I find it pretty annoying when I see what someone has done but have no idea why they did it. Case in point: why is my podcast and blog now Gary Gripes and not Audio Tidbits? Probably you don’t care but someone somewhere might. For that one curious listener, I am repeating this post/episode. That’s pretty thoughtful even if I say so myself which of course I just did.
I don’t recall just how many years my podcast has been called Audio Tidbits. As a title, that is rather clever but means nearly nothing. What does “Audio Tidbits” bring to mind? Probably a few things in general but mostly nothing in particular.
It’s sort of like a podcasting junk drawer. I can just toss most anything in there and it stays just like it belongs. Some of the episodes tossed in are quite good and another few are amazing; but for the most part, the majority are mediocre at best.
I find myself with a couple of choices. I can keep tossing in an episode now and then with diminishing enthusiasm or I can dump the junk drawer and start over. I have been pursuing the first option for some time now and have ended up with an overflowing junk drawer. Why today I’m not sure, but I just dumped the junk drawer. I am committed. Never again will I just toss episodes in with no hope of a more coherent outcome. It’s either do it consistently better or don’t do it at all. What is “it?” Podcasting of course.
That was pretty hard, but the harder step is coming next. The Audio Tidbits title has to go. Whatever comes next, “Audio Tidbits” has retired. It remains to be seen whether I have also retired from podcasting.
Let me switch up some and tell you a story. Yes, there is a relevant point in here that I will get to fairly soon. But first, come with me down the rabbit hole.
How clever is it to start a story with “Once upon a time?” I doubt if that opening would ever be confused with cleverness. Even so, it may be as good as anything else if I have no interest in being clever. Some people can pull off being clever but I’m not among those clever types. I’m more aligned with those who just say what they have to say and let it go at that.
A few years back, I had the notion that I could teach myself to play the organ. I’m not talking about the kind of organ that fills a church or great hall with powerful music. I am just referring to a little organ that is smaller than most pianos. It wasn’t a toy but definitely less than the real deal.
I know. “A few years back” is pretty close to once upon a time but I’ve already admitted that something more clever is not in the cards for me. My only goal is to get you into the picture where I’m trying to play the organ. Are you there with me? I’ll just assume you are so we can move on.
Every day for nearly six months, I spent an hour or so teaching myself to play, and gradually I learned. I could play a few songs, press the right keys, and some days I believed that I was even making music. I admit that even I didn’t think it was great, but it was some better than nothing. Not a lot better, but some better.
I don’t recall the day specifically, but one day somewhere in month six, I realized that, no matter how long I worked at it, I was never going to be more than an organ player, and not a very good organ player at that.
To compound the insight, I realized that I didn’t particularly enjoy organ music all that much. Here is the point. I could play the organ but was never going to be an organist; I liked some types of music but was never going to be a musician. If the truth be known, I didn’t enjoy trying to learn to play the organ all that much either. It was just something I was forcing myself to do.