I guess for those of us who embark upon a big and ambitious undertaking that seems like a good idea at the time, there come those moments of self doubt when it all seems too hard for one person with seemingly very limited talent to manage. You just feel like you are stumbling along making one mistake after another, like some bumbling ingenue who has no business in this world.
This is how I have been feeling as I progress through more podcast episodes. I'll admit that I am quite a self critical and competitive person and I always want to do a really good job, but the more I do the more I become aware of the limits of my skills and knowledge. I'm certainly no whizz at audio and there are many elements to consider to get that really polished sounding audio, and every time I think I've mastered it, I find I have made some silly mistake - chose a bad location, traffic noise from the road., or I messed up some setting in post processing and have to restart. On the whole I'm progressing but still far from perfect. It feels like as soon as I get on top of one element, there's something else I've missed. Getting everything right at once takes time and practice.
So there's the technical side, which is a weakness, but I've definitely got much better at, which means I can focus a bit more on just doing the interviews. I'm a little better at this, but I definitely go over the interviews afterwards questioning whether I really got the best out of each person. Did I ask the right questions ? Should I have rephrased things ? How come I sound like such an ineloquent twat who sounds like he's one recently mastered English ?
People may say that I'm being overly critical of myself, especially at this stage, and maybe that's true. But I feel that if I'm to create something of value that people might want to listen to, it has to be really good, both in terms of the content and also the quality of the audio.
With no budget, I have to do everything, and sometimes things don't go right...potential interviewees don't get back to you or ignore your messages...last minute cancellations...difficulties finding suitable venue for recording...recorder mysteriously stops working....files damaged so you have to start editing again...and then you have to always been thinking ahead to the next interview and how i'm going to find the next couple of nationalities. Then at the end of it all you have to try and get pepole to listen to it...yet another thing I need to work on and improve. But it's one step at at a time and if it was all meant to be easy then it really wouldn't be much of a mission for me !
Thankfully, I'm starting to gain a bit of momentum and doing episodes with fairly constant regularity and when you do something a lot and regularly you do tend to get better at it, though it's always important to review and assess what you are doing and get feedback where you can.
The next step for the future will be to find a bit of money to support the project and I have recently applied for a smal grant to fund some more episodes and use some funds to do some marketing. The long term plan would be to attract some kind of sponsorship and that would really lift the project to a new level...but that's still a pipe dream at the moment.