Stretching is Scary

Uncanny_Podcast

No, this is not a post about yoga. Though considering how long it’s been since I’ve done yoga regularly, that’s scary too. No, this is a post about trying something new–or at least trying something publicly that you haven’t done a whole lot (and never beyond the confines of your own home).

It’ll probably come as no surprise that this is podcast-related, so it’s not as scary as it could be. But despite the oodles of podcasting I’ve done over the last few years, new things can be intimidating–even new things you’ve really wanted to try.

I suppose I should get to it. I read a story for the Uncanny Magazine Podcast!* I’ve been producing the podcast for a year now, and it’s been such a delight working with talented readers who bring amazing stories to life. It’s also been a secret** dream of mine to breathe life into a story myself. And now I have!

It’s not the first time I’ve read and recorded something. Many years ago, a trip took me away from my then-boyfriend. I was gone for over two weeks and missed him something fierce. I read a couple of short stories onto a cassette tape and mailed it to him. I know. It’s syrupy sweet. But I enjoyed the experience mightily, and have remembered it ever since.

I also once did a brief reading for The Doctor Who Book Club Podcast.*** So it’s not that this is entirely new. The new and scary part is the pressure and professionalism of it all. A private cassette tape is pretty low stakes. A short reading on someone else’s podcast (where the author will possibly never know about it) is more nerve-wracking, but barely so. Reading a brand new story for a respected magazine where the author will be listening (as will many other people). Yeah–that’s shaky-hands time.

So yes I was nervous as hell, but unlike the me of several years ago, I didn’t let that stop me. I built myself a blanket fort and read my little heart out! (It helped that I really liked Paul Cornell’s story, “Find a Way Home”.) Of course, after I was done, I didn’t feel any less nervous about it. But I did feel I felt a sense of accomplishment about having done it!

Blanket fort

A few people (including the author!) have even said nice things about it, so the knot of panic in my stomach has lessened dramatically. But the praise is really beside the point. What’s important is that feeling of achievement–of having triumphed over the nerves and done something I love without letting my own brain get in the way.

I’m pretty proud of myself.

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*And speaking of Uncanny Magazine, at the time this posts, there will be about 10 hours left in the Uncanny Magazine Year Two Kickstarter! We hit all our funding stretch goals, and even added another one! For art! If you haven’t already looked, I do recommend checking it out. There are some fabulous rewards still up for grabs–including me-related rewards!

  • At the SUSTAINER level, you’ll have access to an all-star podcast mash-up episode featuring members of Verity!, Radio Free Skaro, and Down and Safe.
  • The DANCE PODCASTER DANCE level lets you pick a topic we talk about! (Only two of these, so act fast if you have something you want us to jabber about. Whether you want us to discuss something you love or something you made, it’s a great way to force us to do your bidding.)
  • The PICK A BRAIN, LIVE! PODCAST EDITION lets you get in on an exclusive Skype call/Google Hangout with me, Steven, Lynne, and Michael where you can ask us everything you’ve ever wanted to know about podcasting. (There are only three spots left!)

**Or maybe not-so-secret…

***No, I don’t remember which episode.

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One thought on “Stretching is Scary

  1. Darren R says:

    Not only is this something to be proud of, it’s also mildly inspiring. I say “mildly” more as a reference to my own likelihood to chicken out, but it did get me thinking that reading a story out loud might be (a) fun to do, and (b) helpful to strengthen my speaking voice in general. So, there’s that.

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