• Mia

How Podcasting Allows Me to Stay Connected During a Pandemic

By Mia T.

Around February, I was at work sitting at my desk looking at my computer screen, with so many thoughts running through my mind. I was stuck thinking about certain issues I had going on within my life. I wasn’t sure what to talk about, so I kept them to myself. I had a thought about how many people's problems can relate to the same situations as I was going through. I thought to myself about how much I would want to try to help someone in a way because I can relate to a situation they may be going through or relate to a feeling that they might be feeling.

I thought long and hard about what I might want to do in order to send positive messages out to people. As the days went by, I slowly started to realize something that I do every single day that keeps me up and going. Whenever I am waiting for the bus to go to work or going home, whenever I have down time, or even cleaning my house. I fell in love with listening to podcasts. I started to listen to podcasts such as Anaya Ivy, Yo Quiero Dinero, Cory’s Podcast, and Listen Hunnay with Jeannie Mai. I felt better listening to others' perspectives and I can relate to a situation that I might have been going through.

One day, I thought to myself that I have so much to say and I want to use my voice in some way. That is when I figured I wanted to do a podcast to connect with people and talk about topics that are relatable. I want to give a positive outlook, taking a negative situation and flipping it to a positive. It was on my mind for a while to start a podcast and I started to slowly do the research little by little. I was very unsure where to start, I wasn’t sure if I needed fancy equipment, or if people were really going to listen to me.

When March arrived, that was when Trump announced when places had to be closed, it was needed for everyone to stay home, and everything had started to change. After staying home for some time I believed that I needed to start learning other skills and learn more. I thought it was a perfect opportunity to start my research on creating my podcast. I knew nothing about podcasting and I was determined to learn. I found a little notebook in one of my dressers for me to write down all my information. I have searched up apps on starting a podcast, read articles about different microphones on the app Medium, and trying to figure out what topics I would like to discuss on my podcast. I found a little notebook and made that notebook an idea book for me to write down any ideas I may have for my podcast or some research I found about creating a podcast.

Besides my school work and working from home, I spent my free time playing around with the Anchor app just getting familiar with the app. Something that I left for last was the name of my podcast. I was very uncertain what I was going to name my podcast because I wanted something straight to the point, but not too long, and also something that was going to have such a big meaning to me. I constantly thought about the name, at first I was designing a podcast cover with the title, “Chit-Chat and Sip,” but then I thought back to when I was younger. I was always quiet and shy, I remember growing up everyone around me used to tell me how I needed to speak up and use my voice. I started thinking about podcasting. It is just me and the mic. It was just me expressing certain feelings that I had and talking about certain topics people can relate to me. I thought about using my voice and speaking up for myself. That is when I came up with the name, “Speak Ya Mind.”

Around the end of May, early June I finally had received my microphone and started listing down topics and what I was going to discuss. I would spend countless amounts of hours in my room thinking about what I wanted to start off my podcast talking about and what I would say. I had to think deeper especially during this time in a Pandemic where every single person was going through so much, whether that would be job loss, worrying about the virus, and going through so much all at once.Even though we are all going through this pandemic together and having to deal with social distancing and wearing masks, I wanted my voice to be something that could try to at least brighten someone’s day, to give positive, and want to make someone feel that whatever you are feeling we are here together. I felt deep in my heart that I wanted to try to bring positive, bring hope, and also make someone feel that they are not alone.

When July came I was consistently making podcast episodes and had been gaining a lot of feedback. Some people reached out to me on instagram saying they felt everything that I was saying and was giving such positive feedback. Of course, starting my podcast was nerve wracking, but hearing the positivity meant everything to me. It motivated me even more to continue and to not stop. I’ve learned during this Pandemic I felt like I was able to connect with my listeners and still continue to do so. I have started to receive so many messages about how people felt listening to my podcast, especially when we are all dealing with so much because of the pandemic. It brought so much joy in my heart and I became even more consistent with my podcast. I told myself if I am able to make one person feel inspired or motivate them to never give up, to look at things happening for a reason, to not feel like they were alone I definitely felt like I was doing my job. The feeling was absolutely rewarding, during this time I’ve realized how much I came out of my comfort zone and put myself out there. Knowing the person that I am, I am very quiet, shy, and to myself. On the contrary, when I am in front of the mic and talking on my podcast I feel like my voice is being heard and I feel as if I pushed myself to become creative with my podcast and realizing it is okay to take risks because you may never know how something might turn out. I believe that this Pandemic has pushed me to become creative and realize that I want to connect with people.

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