1st Blog

So the first blog post of our podcast We Are All A Bit Mental. It’s a chat show where we talk about mental health. There’s 4 of us hosting and presenting – myself Neil Harrington, Brandon Block, Lynn Ferguson and Chesney Hawkes. 

Sometimes we have a guest on with us. In this first series we have SK Shlomo, Lewis MacLeod, Heston Blumenthal and Toyah Wilcox just to name a few. Our strapline is Let’s all learn, laugh, cry and be a bit mental together and that’s exactly what we do. 

We also play music and then talk about the feelings those songs evoke, and every song we play is performed by Ches, which is awesome. I’m so glad people will get to hear what an amazing voice he has and what a talented musician he is.

We named the show what we did because we feel it’s a perfect way of summing up what we are in a single phrase or name. We all have our own individual personalities, we are all weird/wonderful in our own special ways – we think it’s safe to say we are all a bit mental. So let’s understand it, explore it and celebrate it!

Having ADHD myself I often wrestle with the question “when is something creative finished?” In making this podcast and trying to launch this brand my “to do” list is insane. It doesnt go down – it just grows ! 

Everything I seem to do is 2 steps forward and 1 step back. Solutions just seem to throw up more questions. When do I finally say an episode is finished and ready to be released? I could literally fiddle with it no end. When does one decide that something creative is finished and should be left alone? Maybe it comes down to confidence and self belief in the end. Which is worrying as I have very little of that. 

I remember when I started releasing music around 5 years ago. I would spend all day in the studio polishing then come home and obsess all evening over levels of snare hits or reverbs. Minute detail. Then 1 day someone in the studio asked me the simple question “how many more tweaks will we make till we say it’s finished?” That’s when the penny dropped. if it was left to me it never would be. It’s also the same working in advertising and marketing for most of my career. Something is only finished when the budget runs out and it’s got to be on air. Up until those points anyone in the chain can and will keep tweaking. 

I am working with the most wonderfully patient designer/email marketer at the moment. We had to delay our launch again at the last minute when we found out our website didn’t have the ability to deliver the bonus content to the listeners. We have so much extra, interesting and sometimes hilarious content that we want to give it away to subscribers as a thank you. Anyway Debbie Lamb has been right on top of it in figuring out how to do everything we need to launch and she is being extremely patient with me throughout the process. I am a writer/DJ/Producer, not an online marketer. I can’t do everything but with help from patient people like Debbie we are getting there. So thank you Debbie.

I should also just take a moment to mention Simon Haynes of sillypics.co.uk during this 1st blog. It’s his chuffing fault I’m having to now write a blog. It’s the foundation of good social media practice apparently. Oh great – something else I have to now find time for! But he’s right of course. He has also gone beyond the call of duty in the time he has spent in helping to get this project off the ground. He is also an extremely talented artist and had drawn cartoons of all of us and animated some of the podcasts. Really looking forward to when we can release some of that for people to see. Ches has always wanted to be a cartoon and now he is!

Speaking of Ches that brings me onto the 4 of us. In making this podcast we have all learned lots on how to try and manage one’s mental health and it really has helped all of us during these strange isolating times. I hope it helps those listening in the same way. Brandon is a lovable clown with much wisdom from his rollercoaster life. His ADHD drives me round the twist sometimes because of my ADHD . It’s an interesting mix for sure! Ches has a wonderful aura about him. He is calm and gentle and a pleasure to work with. Always trying to help solve problems and get involved. 

We have spent so much time over the past few months talking and figuring out technical stuff that it’s pissing my Karen off as she says I spend more time speaking to him than her. And because he is in LA and I’m in Essex it tends to be evening and through the early hours which doesn’t always go down well. 

Lynn is a guru – she’s the real fountain of knowledge and the voice of reason. I will blog more about her skill sets as can’t do it justice here. But I have had the most amazing counselling sessions with her and learned so much about myself. To get a real insight into her work listen to episode 2 where she goes to town on a guest we have on the show. It’s absolutely fascinating. But if you’re going to listen to episode 2 you might as well do ep 1 first as it’s an introduction and only 15 mins long.

The 4 us together as a formula seems to be working. We are getting a good initial reaction as far as feedback is concerned and we are having lots of fun and lots of laughs. Hope that is felt through listening to the shows as we are really enjoying this challenge.

Right that’s the 1st blog over. In making time to do this I now have a list of 10 things i’ve not done FFS ! X

Author: weareallabitmental

Let's all laugh, learn, cry and be a bit mental together. Brandon Block, Chesney Hawkes, Lynn Ferguson & Neil Harrington host a podcast exploring the complex, & often slippery subject of mental health. listen here: https://www.weareallabitmental.com

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