Shortly after I started the lowercase esports podcast, I came to the conclusion a one-man-show podcast that episodes needed to have some sort of structure. Without some sort of very basic order, I found I could not keep the central idea of the episode in mind without forgetting key parts of my argument which, in turn, would shred the quality of the result.
For a time, I tried publishing smaller posts. When an important source would link to something on Twitter, I would throw that tweet into a post and summarize my appraisal of the information or insight that was linked. I was lured into false sense of improving about these posts.
Ultimately, I felt I couldn’t cannibalize the content of my podcast by analyzing my sources two or three paragraphs at a time and publishing them to the blog as if I were shooting from the hip.
I resolved to making notes for themed episodes were I would need to bounce from one major idea to the other.
Of course, I needed someplace to put those notes. I bought a few ruled notebooks and ordered a leather notebook cover.
A short aside as I mention equipment: if you’re serious about writing, get a real implement to write with. Separate it from your normal writing procedure. Don’t use it to sketch with. Don’t use it to write on Post-It notes. Don’t use it to sign your name with. Only use it to write.
And buy a fountain pen. Even a low-end fountain pen like the Preppy is an incredibly solid pen that only a moron or a child could ruin. As The Art Of Manliness puts it:
It makes you feel like a sir. I’ll admit it — one of the appeals of writing with a fountain pen is that it just makes you feel awesome. There’s something about writing with the same implement that Teddy Roosevelt and Winston Churchill used that makes you feel like a true gentleman and scholar.
My initial method ended up being the note taking procedure of choice: every time I had a thought I wanted to save for later or read an article I had an opinion about, I wrote it down in that notebook.
After a few days of exclusively writing notes about various esports happenings and potential goings on, I stopped worrying about the performance of my posts. After a few more days, I stopped posting regularly. Why?
I felt more satisfied being able to recall details about my archived thoughts than I did when I was carelessly pushing articles into the ether.
Now, that might ring out as a tad defeatist, but I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t. Self-deprecation is something of a way of life for me. I can also tell you it’s helped me develop into quite the social butterfly.
Being satisfied with my working material has invariably led to more confident podcasts. Monologues that used to be scatterbrained are now marginally more focused than they used to be.
Now, even though I’ve finished my first notebook, I still haven’t cracked the code on consistently keeping everything I’ve written out by hand in my mind as I record the podcast. I still have to refer to my notes if I don’t want to reorganize the episode according to what returns to the top of my head as I talk through the subject matter, but I’m feeling better about what I’m doing with the podcast.
So… what about publishing my notes… as posts?
Now, that could work.