Podcast Frustrations and a Flashback Friday Episode

Alright so I have to be honest. I’m reconsidering this podcast idea. Because this episode, which is just under three minutes, took entirely too long to create. Six freaking hours to be exact. For a podcast episode that’s two minutes and 28 seconds.

Between apartment noises at inopportune moments (leaf blowers, trucks revving their engines, dogs barking nonstop, and neighbors dropping things and slamming doors), fumbling over words and struggling to read my own dang writing, and realizing the story desperately needed editing (because it was written at a time in my career when I thought lots of pretty words equaled great writing), what was originally supposed to be a “Throwback Thursday” post is now going up on Friday, and I’m still not 100% happy with it.

Plus, that is six hours of writing and editing that I won’t get back. Six hours I could’ve spent on writing a drabble for the day or editing my novella (which I’m determined to finish by the end of December).

But as frustrated as I am, after all this time I spent trying to perfect this episode, somebody is going to listen to it dang it!

So, a couple things to remember before I attempt to record the next podcast episode…

  1. Nortina, you are a writer first. Don’t take on any more endeavors that’s going to further distract you from your writing, especially after you’ve been away for over two years.
  2. The podcast should be a special treat for your blog followers, not another job. You wanted it to be fun, right? So keep it fun, but understand your limits. Weekly episodes? Not feasible. One episode a month of a top post from the previous month? That could work. Getting frustrated to the point of mental breakdown over a story written seven years ago. ABSOLUTELY NOT!

So, although I’m not going to give it up completely, for the sake of my own sanity, it might be a few weeks before another episode goes live. While you wait, here’s “A Cold, Gray August,” an eerie story that was originally published on this blog January 9, 2014. It saw a few revisions as I was working on the podcast, so if you’ve been here since the beginning, why not have a revisit?

If you don’t have Spotify, you can also listen to the full episode here.

What are your thoughts on this new podcast feature WordPress has? Me, I’ll remain optimistic, but to be honest, I prefer typing to speaking.

Lovely Curses Podcast? Yeh or Nay

I’ve been brainstorming ideas for podcasts, now that I know I can turn my blog into one. Not that I really have to. I enjoy writing. That’s what I’m good at. When I talk for too long, my voice beings to crack, my heart starts to race, I feel out of breath. Truly it is an exercise.

However, that’s usually when I’m on a high-pressure Zoom call. But podcasting? Podcasting could be fun. But what should I podcast? Well, I have some thoughts…

Photo by George Milton on Pexels.com

Poems

Obviously the first thing that came to mind was to share my poems in audio form. I love spoken word, and though my poems are more so meant for the page that to be performed, standing on stage on open mic night before an audience of fellow poetry lovers in a dimly lit jazz club as I recite my latest journalings in verse to the smooth soundtrack of the bass playing in the background has always been a secret fantasy of mine. Without the visuals, a podcast is essentially the same thing, right?

Serial Stories

Turning serial stories into a podcast makes the most sense. They’re already broken into episodes! Plus, the length could work for a podcast. While a drabble (100-word story) a day also sounds like a great series for a podcast, each episode would probably only last about a minute. Would something so short even have an audience? I should really look into that. What’s a good podcast length? Does it even matter as long as you have dedicated listeners who keep coming back? But in this fast-paced world where the average attention span is that of a toddler, and reading a print book seems archaic to the uncultured, I figured a podcast could bring new life to some of my older stories that are on the lengthier side. What do you think, would you like to hear 26 Husbands, 26 Unusual Deaths? When you really think about it, this would be its original format, given that Grandma recounted it in one sitting to her visitors at the nursing home.

Morning Inspiration

Recently I started giving myself (and you guys) daily inspiration posts to write. Because after 2 years of being away, a constant dose of self-motivation is the medicine I hope will cure my chronic writer’s block. And sure, there are plenty of daily writing prompts out there, and mine isn’t that much different, but maybe the word prompt, the photo (if viewing on the blog), and perhaps even my voice could inspire you and get those creative juices flowing early in the morning, or afternoon, depending on your time zone or whenever you’re reading/listening.

Everything

Of course, there’s always the option to publish everything this blog posts as a podcast episode. Keep it as a widget in the side bar to always play when you come to visit. That way you can follow the blog without ever having to read it, which could be your preference with how precious time is and how quickly our schedules fill up. And let’s face it, we’ve all become quite skilled in the art of multitasking.

Something Completely Different

There are times when I want to write about topics that aren’t always within the scope of this blog, and I struggle to find the right niche for these. Sometimes they sit infinitely in drafts, never to be published. Other times I create another blogging space for them, like my blog Tina Reviews It All. But I’m not a consistent reviewer. I only post about works that really speak to me, things that I enjoyed (or hated) so much that I felt passionate enough to write a lengthy blog post about it. Unfortunately, those are few and far between. The podcast will likely be the same. With my publication frequency, you’ll have just enough time to forget about it before I post again!

Any Suggestions?

As you can see, I have a lot of ideas. But little direction on where to take them or discipline to recognize when I may be overexerting myself, which is why I have so many projects I’ve started but never finished. I do feel like a podcast is an excellent way to expand the blog to a wider audience. But I also want to do something I can be consistent with, without feeling pressure to always come up with content, especially when I’m not really feeling it. More importantly, I don’t want to get so caught up in trying new things that I split my focus or lose sight of why I originally created this blog. To share my creative pursuits with you, specifically writing fiction and poetry, and eventually bringing that together in a published book. As long as podcasting doesn’t get in the way of that, sure I can try it. What do you think?

Would You Like to Hear My Voice?

Why, hello there, stranger. Yes, I know, it’s been too long. Years, really, as the poem at the end of this post explains, since my last post (September, 19, 2019), which was actually a throwback to an even older post from 2017.

A lot has happened in my life since that post…I wish I could say. Who would’ve known that a few short months after that throwback Thursday went live, the entire world would come to a complete halt, rife with pandemic panic, or pandemic denial—pick your poison.

So it was pretty easy for this blog to fade into the background. And fade it did. Quickly, as I became overwhelmed with anxiety, isolation, abandonment, depression, pandemic fatigue, health scares, work stress (“working from home” transitioning seamlessly overnight into “living at work”). Factor in a very old personal laptop that was barely functional when charged—and definitely couldn’t hold a charge past 15 minutes—I was never in the mood to write. The ironic part is that writing is my therapy, and the more I avoided it, the worse my symptoms became. And inspiration for new and current lovely curses suffered.

But as we approach the close of the year—and the reluctant acceptance that COVID will always be here—it’s time to make some changes, hopefully for the better.

Isn’t this always a resolution?

First on my list is prioritizing my health, because I won’t tell you how much weight I’ve gained in these last 20 months. But if I can at least get back to “onederland” by the New Year, I’ll be on track (and I am so close).

Thirty glow-up

I’ll be hitting the dreaded milestone next year, and I am not ready. Mentally, physically, style-wise. I hate to admit it, but my wardrobe has been stuck in the 2010s for far too long. There’s nothing more embarrassing than your own family members telling you how crusty your clothes look—or your little brother having more shoes in his closet than you do shirts that fit. So a makeover going into 2022 is a must. Add to that some new digs, because I can’t be the only one who is fed up with their current living space after being trapped there for over a year.

Prayer and mediation

The mental strains I’ve had to deal with these last several months have a lot to do with the fact that I don’t take out time in my day to close myself off from the rest of the world and sit and talk to God. I always complain about never having time to do anything (like writing on this blog); the truth is I allow too many things to waste my time (I’m talking to you, Married at First Sight and 90 Day Fiancé). If I eliminate these things, and take back those 2 hours of my Wednesday and Sunday nights specifically, I could do so much more (and that does not include finding another show to watch, although I have plenty on my watchlist to catch up on). I could spend those 2 hours pursuing and strengthening the one relationship that promises to always be there and sustain me, rather than heckle fake couples with fake storylines on Twitter, while secretly lamenting the realization that I’ll be separated from my forever person for an indefinite amount of time.

Long distance relationships during a pandemic… I do not recommend.

Write…just write

As I said before, writing is my therapy. And being away from it for so long was unquestionably detrimental to my health. So I’m easing my way back into it, hopefully without burning myself out in the process or draining my mind of creativity too soon. The first step was upgrading my laptop. Seriously, it was long overdue. My first post since being back from my extended hiatus was simply motivation to write…just right. Interesting thing is, I noticed something new when I hit publish. Which brings me to the reason behind the title of this post—no, it wasn’t just click bait.

Apparently we can convert blog posts to podcasts now! Boy, I missed a lot while I was away! When I clicked published and saw the option to also make the post a podcast, I thought, what a pleasant surprise! The option to bring my poems and stories to life with my voice? That’s one thing I’ve always wanted to do. Audio being my preference, because I hate showing my face, and I can have debilitating social anxiety when I have to talk to people, even if I’m not directly looking at them. But a podcast? Hmm, I could give that a try, be that voice in your ear as you function through life.

But then the self-doubt creeps in. That self-doubt that always seems to convince me to give up on pursuing the things I really want to do. It whispers, would my followers even want to hear my voice? Even I hate the sound of my voice, mainly because I’ve been told too many times that I sound like a 12-year-old; and let me tell you, not being taken seriously as a grown ass adult is very triggering. I’m also from the South, so, you know, accents. But the monotonous voices (specifically the female one—the male one at least has a little animation) available to use in place of my own don’t do my work justice, don’t convey the emotion I had when I wrote it.

So if you’re willing to give my little Southern baby drawl a chance, I would love for you to have a listen to yesterday’s poem. My self-encouragement to write. No limits, no obsessing over whether it’s good enough, or publication worthy. Just urging myself to write…the way I used to.

A Cold, Gray August Lovely Curses

This episode takes us on a flashback to the first story ever published on the Lovely Curses blog. Originally published January 9, 2014, "A Cold, Gray August" is an eerie tale about unseasonably cold weather in the height of summer and its effect on a mother and son.  Read the original blog post: https://lovelycurses.com/2014/01/09/a-cold-gray-august/
  1. A Cold, Gray August
  2. New Laptop…Now Write