When I started to create this podcast, I had an image in my head that it would be the most perfect thing I’d ever created. I had a vision that the audio would be perfectly attuned and the sketches would be fully formed things, and their order would be harmonised to make sense.
Obviously, that isn’t the case. I’m deep into editing the podcasts and sometimes my voice sounds weird and the acting is bad, sometimes the audio sounds unbalanced and a bit odd, and sometimes I sound like I’ve got a cold. Suffice to say, it sounds far from perfect.
How hard should we be on these imperfections? On the one hand, obviously I want this podcast to be the best that I can make it and I want to iron out these flaws until it sounds smooth and professional. But the reality is, that’s very hard to do. We only did one take for the majority of the sketches, so it’s understandable that some of it doesn’t sound completely perfect. My editing skills are also slightly questionable, even though now I’ve started to enjoy it more and I’m becoming more adept at it. Usually, I’d be fine with these imperfections. Usually I’d just brush them off as loveable flaws that make the piece unique, and that don’t really matter in the vast expanse of the universe. That’s how I’d deal with them if it was a piece of schoolwork, or another project. This podcast is different. Now it’s on iTunes (you can find some test episodes- which I don’t appear in- in the purple podcast app right now), it feels real. Now it’s on iTunes, I know it’s going out to the world, and that’s quite daunting. Although I don’t expect a great following/large number of listeners, I’m scared they might pick up on these admittedly small but collectively large flaws and judge me for it. After all, the show has my name in the title. It’s not even the people who might listen to it who I don’t personally know who scare me, it’s the recurring image in my head of my family and friends hypothetically listening to it and cringing slightly at each ‘joke’ who scare me.
But imperfection is OK, and it’s important not to hold yourself to too high a standard. It’s OK for the audio to wobble slightly, and it’s OK for a voice to sound a little strained. You are new to this, I keep telling myself. You are new to this, and no one is expecting something akin to the Sistine Chapel. There definitely is a slight perfectionist complex going on here, because I’ve never been taught (well, I have, it’s just the perfectionism always comes out on top) to be proud of something really important that wasn’t perfect. In a way, I think the fact this podcast isn’t the epitome of perfection is good. I’m learning how to be proud of something that isn’t perfect. I’m learning to be proud of something which is rough hewn, but something I have worked so hard for. One of my main lessons from this podcast, is that imperfection is OK, and that people won’t judge you for it, and not to be scared about how other people might react to the imperfections. And this isn’t a rule which just applies to this podcast- it can apply to anything: eyeliner, GCSE results (topical at the moment), a piece of art, a piece of writing. It’s all going to be OK. Take deep breaths, and wing that eyeliner.