Taking New Risks: The Sound of My Voice

This week I did something I’ve never done before; I recorded the Preface and Epilogue of my memoir for an audio book. I’m comfortable with public speaking, but recording in my friend, Melanie’s studio was different. Unlike the speaking I’ve done, this recording will live on, captured in audio files for people who aren’t in front of me. In the past, when I’ve heard my voice on a recording, I’d say to myself, “That doesn’t sound like me,”  (I thought it sounded like my cousin, but I won’t say which one!)

Melanie’s husband, Jeff, who worked at the controls and is a veteran sound editor, told me that nobody likes to hear their voice recorded. I didn’t give him my particular defense of why I have felt self-conscious, about the comments people have made about my Southern accent (see post-Southern Drawl). Even with feeling on edge, part of me wishing I didn’t need to do the recording, I relaxed some knowing that I was in the company of friends. I’ve known Melanie for over twenty years and when I’ve been around Jeff, he has a quiet kindness that puts me at ease.

Melanie’s a voice over-talent and the leader of our Triangle Writers Group. I’m delighted that she’s doing the narration of my memoir, He Heard My Voice. She’s been with me through the life-changing events described in my book and has critiqued every chapter. I feel so fortunate to have my talented friend work with me on this project and I didn’t want to disappoint her with my performance.

Before I started recording, Melanie helped me to understand the set up– where I’d stand, how I’d pause between pages, directions she’d give me from behind the door. There was baffling, or materials to deflect extranous noises in my recording area: foam where I spoke into the microphone, curtains and rugs on the walls and floor. All of this was new for me but everyday for Melanie.

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We worked our way through my recording in the hour that we’d scheduled. I felt satisfied when I left that I’d done my best. I remembered back to my solo journey to Iona, Scotland. There, I’d vowed to let go of some of my self-consciousness in order to move forward and be all I was created to be.

Our retreat leader had stood with us on the shore of Iona Sound and directed us to pick a rock that represented a weight we carried. After considering the burden of what we carried, we were to throw it into the water. My burden had been my self-consciousness, my perfectionism and I remember the “thunk” of my rock hitting the water. Soon after that, I had the opportunity to test out my new self and it had to do with not worrying about how I looked or sounded. (see post- Things You Leave Behind)

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Iona Sound where I’d left that rock

Now, I think that I’m making progress by letting go, following through with the audio recording in spite of my discomfort.

The point of me reading the Preface and Epilogue is to introduce my readers/listeners to my Southern voice, while Melanie’s trained voice does the majority of the work. I practiced before our recording session and decided to share with you a portion of the Preface.

Since I’m letting go of my self-consciousness, I’m not going to worry that this was done after a day of keeping my grandson, when like the recording of me at Iona, I hadn’t had time to “brush my hair or freshen up.”

I’m taking a risk, putting it out there, and praying in this–as in all things, that God will bless my efforts and the desires of my heart. May it be so for you, too!

 

 

How About You?

What do you need to let go of in order to be all you were created to be?

What risk do you need to take?

Referenced posts:

Things You Leave Behind

Southern Drawl

8 thoughts on “Taking New Risks: The Sound of My Voice

  1. Connie, this was great!!! You did it, girl!!!!! I couldn’t get it on FB, but loved Watching it on you tube. This is another big step. Congratulations! Blessings, Barbara

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    Liked by 1 person

  2. What to leave behind? Hmm. That’s a hard question because what you are really asking is what don’t you like about yourself that you wish you could change and you’re not referring to weight or physical attributes but more about emotional or mental baggage. I’m not self-conscious so I don’t have that particular cross to bear. I’m not sure what I would change. I’m sure others could point out fast what I should change. LOL. I guess if I could control or alter a part of me it would be my anxiety about things that in the long run don’t matter much. I get anxious sometimes over little things– like being late. I can’t stand being late for appointments or lunch dates or anything. it doesn’t bother me much if others are late; I just don’t want to be. I get very nervous and snappy if we don’t arrive at an airport in ample time so that we can adjust easily to any snafu like slow TSA folks or a lack of parking or whatever one can’t control. So I guess what I would like to let go of is that worry that comes over knowing there are many things you have no control over. That is why I could never skydive! LOL
    I liked learning about audio books. My mystery Why Mama will be released by Library Partners Press of Wake Forest University in about a month. So, this is another territory to explore that I’m going to ask my publisher about. I don’t much care for my voice either, but I think it would be fun to record some sort of blurb or bio at the end of the book, read by a professional.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Erika,
      I like your self-examination and arrival at what would make a difference if you tossed it into the sound. Accepting what you don’t control would probably be a great burden to unload–for you as well as for most people.
      Yeah, I’ve been listening to a lot of publishing podcasts and they’re all talking about how audio is really growing and will continue to do so. There are more options now that include narration by professionals, the author, or using a digital voice like is used with Alexa–I don’t know the name of the technology–I think that it falls under AI. Lots to consider for your mystery.
      Best to you as you go forward with your book and letting go of what you can’t control!
      Connie

      Like

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  4. Connie, Life is nothing more than new experiences that allow you to find out that life is nothing more than new experiences. Once experienced, there is another opportunity to have more experiences. Well, one new has happened and you are still there. Your voice sounded as I had wondered and I am sure that Jeff will be able to surprise you with an example you will really like. Get over it, you do this for your listeners, not yourself. You are confident and very Blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey John,
      I like that, “Get over it!” and the reminder that this is for my listeners–and is my way of serving. It’s not about me!! Just remembering that does help me to let it go.
      You’re right that each new experience brings us to more, as life unfolds.
      Thanks for reading and listening and for your support!
      Best to You,
      Connie

      Liked by 1 person

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