The first version of any creative pursuit (podcast, YouTube Channel, blog, etc.) will most likely be the worst. Don't let the idea of terrible first drafts paralyze you from starting the journey. As an active podcaster, I know what it's like to feel helpless behind the mic and have frustration running through my veins, but I still sit down every day and do the work. Here are a few words on terrible first drafts that may invigorate you embrace the process:
Kurt Vonnegut, an American writer who had a career spanning fifty years, fourteen novels, three short story collections, and many more works, had this to say about writing:
When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.
The best, most prolific writers in the world are no strangers to feeling helpless.
Everyone creates shitty first drafts.
Your favorite YouTubers, podcasters, painters, authors, at some point, made their first piece of work. It probably wasn’t good.
As a podcaster, I cringe listening to my earlier episodes. Speech fillers like “umm” or “uhh” or “like” littered the audio. I wasn’t actively listening to each guest and would move on to my next question in rapid-fire mode regardless of their response. I sucked, and that’s okay.
In the spring of 2018, I decided to start a podcast called Auxoro.
Two weeks later, my first guest, Mod Sun, agreed to sit down with me. I had hoped to have more time to record practice conversations, but an opportunity presented itself.
I sweated, babbled, and clunked my way through the Mod Sun conversation, though, at times, moments of warm connection appeared.
Learning from that experience, I recorded the episode and kept recording episodes. I’ll repeat it: the first version of anything you do will be the shittiest.
Embrace this reality.
Don’t let it paralyze you.
It doesn’t always feel good when you’re creating good content. Putting pen to paper or mouth to microphone can bring about feelings of insecurity, rage, hopelessness, and stupidity. Yes, it’s normal to want sometimes to gouge your fucking eyes out.
During the recording of some of my most popular podcasts, I have felt like things were heading south.
Thoughts have run through my head like:
This conversation is not impressive.
No one will listen to this.
I’m doing a horrible job connecting to the guest.
I feel so fucking awkward right now.
But, I reengage with the guest, battle through the negative thought cycle, and trust myself. Beneath the surface of every 300-page novel or 300-episode podcast are thousands of hours of self-doubt, mistakes, and figuring things out.
The best content creators are not in a constant flow state of spouting genius ideas. If they say they are, they’re lying.
I started Auxoro because I thought maybe a few people will listen to these episodes and feel a slight invigoration towards accomplishing a goal. I have no aspiration of changing people’s lives; only you can do that.
So, if you’re reading this and you’ve been waiting to start that Youtube Channel, blog, podcast, music career, I challenge you to make the first shitty draft.
Don’t plan for hours trying to attain the peak creative state.
Sit down and start creating.
It may not feel right.
Nobody may notice for years.
It has to be a pursuit that fulfills something inside of you. Consistent content creation will die if no inner-purpose behind the content exists. Embracing the journey is the only way kindle that purpose. Outcome-driven thinking will kill the spark of even the brightest creators.
So go ahead, write that first shitty song, that shitty blog post, whatever it may be, and I’ll be alongside you recording that shitty podcast.