Podcasting – Is It An Easy Thing?

As some of you are aware, I do some work for a local podcast called Optimist Vs. Pessimist that is run by my fiancé and his friend. I typically do the graphics, set up audio, render tracks, etc. I am not often on the mic with the boys, though on the odd occasion I will pop in to fill in for a host or pose trivia for them. Since I was there since the beginning of the podcast, and once tried my hand at running my own, I can lend some insight to the whole process.

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Starting a podcast can be beneficial in a lot of ways. You get to spend a lot of time working on a project you are passionate about with someone you want to work with. You set your own hours. You have complete creative control of a product you are putting out without restriction from anyone. But it is a lot of work. Setting up everything can seem daunting, but maintaining everything is much more difficult. Building a community can be incredibly difficult. Ensuring your social media not only spreads your podcast but also entertains your audience is a delicate balance that can be difficult.

In reality, recording the episodes is the easiest part of having a podcast. Let me break this down for time and cost.


Graphics : Your initial logo, website design, social media imagery and additional in video elements can take hours and hours to create initially, and will need updating over time. Most of these can be done in Illustrator and Photoshop, so there is a cost included here. No to mention thumbnails (such as the one seen above) and promotional imagery and video for upcoming projects and episodes can be quite time consuming.

Video Elements : Working in after effects is a great way to increase quality in your podcast with floating titles and elements that come up during segments, but each element can take from five minutes to a couple hours depending on experience with the program.

Cameras : A single camera angle can be just fine for high quality podcasts, but you have to be able to purchase on that can support continuous filming for well over an hour. Often running a camera directly into a hard drive is a good way to ensure processing speeds don’t drop. This does mean thousands of dollars of equipment to have good quality video. To run multiple cameras means an even larger cost.

Microphones : The initial cost of microphones isn’t too bad. Most decent quality microphones can be found around the hundred dollar mark. Cables, mixing boards and programs can vary, but in total, a basic two microphone set up with a board and cables comes in around $350.00 – $500.00 .

Website and hosting : Most sites can be done by individuals at this point, so for a couple hundred dollars a year you can host your RSS feed on your podcasts website. Set up for feeds can be intimidating, but there are sites designed for hosting that vary wildly in pricing.

Marketing : Social media marketing can be a very inexpensive way to market yourself, but it is not nearly as easy as it is made out to be. Simply buying ad space is not a great solution either, as it can be quite costly without a lot of long term audience members joining. Ultimately, paying a professional is the most efficient way to increase viewership if you can’t seem to reach anyone.

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

Planning and scripting : No one will listen to an hour worth of garbage. Value has to be created in that time and planning can take a lot of time. Not to mention during your “off time”, depending on the subject of your podcast, a lot of research, content viewing and testing has to be done before the podcast can be recorded. Often with the OVP podcast that Ryan and Carlos run, they will have to watch films, play video games, read books and keep up to date on news in the film and video game industries. This means a massive amount of time is invested into the podcast even when not directly working on it.

Now not everyone hosts video for their podcasts, in fact a lot don’t. This reduced time and costs. Using more simplistic equipment and not paying for rss hosting can also decrease costs, but also reduces the amount of income that can be gained from the podcast. Not to mention, a podcast that requires more than one person risks having disagreements and scheduling issues that can disrupt the production of episodes. If you just want to try it out, I would completely agree with you trying, and not all costs have to come in one day. Inexpensive equipment can be upgraded over time and diversifying platforms to find your work on can come later.

If you have a podcast you would like to share in the comments I would be happy to be able to listen to it! Please feel free to share your favourite podcasts!

Great Manuals For Creative People

I started my collection of manuals many years ago, they take up most of one of my bookcases. I love learning and I think a lot of you do too! I picked out four of them that I feel any creatively driven person should read. Also anyone who wants to get better at photography, graphic design, screenwriting and who wants some motivation.

Some of these are books I got while I was in college getting my diploma in graphic design and photography. Save The Cat is a book that was recommended and Tools Of Titans was staring at me from its shelf, daring me to take it home. Unfortunately I left a copy in another province, so I had to buy another copy.

If you want some motivation, lifestyle habits and advice from successful people across all sorts of careers and life paths. It isn’t meant to be read cover to cover, rather to be read casually, stopping and starting anywhere you want. I ignored this at first and found it difficult to read, then I decided to listen to what Tim Ferriss had written about how to easily digest all the information by skipping around and found it to be a great tool in helping me develop healthier behaviours and treat myself and others a little more kindly.

Could you pick a better title? I remember getting this book in college because it was on the reading list, and laughed audibly when reading the title. After many years of doing graphic design, I understand the title much better. It goes through how to deal with customers, especially when they push for free services or unethical services. How to find a job as a designer, branding and a lot more. It is not a step by step process as to how to do these things, but rather a brutally honest explanation of how the process itself works.

Success! You're on the list.

As you can tell by the sticky notes in the book, this is one I’ve reached for enough times that I just sticky noted the pages I wanted to re-read again. This book goes through the basics off all common forms of photography, lens recommendations, lighting for different situations, best print options, and most importantly, how not to screw up shooting a wedding. I would recommend this book to any aspiring photographer, and to a lot of more experienced photographers who have become a little complacent

Save The Cat. Widely believed to be the best book on screenwriting available. This is written more as a narrative than it is an instructional manual. You can sit down on the couch, read the whole thing and not realize you have just inhaled knowledge. It takes you through the basics of screenwriting, how to plan a story, section your story and take it from thoughts to the page.

What more can I say? These are great books, all are still in print and you can find all of them in a bookstore near you. If you have any books to recommend for me, I would love to hear about them! Please comment down below with your favourite book for creatives!

What I Typically Do In A Day

My life is very polarizing, as I live two very different lives depending on my work. I can be at home with my man, Ryan, every day or I can be 500 kilometres away, getting to talk to him a few times a week on the phone. I can be gone for weeks to months at a time and it can be very trying. That all being said, I enjoy both parts of my life for different reasons. My life at home is comfortable and I get to be with my friends and family, but my work life keeps me fit and funds my life at home.

A Day in the Life of an Ironworker:

Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

Assuming I am working day shift, I wake up at 4:15 am and head to the washroom which I share with one neighbour or the entire floor of rooms depending on the camp (that’s up to 56 people who use the same communal bathrooms). Do my morning routine, like brush my teeth and wash my face then go back and get dressed in my work wear. This consists of black Carhartt pants and a few layers of shirts and hoodies.

I head to the kitchens, which can be anywhere from a hundred meters away to nearly a kilometre. I don’t eat breakfast in the kitchens, so I just pack my lunch, grab a coffee and brass out of camp. Depending on the job I either get into a company truck or onto a site school bus and head to my lunchroom.

Once in the lunchroom I have my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and hang out with the crew. Once shift starts our supervision comes in for our daily safety meeting and to give us our jobs for the day. At this time we get our gas monitors (H2S is the biggest issue) and if required we put locks onto various boxes to stop the equipment from being energized while we are working on it. I usually work as a rigger, so my partner and I head over to the crane and sign on all the crane paperwork as well as write out our safety paperwork for the day. At this point we distribute radios and establish our lift plans with the whole crew and operator.

Once all the discussion is over and the connectors are on their way to their work area, we start inspecting the rigging and set up for our first couple lifts. Once everyone is ready, we start sending what ever material or steel needed. Often throughout the day we will do lifts for other trades and companies to get their material to elevation as well.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We also organize the rigging, set up materials with zoom-booms, and prepare materials before they get sent up. Often on maintenance jobs we go a lot of grinding to prep pieces for welders who have to weld on pieces while they are still hooked up to the crane.

Often times we won’t need the crane all day so we’ll wind up doing a variety of other things, like breaking bolts, installing new bolts, torquing, getting materials and fabricating pieces. Often we also jump crane to crane or have to break down and set up cranes in different locations during the day.

When the day is over we head to the lunchrooms, give back our gas monitors and locks as well as signing our end of day paperwork. We then jump into the truck/bus and head back to camp. I eat my dinner in the kitchen, take a shower and try to sleep because 4:15 comes very quickly when working 12 hour shifts.


A Day in the Life of Me at Home:

I wake up at an undefined time and check the job tape to see if there is a job I can go on. If there is a job available I call in and by noon I know if I’ve gotten the job or not. I often do my make up videos early in the morning so that I get to enjoy my art of the day longer. At that point I start editing my video and once a week during this time I am uploading the podcast that my man and his friend do because while I’m editing I don’t need Internet connection and uploading a whole podcast to Youtube takes a while.

Generally once I’m done editing I go make my lunch, which is almost always chicken and rice soup with 12 soda crackers with crushed red pepper and dill weed added. I eat it right out of the pot while I read and if a book has really caught me, I won’t leave the table until my back hurts too much to keep reading there.

Once I have cleaned my pot and spoon I check for jobs I could do in other industries away from construction (I would really like to work in my home city, because I really miss my family and my man when I’m out of town for weeks or months at a time). Once I am completely out of hope because it seems all jobs require degrees and diplomas that I don’t have. Apparently a college diploma in graphic design and photography and a journeyman ticket does not make me “hireable”. That doesn’t stop me from trying again and again. I believe that one day I will be able to have dinner with my partner every night, it’s just not what I get right now.

Once Ryan’s home we start on dinner, which these days is often Korean spicy pork or chicken noodles because they are delicious and you can make them in less than twenty minutes. The ingredients are very simple and it allows you to not use any MSG products and still get to enjoy delicious ramen noodles. I know not everyone reacts badly to MSG but I do, so I avoid it as well as I can.

Ryan & I Out On A Walk

In the summer, after dinner we would often go for a walk or play football, but since it’s winter, going for a walk is cold and football would be in a foot of snow.

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

We often watch Netflix or Disney plus shows that he is going to talk about in the weekly podcast or anime that we just want to enjoy together. After the show I generally move back into the office and start writing for this blog. Eventually Ryan collects me when he’s done reading for the evening, as we snuggle up until he falls asleep. At which point I sneak back to the office to keep researching and writing.

During my research time I often wind up putting a lot of time into researching things I don’t use for the blog, but I do enjoy learning for the sake of simply expanding my knowledge. I would really recommend throwing on SciShow while doing things around the house because you get to learn interesting things while being productive.

Once my lids grow too heavy to keep going I head to bed, and I am blessed to be able to fall asleep beside the man I love.

I love hearing from you guys so please let me know your favourite part of your day in the comments! An email address is not required to comment, please just share your thoughts!

How I Save Time Without Meal Prep

I’ve been on a weight loss journey for a long time. There have been many ups and downs over the years due to a lack of motivation to keep up with fitness and meal routines. I will be honest, I am a lazy person when it comes to my personal health. I’ve generally relied on my work to be my exercise routine (I work in industrial construction), which also allowed me to eat a fairly unhealthy diet because I would burn so many calories at work.

Any time I was unemployed or in school I would quickly gain back the weight I would lose while working because I would continue to eat poutine, chicken burgers and ramen noodles assuming I would quickly be employed again. As you can imagine I am over weight and my health could be better.

So recently I set out to find a way to lose weight that would be healthy and based on nutritional balance and long term success. I also wanted to save money, as my industry has not been booming as of late.

Thankfully I wound up in contact with a company that was exactly that. A company that based their products on nutrition and maintainable lifestyle.

Luckily for me they did not require massive workout plans, meal preparation and huge expenses. I get to enjoy shakes and smoothies that taste like desserts and meals that satisfy my cravings. I get to eat chocolate and snacks that are delicious and don’t require much time.

My breakfast and lunch together take less than five minutes to prepare every day. My snacks are instantaneous and my dinners take less than five minutes to prepare. Below is a video with recipes for these shakes, and it makes a great example of how quick it is to make my meals.

So over all my meal preparation time every day comes to 10 minutes where it used to take me up to half an hour to make my dinner alone. I can’t explain how happy I am to have so much more time to enjoy my hobbies, and more time to work on projects I have on the go.

If you are also interested in saving time in your daily routine while enjoying a nutritionally balanced diet and saving money on your grocery bill, click right here!

I’ve lost over ten pounds since I started and can’t wait to see how my body feels as I continue to better my health. If you have any comments please leave them down below!

How To Increase Your Productivity

How To Be More Productive

Productivity is an interesting thing. We generally define it as how efficiently we use time. Which is not actually an inaccurate definition. We look at our productivity as individuals as how much we get done in an amount of time, whether that be an hour, a day, a week or a year. High productivity means less time invested, therefore more time for leisure, time with the family, the kids, the dogs and time for yourself. 

A few tips for increasing personal productivity include having a physical day timer. We live in a technological world, and I won’t discredit the utility of calendars on our phones, and even in backing up our physical calendars to our phones, but having a physical day timer allows for better tracking. Correcting your day timer throughout the day to accurately reflect your productivity will allow you to adjust your schedule more easily for the following period, increasing your productivity. For example, say you notice between noon and one o’clock you don’t have high productivity and you tend to eat your lunch at one thirty, why not adjust so that you eat at noon, a time where you are not pouting the pavement anyways. Or for example, if you find that your afternoons tend to become too busy to get everything done, consider scheduling your first items earlier in the day. 

The second very effective method for increasing your productivity is to create a routine. This ties into the day timer as it is an excellent tool to see how your day works best to begin with. Once you have figured out how your day works best, build a routine around it to optimize your time. Routines allow for a consistent day that goes according to plan. It may seem a little trivial, but brushing your teeth at the same time every morning can help ensure you are up and out the door at the right time every day. Consider putting “night time prep” into your routine to make your mornings, when you are sleepy and not yet in the full swing of things, more efficient. 

One of the most important tools in your arsenal is your own accountability. Don’t put things off when they are scheduled, as you waste a lot of time re-scheduling appointments, not to mention the financial side to missing appointments. Accountability doesn’t just help with your productivity, it shows co-workers, managers and clients that you take things seriously and can be depended upon. 

Another very important part of productivity is ensuring you are healthy in your mind, body and soul. Put “me time” into your daily routine. Whether it be reading, meditating, exercising or anything else that brings you comfort and allows you to build personal skills. I would recommend adapting reading time each day, as it allows for continual growth in your reading and linguistic skills that will aid you in all aspects of your life. 

If you have any productivity tips to share, please do so in the comments!