The Home to Heather Creek fiction series editor shares her experience making an audio version of Guideposts magazine.
They left me in the dark little room and closed the door. I tried to keep clam, to stay focused, to not freak out. Then they told me, through the headphones strapped to my ears, to step up to the microphone.
What in the world was I doing here? I should never have said yes to this.
When I wrote an article for the April edition of GUIDEPOSTS magazine, I was excited to write a story about a personal change in my life. I could handle writing. I know how to do that. I feel secure with my fingers on a keyboard. But when the magazine’s audio team asked if I wanted to read my story for the audio version of the magazine, I didn’t exactly jump at the chance.
Why would anyone want to listen to me read? My voice is not trained in any way (when I was about eight, my mom told me I sing like a frog, and that was pretty much the end of my vocal aspirations), and I’ve always had a bit of a lisp. I always think I sound like a dork when I hear myself on tape. Plus, I’ve listened to some boring recordings in my life.
I did not want the story I’d worked so hard on to be turned into a snoozefest. I thought they should just hire a professional actor, someone who knows what they’re doing. And they would have—I didn’t have to accept.
But then I wondered: what was the worst that could happen? If I tried to read and completely mangled the story, they probably just wouldn’t use it. If I wasted a few hours of time in a studio, I’d just work late to make it up. Was my own insecurity really going to keep me from trying something new? I had no idea what to expect in a recording studio—but that was exactly the reason I should give it a shot.
“Sure,” I said. “I’ll try it. I’ll read my story.”
So this morning I found myself crammed into a little padded room, earphones strapped to my head, staring at a microphone, praying I wouldn’t sound like too much of an idiot. And you know what? I don’t think anyone is going to hire me for my vocal talent anytime soon, but it went okay.
I didn’t get laughed out of the room. I made it all the way through my story without breaking down in frustrated tears. I didn’t appear to waste too much of anyone’s time. And best of all, I tried something new. In my book, that counts as a successful day.