It’s tough to argue against claims that I love my own voice as I announce the news that I’ve unleashed a podcast upon the world. With the reality being far from a vanity project, I wanted to share a few thoughts and findings that have helped me realise the benefits of throwing your voice into the ether.
So what’s it about? Lonely Arts Club is a podcast for all creative types and lovers of entertaining conversation; I teamed up with two of my closest friends — Ali and Veez — to talk shop, trials, tribulations and everything else in-between that a creative can face in the modern working world; there are some funny anecdotes in there too, so don’t worry, it’s not too dry.
My co-hosts and I come from varying creative backgrounds, each boasting a wealth of experience in one another’s fields. Ali is a highly successful self-producing singer-songwriter known by his alias Novo Amor, while Veez is a master of hand-drawn art as well as being a mighty fine Hip Hop music producer; and then there’s me. You know what I do. If you don’t, shame on you (I’m a film director, by the way).
So let’s get to it, then — what has podcasting taught me? I’ve broken it down into a few points:
Nurture creative skills outside of work
We should look at creativity the same as how we look at going to the gym. The ability to creatively problem solve is one that needs constant practice — You won’t be able to lift the heaviest weights unless you’ve put the hours into building up your strength — The same applies to finding creative solutions. For me, this is another way to keep my brain ticking along with stretching my legs with some storytelling, audio production and editing. All these skills are transferrable, so the more you can practice, the more you can grow.
Surround yourself with the right kind of people
We are who we surround ourselves with. A little bit cliché, but very much true. If you constantly hang out with people that don’t share a common need to create, build or develop, then it can be a very lonely place to be for a creative. It’s why co-working spaces are so successful, they’re incubators for creatives who feed off each other’s energy, it’s infectious. So find those people that get your cogs whirring and mind racing, it’s invaluable.
Create an environment that inspires you
This is less about physical spaces and more about finding a place that sparks your imagination, an environment that allows you to explore, think and challenge yourself — That’s what I’ve found with this podcast, I’ve found a place where I can go to feel inspired and if I can take that mindset into my next working day, it’s bound to pay off in dividends. Find or create a space that feeds your productivity, even if that’s in front of some microphones laughing your head off.
This might sound odd, but talking out loud has helped me hugely. Within my role, I’m often expected to speak to various groups of people in a whole manner of situations and I feel it’s fair to say that anxiety has always been a struggle for me; I would worry about finding the right words or simply just being misunderstood. Podcasting has given me the platform to practice speaking to an audience, putting myself into a position where I can get used to having to think on the spot and gain some confidence. For a lot of creatives, being pushed in front of a room of people can incredibly intimidating; if you can practice and build your confidence, you’ll find pitches, presentations and public speaking might become a little less daunting.
Prioritise mental wellbeing
One of the main reasons I started podcasting was because the act of talking is something that actively helps my mental wellbeing. Even if it’s just about something trivial, being around like-minded people who listen and can understand you can help a lot. The life of a creative is a turbulent and testing one. We face so many challenges that leave us questioning ourselves and our abilities. It can often feel like you’re adrift and on your own with the weight of these problems holding you down, but the reality is that everyone faces these issues too; everyone has doubts and worries. Getting together with two of my friends and sharing in the good, bad and hilarious has shown me how important it is to talk to others when things get tough.
So that’s what I’ve learned. Turns out podcasting has more uses than just entertainment! If you’re a fellow creative soul that enjoys a good ‘ol laugh, tune in and join the club.
You can find Lonely Arts Club on Spotify, Acast, Facebook and Soundcloud.