Because of the pandemic, I’m recording my radio shows at home using a very amateurish and makeshift set-up (pictured above). I don’t have the skill, time or patience to edit recordings, so I record each show as if it was live, in one take. I leave the mistakes in, just as you’d hear them if I really was in the studio.
So far, I think I’ve learned these things:
I need to slow down a bit, I rush from one tune to the next too much
I need to allow more time for prep, and make sure I have written notes to refer to. I’m not too bad at improvising my between-song patter, but sometimes I forget something really basic and find myself umming and ahhing as I desperately try to recall it
I need to get some advice from a technical expert to improve my set-up; having some faders would be a great improvement but I don’t know what kit to buy, or how to connect it all together
Fingers crossed, later in 2021 I’ll be able to return to a studio again and do things properly.
I was nervous about this change at first, but I needn’t have been. Work-wise, 2020 has been more varied, more interesting and more exciting than most.
I’ve worked with more clients, on more projects, on a wider variety of things, than at any point since I set up Use the human voice back in 2017. All the way from project 25 to project 44, in fact. That’s the most projects I’ve ever managed in a single year.
Public Digital kindly kept me on as a member of their network of freelancers and friends, which meant I was able to help out with a number of really interesting projects, including:
Working closely with the EdTech Hub engagement team for several months
Advising the United Nations’ Capital Development Fund Policy Accelerator team on communication with clarity
Running a discovery and content audit at medical services company DrDoctor
All that, plus a number of smaller or more secret jobs in between. It’s been incredibly busy, which has many many hundreds of video calls. I decided to rent an office and I’m really pleased that I did. Having a dedicated work space is definitely something I want to continue after the pandemic.
People are so lovely
We’re all having a shitty year this year, whatever our circumstances. Everyone’s fed up and miserable. Everyone just wants it to end, and it will end; but possibly not for many more months, or even another year. It’s a hard slog, but slog through it we will.
I’ve reached the end of this year with an overwhelming sense of gratefulness. I’m grateful to my family for slogging through it together. Grateful to colleagues for helping me with difficult projects. Grateful to friends who offered a sympathetic ear when I needed to moan.
Grateful to all the people, especially loved ones, who wear a mask and stay away, and don’t mind me doing the same.
Grateful that I’ve had a good year, professionally speaking, with lots of variety and interest and wonderful people to talk to in video calls.
Soon, we’ll be talking in actual rooms again. Soon-ish.