The last time I did a solo podcast I tried to make use of a metaphor about how starting to write a dissertation is similar to picking a hunk of metal ore.
The way the metaphor worked was to compare your raw idea, the thinking that is your starting point, the big idea that you think you might want to study, to a hunk of unprocessed ore. I went on to say that as a person moves through the process of dissertating it would be like heating up the ore, and hitting it with a hammer to get all the “junk” out. If all went well at the end you’d have a hunk of metal that you could then heat up and shape into a sword.
I suggested that it was really important to grab the right hunk of ore at the start.
Then I talked to people (students) who had heard the podcast, and they were worried. I was asked some version of, “What if I pick the wrong hunk of ore?!” a few times.
This podcast (another short solo episode) is my attempt to answer that question.