For those of you who follow me on Twitter you may have skimmed past some random post about a Podcast idea I had a week ago. Allow me to explain quickly before diving into the result of it all.
I have been a fan of Podcasts for a while now. For those of you unfamiliar with the Apple medium, it’s a lot like talk radio without all those pesky advertisements. I have a few favorites that I listen to here and there and over the years have fallen asleep to the most entertaining people as they talk about all the things that I enjoy. Anyway, about a month ago a family friend asked me where I saw “this whole writing thing” going, to which I responded with a laugh and a sarcastic comment before I realizing I was talking out loud and then quickly back tracked with a startling genuine answer. I tweeted the following out
Thought Catalog writers Lance Pauker, Chelsea Fagan (who is slowly missing her calling as my writing best friend), Chris Hudspeth, and relative TC newbie (and from following her Twitter account, the girl we all wanted to be in Undergrad) Stephanie Karina. All amazing writers, all hilarious people, and all from very different backgrounds. It wasn’t a leap to think that recording us all talking about twenty something stuff on a weekly Podcast would be sort of epic. I mean, even if I wasn’t apart of it and it had just been a vehicle for the 4 of them I would have listened religiously, as I assumed thousands of other Thought Catalog readers would have too.
It began gnawing at me at night before I went to bed thinking about even the slightest possibility that this could be a reality. I mean, why not, we were all writers, I could just ask them to do it with me, and the worst that could happen would be that they say no. I figured the probability of them saying yes was so slim that I really didn’t have much to lose by sticking my kneck out there to see what their thoughts were. This was my opportunity to go for something I really wanted and all those other cliches that basically boil down to, “you miss 100% of the shots you never take.” I had doubts, of course, one being that I wasn’t nearly as popular or well followed as any of them. I had never even done a Podcast before, and I wasn’t even sure if we could do a recorded Podcast with any level of professionalism from five separate locations all at once. Then there was the logistics of what we would say and how we would structure it, the time constraints, the fact that we all had real lives we were trying to manage, and the very real possibility that we wouldn’t have any chemistry together which was the most essential ingredient to this being a success at all. The more I thought about reasons why I didn’t want to do it,except the more obsessed with the idea I became, the more I was convince we could do. Finally I gave in and just decided to do a little research and type up a proposal, and if I liked it, send it.
What started as a “little research” turned into a 36 hour passion project Podcast Proposal, a combination fan letter and business proposal all in one. Over the course of a few days I had become an amateur expert (oxymoron, I know) on all things Podcast related, including the know how to producing, editing, and packaging the making of a recorded show. I became well versed in how to create a multi-host production as well as in the statistics & data that supported the popularity of Podcasting as a medium. Without sounding too cocky, it was an extremely impressive concept to not only comprehend but then explain in about a day and a half time. It didn’t feel impressive though, it felt easy because the more I developed it, the more I was sold that this was a good idea and maybe, just maybe, they might actually say yes. My only fear was that they would think I was crazy and say no without giving it much thought, because who was I but just another fan who thought she could write at the same caliber as them with a good idea and a whole lot of balls.
The finished product though (I attached the PDF in the paragraph above) was not to shabby. I was proud, and then nervous, and then without overthinking it I sent it and waited. I figured I would have to wait at least a few days before hearing anything back and was happy to have the nagging feeling of an idea off my back, but was surprised when Lance sent me a detailed email response from the group later that afternoon. For the first hour I refused to read it, feeling the weight of how absurd this whole thing was for the first time since I thought it up. These were published senior writers here, 10,000’s of twitter followers and large bodies of work on Thought Catalog that spoke for itself, why would I ever think this could work?! I fought the urge to vomit for what felt like the whole afternoon before finally giving in and reading it.
I’ll spare you the boring details, but the gist was that, as good of an idea as they “thought” it was (I use air quotes because that’s what Lance said but he it was like anyone else jumped in to corroborate this) Thought Catalog wasn’t ready to go in that direction just yet, and if so wouldn’t want to limit such a thing to any particular writers as that went against the macrocosm that is TC. It made sense, as much as it tries to be the anti- Buzzfeed, sites like Thought Catalog, Elite Daily, The Daily Mail, etc are all businesses. These sites are operated by the people who write for them but are not run by those same people, so in that regard I didn’t take it too personally, especially because their reasoning fit with Thought Catalogs overall mission and vision for the site as of right now.
Mostly I was embarrassed. I felt “handled”, and perhaps a little hurt that not one “thank you” had been uttered from most of the people spoke so highly of and wanted to participate. My cover page for the proposal, a patchwork job of all of our first articles as published on the site, took me almost an hour to complete alone, and the personalized notes I wrote with the facial “ask” on it wasn’t mentioned at all. Maybe because I’m not a huge success yet, but if one day someone took the time to write out something as thoughtful and sincere as that I would have at least taken a few moments out of my day to say “Hey, thanks for the support. Sorry we can’t make this happen but the fact that you thought of me specifically and seem to understand most of the things I’m trying to get across in my writing in general, means a lot to me.” But that didn’t happen and honestly, I’m just going to have to get over that.
For the most part though, I am still glad I did it. I exhibited passion, commitment, creativity and a whole bunch of other things that I think highlight exactly what type of person I want to be and hope others do as well. I want to lead by positive example instead of the hot mess example I’ve been currently setting for myself and others. Above all else I’m proud that I took an opportunity to appreciate other writers who I think are doing a fantastic job and gave them some love. It’s easy in this medium to get in your own head about how talented you are (and believe you me, not everyone who gets published on TC is talented, just wait for my next edition of “That’s Just Your Opnion to come out later this week) or aren’t but these four make articulating what it’s like to be in your twenties with humor and accuracy look easy. I don’t even know them and I feel like I do because I read so much of their stuff.
This might have been my first real idea I put out there, but it sure as hell won’t be my last.