A couple of days ago, I converted the files of my new audiobook recording of Sacred Coffee: A “Homesteader’s” Paradigm, to MP3. I loaded it on to Michelle’s personal listening device for her to review it. After that, I did my best to walk away from the project for a while.
I’ve grown tired of the sound of my own voice.
This is the first audiobook I’ve ever recorded. I’ve listened to a lot of them (see Voices in my Head) these past few years, so I have a sense of how good—and how bad—they can be. I’m determined to make this one of the good ones.
That, of course, means careful editing. Over the past weeks I’ve reviewed the 3+ hours of audio repeatedly, perhaps even obsessively, analyzing for the most minute changes that might need to be made.
I’m sure you’ve been there before, with a sibling, a parent, a roommate, maybe even a spouse. You love the person dearly, but sometimes, they drive you crazy! Likely, you’ve found yourself fixating on the tiniest quirks: mannerisms, modes of speech, maybe even the way they swallow, chew, or even breathe! Most times, these fixations rest on something the person does totally subconsciously. Perhaps it’s even something the can’t avoid, even if they knew they were doing it. You’ve likely lived with this characteristic for years without noticing or disliking it, yet it suddenly grows into a huge issue for you. This situation usually comes about from spending too much time in close proximity to this person.
Imagine, then, growing exasperated over this sort of thing, committed by the one closest to you in the world: yourself! This is what I’ve been going through lately.
I’ve driven myself crazy listening over and over to not just how I read my book, but to the breaths I took between phrases, the sounds my mouth makes as it forms the words, even. These characteristics, totally undetectable in everyday speech, can be amplified and repeated until they become egregious crimes against public discourse.
This is a dangerous activity for one such as I. I am my own worst critic. I spend far too much time analyzing what I’ve said in public, regretting this or that comment, joke, declaration, or even how I said whatever I said. There’s a reason I live out in the woods, after all! It’s very comforting to spend so many of my days in silence. I love to visit with people, and I love to talk. I guess I just don’t like what I say very often.
The necessary process of editing the audiobook has overly familiarized me with the book’s content, as if editing the ebook and print copy hadn’t already done that. At this late stage, I found many parts of the book I’d like to change, but I’ve resisted. It’s too late to start monkeying with the text again. Bad enough that I’m trying to change the way I speak!
All of this comes after completing the project once already, then starting all over (see Coming Soon: Sacred Coffee “To Go“). I won’t do that again. The final product will be available soon, hopefully in time for Christmas. No one listening to it will here any of the problems I have with it. Even if they did, they wouldn’t matter to anyone else but me.
Once it’s released, I can let others listen to it and, hopefully, enjoy it. And I can go listen to someone else read a book to me again!