How I recorded an audiobook in a closet

Ariel Meadow Stallings
15 min readSep 14, 2023
My home recording studio, essentially a blanket fort in a closet.

Generally speaking, I’m pro-surrender. When I notice myself feeling gritty and anxious and miserable, usually it’s because there’s something I’m resisting. Usually, there’s something I need to just let go of and surrender to, accepting what’s actually happening instead of what I wish was happening.

During the early days of the pandemic, we ALL got a lot of surrender practice — the canceled plans, the called-off gigs, the postponed weddings, the missing paychecks, the visions we had of that month, or that season, or that whole year.

Generally speaking, I felt best when I could just let my expectations go, and settle into what was happening in the now.

Despite these pro-surrender leanings, I recognize that it’s not really about surrendering to everything. My brain tells me that the hard part is knowing what to surrender to, and what to push back on… But when I’m able to be present in the moment, it’s not hard at all.

You just know. There are times when something happens and, without thinking, there’s immediate clarity about what to do. There’s no debating whether to surrender or to take action — you just take action.

In late March 2020, that action was my closet.

February 2020: planning for my audiobook



Ariel Meadow Stallings

I'm a product manager at Medium, but I'm also a whole-ass person living my life: author, publisher, dancer, Seattleite, mom, and just a human humanning.