.

The idea of podcasts is kind of like how I feel about recording Let’s Plays and posting them on YouTube.  They’re both just ideas that are getting kicked around in  my mind.  I think this is a good sign, because it means my creativity is coming back to me, kicking and screaming in the back of my brain so it gets noticed.  I also think it has the potential to make me bury my head in the sand, though, so I’m giving it some serious thought.  I think after chores and everything are done for the weekend, I’ll look into both of these things and get some ideas storming.

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Be sure to give Serial a listen.  Anyone that is intrigued by true crime, mysteries, or the law will definitely find with worth your time.

Have you ever recorded a podcast/thought about it?  What topics do you like to hear about when listening to podcasts?  Share any thoughts/links in the comments!

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