Embarking on a year-long odyssey of voices and tales, I, Gurasis Singh, found myself at the crossroads of instinct and wisdom on the latest instalment of My Thick Accent podcast. Every conversation, a mosaic of diverse immigrant chronicles, has etched into my core the affirmation that following my gut leads to the most resonant stories.
As we gear up for a sophomore season that promises even more authenticity and spontaneity, join me in pondering the art of conversation and the delicate balance of preparation and flexibility.
Learn from my personal journey to hone the craft of podcasting, where selecting salient topics and honoring time commitments has become paramount. Your engagement has been the bedrock of this journey, so I extend an invitation to share your thoughts, reach out via email, or connect with us on social media.
Let's continue to weave this tapestry of stories, learning and growing together with each episode.
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Hi, this is Gurasis Singh and you're listening to My Thick Accent podcast. Hello, dear listeners, and welcome to the last episode of the year 2023. And if you're listening to this one already in the year 2024, happy new year. But today I would like to create this episode to reflect on my podcasting journey, and I feel like reflecting on the journey of the past year is like looking into a mirror that reflects not just the external episodes but also the internal learnings that one gain. And in the realm of podcasting, every episode has been a step into this transformative dance, a rhythm guided by the heartbeat of shared stories. And today, in this bonus episode, I would like to delve into the essence of reflection. It's about gazing back, not just at the interviews and narratives, but at the lessons tucked within the way life unfolds. So let's unpack the five lessons learned from one year of podcasting. So the first thing I learned from one year of podcasting is trusting my gut, trusting my instincts, and I say that in terms of the kind of people I bring on the podcast. There were times I have gotten an intro call with a few people and they are doing some amazing work. They are contributing to the in helping immigrants Achieving their goals and so many similar things and the mission that sort of I have. But there is some voice within, some inner voice, that is saying me not to interview them, not because they are not like good people or there's something wrong with them. It's just that I felt like if I'm bringing somebody on the podcast, I need to connect with them and I need to deeply connect with their vision For the immigrants that they have. And there have been times when I've gotten a call and this one time I think I just came back from India and I think I've said this story multiple times on the show and I'd love to get into in details, maybe in the future episodes. But this one time I got a call with somebody and that person reached out to me and I just came back from India and I had no other episodes in queue and I wasn't desperate need to put an episode out. I got on a call and I talked to them. We were trying to get on the same page for the recording. But Just after the after our introduction call that I had with them, my heart was saying that I don't interview this person again. I don't exactly know how to explain it, but deeper than I had this feeling that just don't interview this person. But regardless, I still interviewed and After the interview the things went south, completely south. There were some lot of complications, to the point that they did not like the episode. They even Precisely criticizing the podcast and so many other things started happening within the span of like three days and I end up not putting that out episode out because once again my heart was saying it's not the right thing to do and that happened. And there have been times where my gut has even helped me. It has asked me to reach out to a certain person just because I thought they would have Some kind of story, certain stories or anecdotes from their life that can benefit the immigrants, that can help my listenership. And this one episode I did with was, you know, with Mary Alice Soto and she. It was like episode 28, I believe, and it was about getting into the Biological side or the side, or basically it was about looking at immigration from the scientific perspective and how xenophobia plays a role and so many other other Topics that we discovered on the episode. And I just found her literally Through LinkedIn, like she commented on one of my guests LinkedIn post and I, I read, I saw her profile and I saw her title and everything and I was like, let me just reach out to her. I feel like she could be a good guest. And when I got on a call with her, we click within a second, literally the moment we got on a call, we clicked and I was like this is a great guest to have on the show. And she is right now in Egypt and and she is doing her Masters is. I think she's probably doing her PhD in immigration studies and and other all the other Aspects that we really explore on the podcast. Imagine, if only, if I would have never reached out to her, I would never be able to educate myself from all the things that she is learning and the things that she shared on the podcast. So yeah, I think this is one of the things I learned that always trusting my gut. If my gut is saying to have this guest on the Podcast, I will, and if my gut is saying I'm not connecting with the person, I might not proceed with that guest. So the second is always have an outline for your guests, and you must be wondering that did I not already have that? So initially, when I started I used to send outlines only to the people who wanted an outline and there were many of my guests who were pretty much comfortable to just get on the spot and talk about their journeys and talk about their stories because it is literally about their immigrant journeys and I never used to send these outlines to all of them. But this one time I choose not to send an outline to one of my guests and when I interviewed them after the episode I felt like there was so much. There was so much I wanted to ask them but I just could not, because the person was so amazing, was marvelous in the way they were articulating their thoughts, they were an exceptional speaker and they were in the habit of dictating their journey, dictating their story, with all the anecdotes and everything possible, and I felt like I wasn't my best and I wasn't able to ask them the exact questions I wanted to ask or the nuances I wanted to get into, just because the person was in a certain flow and I don't like interrupting my guests in between and only if I had given that guest an outline, that would have been really helpful for me to really cover everything I wanted to cover. I mean, there's always a second time I can bring that guest again, obviously, in which I might do eventually in my second season. But yeah, I think from that moment on I started sending an outline to everybody, regardless they have asked me or not, and I think that has helped, that has been of great help and I think I'm going to continue to do that. So now getting on to the third one, which is believing in myself and my ability to interview and I say that because you guys must be wondering that, okay, I have interviewed, you know, 50 plus people and might be pretty confident, and I am able to interview everybody you know who say would come on the podcast. And I mean it does require a lot of work and research sometimes that I, before I get on the call with them. But I think I was being over prepared when I started, I wasn't really trusting myself and I wasn't trusting myself for being able to leverage the responses that I might receive from the guests. Because now what I do is I really don't prepare a lot, I really try to just get on a call and talk. And I think that has been really helpful for me to do not put so much pressure on me to be able to cover everything I wanted to cover. And now I do get into the follow ups, I do get into a lot of the backgrounds I wanted to know from people and I actually touch each and every aspect as I wanted to touch. As the flow goes on, I make sure that this is more and more organic and I think I can see the difference in the output that also that is received, and especially in the season two, the episodes that I have recorded which are going to be out very soon in the air 2024. And I think you'll see also when you listen to that, that those seem to be very good output and very organic conversations where you're able to cover everything. And yet I think I am also talking a lot and I don't have that pressure of getting on to the next question. So I think I need to trust my again, once again my instincts, more believe in myself and more, more. And since I haven't do a lot of people, I need to trust that. I need to trust that I have learned from that practice and I think I should be a little more spontaneous, you know, with with me, with me being able to interview people. So, yeah, that is something I think I need to start doing more and more. I think I have definitely adopted that in my interviewing style. I think I'm going to continue to do that in the future episodes. And the fourth one is learning when to stop when researching about the guest. Let me give you a few examples. There were people like Nick Nurani, which was Episode 37, sangeeta Sharma, episode 30, dhanan Lumkhan, episode 15, gur Sahib Singh, the famous YouTuber, episode 25, and, of course, parul Khanna, episode 41 and 42, and many other people. All of these have decades and decades of experience of being an immigrant and they have done so much for the immigrant community and they have so much to offer to the immigrant community and me. Being an interviewer, I wanted to cover everything. I wanted to cover every publication they have been part of every interview they have been on and everything that they have done. But that's not possible. And I think initially I used to get into everything possible that they have done to be able to cover on the podcast, know about the background of it, know how they started, how they, like, initiated the inception of the idea, etc. Etc. But that's not possible. So I think I sometimes spend way more on the research which wasn't even necessary, and now I think I am very mindful of that and I make sure I only touch on the extremely important topics or the works that they have done which people might be interested to know more about. So I focus on that and then, once again, there is always a second time I can bring them again and talk about the other aspects and the other amazing, wonderful things that they have done. So, yeah, keeping my research to the limited so that I can cover everything within the one hour episode and sometimes I even get the feedback from people that one hour is way too long and but I feel like it's not possible to know the person properly within like 15-20 minutes. Yes, there are various podcasts and various channels YouTube channels who do cover these interviews, and they are only limited to like 20-25 minutes. Of course, I can do that, but I want to cover more about their journeys. I wanted to get into every nuances I can. I wanted to know the person behind all these things. I wanted to know that. Why are they doing the things they are doing? And there is always and always a reason why somebody is able to do what they do, for example, this podcast, the reason I am able to do it because I myself have gone through certain good and bad experiences, which has led me to start this podcast. So that's why I think I am going to continue to do those one hour episodes and some days may be even longer because, since I say, season 2 is more fun, so who doesn't like to have more fun and more fun conversations? Okay, so the final one, the fifth one, is respecting the decision made by GURASIS who scheduled that call. Let me tell you more about it. Yes, I am a human and there are days when I don't want to get up from the bed, I don't want to get ready and I might not be in a mood to record an episode, but in that moment I really sit on my bed for like 2-3 minutes and I talk to myself that you have to respect the decisions made by who scheduled that call, because when I scheduled that call, that Good-to-See's who has scheduled that call, did that with the thought that, yes, that Good-to-See's will be available on that particular day, will be available at that particular time and will prepare himself for that recording, and I have to respect that and I cannot let my current mood take over just because I am not just feeling it. I can't let that feeling sink in. I have to let it go, get off from my bed, get ready and prepare myself for that interview, unless there is like an extreme situation I am sick. Otherwise, there have been times where I am sick. Also, I have done few recordings. Again, once again, respecting the decisions made by that Good-to-See's and obviously the guests are also giving their time and it's hard to schedule people. It's very, very hard to find a common time for just To get on the same page, literally and being able to be available on the same day and the same time to do this, although people have been super sweet to me. But they're coming back to the in my digital point, unless there is like extreme situations. You know, there was, for example, this one time, my season two of I'm recording, I recorded with somebody and Just like two hours before I put on my contact lenses and one of my contact just got lost in the eye and it took me like two hours to take that Contact lens out. And you might be wondering that what just happened. I put in certain Drops that I that I use and then the lens eventually came out of my eye. But yeah, that there was like one of the extreme situations which happened and I had to ready scheduled my recording. But yeah, all in all, I really really make sure I respect the decisions made by that good as these who has booked that call, and also respect the time of my guests who have made themselves available on that particular day. Let me share with you like a bonus one as well. So I always Write my intros on the day of the recording. So I make sure I get up like three, four hours before my actual time of the recording, whether it's like 9 pm, 9 am, sorry, or it's like 12 pm or like 1 am or in the afternoon, in the evening, whenever I make sure, like I make some myself available At least like an hour or two hours before, and then I sit and I really Plan my episode, and by planning I mean a little like put my things together. It's not like I start researching or I start Getting into the background of things like literally two hours before. I don't do that, but I make sure I have all my points ready, my bullet points ready, everything is ready. I just have to align everything together, combine them together, so I can really curate an episode when I'm recording it and that really helps. That really really helps, because when I'm doing that an hour before, I'm kind of into that groove, I'm kind of into that flow of the Things that the person has done in their immigrant journey. I have more equipped with the information to be able to ask the right questions, and I think I have said that multiple times that it's not about having the right answers, it is about asking the right questions and to be able to ask those questions. I can do that when I really write my introductions Right before I hit that record button, and that has been of great help. So that's it for today. These were the five lessons that I learned from one year of podcasting. I would love to hear from you I have said in multiple times I would really really appreciate if you guys can review this comment on this if you're listening it on Spotify or Apple podcasts, and you can also reach out to me at hello at mythicaxoncom. You can also DM us on LinkedIn or on Instagram. You can also follow the Instagram page, which is the handle, which the handle is at mythicaxon. And that's it for today, and I will see you guys in 2024. So stay tuned and let's continue knowing each other beneath the accent.