So last week we were about 35 minutes into the podcast, and Stu suddenly exclaimed, “Guys, my audio isn’t recording.”
No big deal, really. It happens. We teased him a little, restarted the podcast, and talked for another 45 minutes.
Over the podcast’s history, we’ve taken a lot of grief — mostly from ourselves — about our audio quality. The Sportive has veered back and forth between “fine” and “unlistenable,” sometimes within the same episode.
Last week’s failure was an equipment failure. Stu uses a laptop from the Bush administration — possibly from the first Bush administration — because he doesn’t have another home computer. It failed twice last time — you didn’t even really hear the second failure because Stu managed to save it.
Our reach exceeds our grasp in many ways. We have to record remotely, mostly, because none of the four of us lives or works within 20 minutes of each other. Family life means that at least one of us is booked and unavailable every single day. We have full-time jobs. Even if we had perfect audio, we’d still be a collection of white middle-aged Twitter dads complaining about local sports, and the audience for that is so small that it does not even include our immediate families.
Our audio sins are many. If our podcast was a good podcast, we would edit for content. We would spend money on better equipment, instead of figuring out how to jerry-rig the aging hardware we already have. We would get better spaces to record. We’d do whatever it is you’re supposed to do to borrow a studio, and we’d learn to record things professionally and balance our dolby or whatever the heck it is that audio engineers do.
If we had to do any of that, we wouldn’t do the podcast.
I know that few people will notice and fewer will care, when the podcast does end. But, and this is the point I want to make, I think the world is shorter than people think on people who make things. And it’s longer than people know on people who plan things but — terrified of something, anything— never get them off the ground.
We’re short on planning, we’re short on skill, we’re short on time. But we make something. Sometimes it’s garbage, and sometimes a computer dies. But it’s out there. We take what we have, and we slap it all together and hit the publish button, and it goes out in the world for a few hundred people to download and maybe even listen to.
I’m not going to pretend we’re good at this, but I don’t think that’s the point. The point is to make something. The point is to hit publish and then do it all over again. Making things always beats not making things.
You should do a podcast, is what I’m saying. Or write a blog. Or snap a chat. (Remember, white middle-aged Twitter dad; I don’t understand how Snapchat works). Think of what you want to do and then do it and forget whether it’s good or not or whether anyone will care. Making things always beats not making things.
(*NOTE: if you have a free studio and an awful lot of free time to produce a podcast, we can offer you, as a trade, Stu’s laptop with the faded but still original FOUR MORE YEARS, REAGAN ’88 joke bumper sticker on it.)