Antifragility with Ammielle — Release Notes

On why I started this podcast, editing, & host-guest balance

Laura Gao

05 Feb 2021 • 2 min read

Welcome to Release Notes: where I talk about the decision making process behind my content. It's kind of like a little behind-the-scenes. These are the release notes of episode 6 of my podcast.

I tend to talk similarly to whatever podcast I happen to be listening to at the moment. I've been listening to some After On recently, and boy does Rob Reid talk a lot in the shows that he hosts (at least the 3 recent episodes he does). I talked way more in this episode than the recent 2 mindset ones. Looking at the audio waveform, Ammielle and I talked for about roughly equal amounts of time.

In the past few mindset episodes, I've been focusing on asking good questions and hearing what ideas the guests have. I think I did this decently in episodes 3 & 5 — in those episodes, I basically only asked questions and did not share any of my ideas at all. The audio waveform shows that essentially >90% of the time is the guest talking. This episode, I did share some of my ideas.

I'm not sure what format I'll lean towards next time. For now, I'm still experimenting and going with the flow of conversations.

I used to edit these episodes with the intention that no one would listen to them. There are so many podcasts in the world, who would listen to this new one where teens dump their crazy ideas and probably have no idea what they're talking about?

Like I told Alexandra this morning, I started this podcast as a medium to get my thoughts published without extensive editing. When I write articles, for example, each sentence is meticulously crafted to enhance the reader experience. I found that my high quality standards were stifling — I wrote fewer articles than I would've written if I could just publish the first draft. [1]

I started this podcast to overcome that mental barrier. Instead, I could hop on a spontaneous call with a friend and hit record. Through discussions, I can stutter and blurt out my thoughts in disorganized ways and still put the content out there.

CGP Grey spends ~11 hours editing each 1-2 hour podcast episode he records. Over all the episodes so far, I spend an average of 2-5 hours editing. (Partly because this is my first time editing a chunk of audio longer than 2 minutes. In the beginning, I was spending extra time getting used to Audacity and editing techniques.) For this episode — my most recent one — I spent 2 hours editing.

My plan was to spend the least amount of time editing as possible, preferably under an hour per episode. I would edit with the intention that no one would listen to them.

However, this changed. In the past 2 days, I got a messages from a few people telling me that they listen to the podcast.

Now, I actually have an audience. I can no longer edit these episodes with the intention that no one will listen.

I might start legit-ly editing these episodes. If I do that, I'll probably spend more time than CGP Grey's 11 hours per episode in the short term, the extra time for the purpose of learning advanced techniques.

Please do let me know if you have thoughts on how heavily I should edit or something you think could help me!

I love the antifragility mindset so much that I have it taped all over my wall

[1] This is also why I started my blog: I wanted a space to freely dump my imperfect writing that I didn't want to obsessively edit.