I really love having punny podcast titles. It allows people, including me, to make so many jokes. Every time I’m not doing well at something: “so would you say you’re... Solidly Mediocre?” When I’m conflicted about something: “so you have... Mixed Feelings?”
Yes that’s right, I’ve started a new podcast called Mixed Feelings. It’s a weekly discussion with one of my best friends, Gillian Parker, about news, politics, and pop culture. Why is it called Mixed Feelings, you ask?
That’s not even a joke-- in the first demo episode we sent to Myke Hurley, Gillian repeatedly said that she had “mixed feelings” about Jimmy Fallon, and he thought that would make a good title.
SO GOOD. Because we do have mixed feelings on a lot of things. The world is annoyingly complicated, after all. Plus, Gillian and I have different political leanings, so the title works in multiple ways!
Coincidentally, I’m also having mixed feelings right about now.
As I’m writing this, the show launched an hour ago, and I’ve spent most of that time on Twitter reading people’s reactions. The response has been overwhelmingly positive which is absolutely lovely. The Relay FM hosts have been extremely supportive and kind. All of this makes me very happy.
So why is my stomach tied into painful knots?
First of all, Myke and Stephen asked Gillian and I to spend a minute introducing ourselves properly at the beginning of this episode. We 100% did not do that, so now I’m annoyed with myself for forgetting.
The show has some political commentary (okay, the commentary is mostly “Trump is awful,” which not a contentious statement for most people, but it is for some). What if people hate us? What if I say something terrible and screw everything up?
A lot of the people responding now haven’t listened to the whole episode yet. What if they’re just hopeful and being nice but they actually don’t like it once they listen?
The thing about this show is it will definitely receive negative feedback. There will be people who don’t like it. Some of them will tell us about how they don’t like it. And, well, I don’t deal with criticism very well. I mean, I accept criticism and will do everything to correct the problem, it just makes me feel terrible about myself. I *know* that is a personal flaw and I am doing what I can to make that better, it’s just difficult to not take things personally. I’ve gotten better at shaking that feeling off and focusing on the work at hand, but there’s always that moment of “I have failed everything and everyone.”
Dueling with this, of course, is that fact that my passion lies in podcasting, writing, and making videos. This is not a field that a person can enter without being able to handle feedback well. It’s actually funny to me because I think if someone just tweeted at me “you’re terrible and I hate you” I could shrug it off quite easily--whatever dude, thanks for taking the time out of your day to tell me that-- but if someone said “I have this specific problem with your podcast and I think you messed up here” I would be devastated. And I know it’s going to happen, I know! It may make me anxious but the only way to alleviate that is to go through it. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to just roll with all criticism without hesitation, but I’m trying to get there.
Regardless, you should listen to Mixed Feelings! Maybe you’ll like it. Maybe you won’t. Let me know, will you?