It was inevitable.
Eventually, someone was going to bring it up. It was only a matter of time.
No matter how much I tried to hide, I knew one day I would wake up, check my email, and see it.
A podcast interview invitation.
Look, I’m a blogger. I write. I might have a background as a teacher and my job might entail leading meetings, but I’m not a speaker.
I say “um” too often. I use “don’t” when I should use “doesn’t.” I tend to ramble.
And I have a southern accent. Oh my goodness, do I have a southern accent.
And yet, here I am being invited to share my ums, don’ts, and accent with the poor, unsuspecting world.
The whole thing reminds me of a joke from the late Mitch Hedberg:
When you’re in Hollywood and you’re a comedian, everybody wants you to do other things besides comedy. They say, ‘Alright, you’re a stand-up comedian. Can you act? Can you write? Write us a script?’ They want me to do things that’s related to comedy, but not comedy. That’s not fair. It’s as though if I was a cook and I worked my (butt) off to become a good cook, they said, ‘Alright, you’re a cook. Can you farm?'”
It’s not quite the same situation, but it’s close.
I blog. Now I get to talk about blogging.
Stepping Out Of Comfort Zone
Of course, that was the fear talking.
“What if I don’t know what to say?”
“What if I ramble too much?”
“What if I sound like a freakin’ idiot?”
In regards to those fears, I decided… “So what?”
So what if I don’t know what to say? I’ll break the awkwardness with a joke. Or — and here’s a novel idea many people should learn to embrace — I can admit “I don’t know.”
So what if I ramble? My tendency to ramble is part of my charm (or so says my wife).
So what if I sound like an idiot? People love idiots.
On your journey as a blogger, you’re frequently forced to step out of your comfort zone. Maybe it’s writing on a topic in which you’re unfamiliar. Maybe it’s dipping your toes into the latest and greatest social media platform. Maybe it’s using your real name when you write.
Participating in a podcast would be a step or two (or three) out of my comfort zone.
It would also be a wonderful opportunity.
So, I had a choice…
I could give in to my speaking fears and pass on a chance to reach a new audience. Or, I could humbly accept the invitation.
I could dive in head first to this podcast opportunity, knowing there will probably be a few hiccups, but knowing it’ll be a learning experience. Because of it, my next podcast opportunity will be better. And so will the next one. And the next one.
And someday, with the nervousness a distant memory, I’d be able to host a podcast of my own. “Be A Better Podcaster with Kevin Duncan” could take the blogosphere by storm.
That is, of course, if I could get over my fears.
Your Fears Only Matter As Much As You Permit Them To Matter
I’m happy to say I didn’t let fear get the better of me.
The lovely and sweet Sue Anne Dunlevie of Successful Blogging extended an invitation, and I accepted it.
The podcast interview — Making Friends: What I Learned From Kevin Duncan — is online at her website.
I can’t bring myself to listen to it yet, but the reviews so far are great. One individual said it was “the greatest, sexiest, most eloquent interview” she has ever heard.
(Okay, yes. That review comes from my wife. Still… it counts.)
Is it a perfect interview? No. Did I make mistakes? Most definitely.
But like all things in life, blogging and mistakes go hand in hand. The key is recognizing you made them, learning from them, and doing your best not to repeat them.
How about you?
Are you ready to tackle your fears?
Are you ready to fall down, get back up, brush the dirt off of you, and try again?
The blogging world can feel big and scary at times.
Want to make it feel smaller?
Face your fears head on.
If this southern writer with an “um” complex can do it, so can you.