Experiment IV

So, where are we?

A lot has happened in the last month. The pre-orders page for the Pamphlet will go live tomorrow morning, and I’ll FINALLY get started on working on my next video. Most of the prep is done, it’s now about putting all the elements together. It might yet get out for Friday: I have suddenly gained a 15-year-old at home because the girl who sits next to her in two lessons has COVID. I can but hope she was good at personal hygiene. She was one of the few at school who, like my daughter, permanently wore a mask.

Thank goodness for small mercies.

Daily practice continues to go well.

I had planned to take Friday off because it is my birthday. Most of what was going to happen will be cancelled because of my daughter’s quarantine, which is sad but totally necessary. Therefore, I may just call it a normal day and celebrate across the weekend. We will see. For now, however, rest assured that not only is a lot happening, but there’s even more going on you have not yet heard about…

Moving Pictures

So here we are, moving very much into video when I had assumed that audio would be the first step forward in my AV experience. I’m not lucky enough to own anything particularly sophisticated with which to produce video content either. It is all very much being made up as I go along. However, what the last two weeks has amply demonstrated is how easy it is, with rudimentary knowledge of working practices, to produce something hugely professional.

Therefore, the world is pretty much mine to exploit as I now choose. The only limit is my imagination and the raw materials available to me. I’ve set a notional target of one sub two-minute video a week, which means Twitter and Instagram are both available as advertising media. We’ll start slow, because I know if I go too big too early it just makes continuation and continuity impossible to sustain. Picking 24 poems from the vastness of my own output is the least of my worries. The possibilities are, quite frankly, infinite.

Recording live video, as it transpires, is not nearly as problematic as might be the case either. Of course, it would be lovely to be able to afford state-of-the-art equipment or the opportunity to learn new techniques but allowing these things to hold back my progress when so many techniques and possibilities are easily available to me would be foolish. The process, undoubtedly, is more important right now. It is learning about myself as a writer, a photographer and ultimately as an artist, bringing all these elements together.

Everything Connected

It’s taken until Saturday for my brain to be awake enough to process everything currently taking place. Living with a mental health issue can sometimes be a curse, especially when you hold yourself to such a high standard of output. However, on the flip side, it gives you a unique insight into life and how it is lived. On many occasions this week it has been an almost painfully slow task to react and move forward, but with the benefit of sleep and reflection, there’s a lot to be learnt about my practice, and how it is progressing.

Once upon a time, my daily writing workout began with the first blog of the day. Right now I’m creating a poem from an unseen visual prompt when I wake, plus organising two Create Your Own short stories using Twitter polls, and this is a whole new use of brainpower in quite focused bursts. It’s meant a lot of mental energy being expended in unexpected areas. It has also promoted a desire to go back to fiction, which is helpful, because NaNoWriMo is fast approaching. This year, we’re doing something a long way away from previous years’ efforts.

I spent two hours last night planning the direction of my narrative. I’ll also be creating a Playlist this weekend. I should have been writing a post for Patreon, and yesterday I accepted that, if I am the boss, it is occasionally okay to miss a deadline if it means my mental health benefits from that action (which it undoubtedly has.) Balancing all the requirements right now is hard, but getting easier. Any change to routines always results with this kind of mental discomfort.

At least now I know what’s going on.

Most importantly of all this week I made a video from scratch. It’s only just beginning to register how much mental effort was pumped into this, and why as a result I might have felt so tired yesterday. I’m immensely proud of what is here, and already have a vastly different, second piece planned. There’s no point in resting on my laurels either: being able to produce and promote my own work means there doesn’t need to be extra cash to pay others to do it. The more leant, the more self-sufficient I become.

In the end, this is the most important progression of all.

Sky High

We have reached the ‘Something has to Give’ portion of this month and sadly, it’s the most labour-intensive part of a larger equation that’s going to suffer. I’ve submitted to SIX different things so far this month, and with Red October January being labour intensive PLUS the Mental health Champion Training I’m not gonna lie, there’s really not been time for anything else. 

That includes self-care and family time as well, and as a result something really needs to give. Therefore, the video’s being put back to the end of February, the 28th to be precise, which will now allow me to tackle the backlog building so the website does not fall any further behind. It also gives me Sunday off this week which I intend to use doing as little as possible with a 5k run inserted somewhere.

Also, that header’s redundant. The poem I was going to use has changed.

A World of Colour

The new work is to tie in with video content I’ve already partially researched, and therefore this gives me more time to create summat that I have previous knowledge of. Don’t worry, the original poem will have its day in the sun, just not yet. It’s also given me a bit of space to work on what has ended up as a very submissions heavy month. These do tend to take quite a bit out of me, as I’m now discovering.

When everything was tentatively planned in December the actual workload was not really that clear: now it is, this gives me sufficient time and space to look past what’s happening now and plan ahead. I want a short story or two written as well going forward, as these are looking like an increasingly useful way of setting myself up a revenue stream. At some point, if I want progress, there has to be cash coming in.

The good news is that I’m getting a long weekend mid-February at the same Resort Parc (TM) where summer holiday turned into hospital stay. Let’s hope for everybody concerned there’s no repeat of that, and that I can spend a few days not worrying about anything except relaxing and enjoying myself. Once that’s done, it’ll be time to start working out the content for March, then we’re three months into the year…

Blimey, doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun.

Things to Make and Do

Promising myself I’d try video for the first time this year as a delivery medium for poetry was, on reflection, a bit of an ask. Production techniques aren’t frightening, however: I learnt how to storyboard at college, made films and have edited across various media. The programmes may have changed a bit in thirty years but honestly, most of the effort comes in ideas and content, not in the bits that pull processes together.

Having the idea is where it all starts and end, and we have one now.

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An old poem could have been recycled, something that’s already been written, but to be honest I wanted summat new and to start from scratch. That poem’s now in the final stages of polish, storyboarding has begun and assuming that by Sunday everything falls into some kind of workable order, next week is all about filming and faffing. I think there’ll be some ‘live’ work too…

Then, like it or not, I just have to put in the hours

I know how this works, what I’m looking for and where it needs to go. I get how Fair Use works. Let’s see if we can put the two together and make something interesting.

I’ll see you here next week for an update.

To Be Free

I have a new notebook for 2020. It’s sole task is to help me keep track of the content I’m producing, and in the bottom right hand corner of that first page is a blue PostIt Note. The message on that is simple: One Video in January. I’ve borrowed a microphone from my husband, dug out the old webcam. There’s even a storyboard in progress. Everything is prepared. There is no escaping the inevitable.

The main reason for doing this is to find alternate means of expressing myself as an artist, which is what this ends up being. There might be some vlogging, I dunno, it will all depend on how well my first few bits of stuff are received. I have some form with video as well, but if honest an awful lot has changed in the two decades since that was a Thing. Needless to say, those principles are still largely sound.

 

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I can do the whole visual media thing too. It isn’t hard: my skill in graphic design came from being a reasonable mimic, and as all are is by definition derivative? Really, how hard can it be? The plan, such as it is, to have something up by January 24th. Might be sooner, definitely won’t be later. Having said it now, that’s it, there’s no looking back. Things will happen.

Watch this Space.

The Big Sky

I absolutely live for days like yesterday: a ‘mutual’ (as I believe is the correct term) pointed out this film, with a poetry basis, and after some online faffing there’s a .PDF of the massive poem (144 pages of A4) to digest. Once I got past the realisation my narrator refers to the Earth as Doris (apparently this was the name of an area in Ancient Greece and not the woman who used to be friends with my grandmother) it all settled down to be quite gripping fare. The great thing about this, undoubtedly, is that I had no idea the thing even existed on Monday.

This is where learning new things really comes into its own.

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That’s also why today, as I promised with this being (effectively) a light month for me creatively, that it is time to use the skills initially learnt in my teens to produce some visual work to go with my written only output. I’ve seen what’s possible with a phone and some brains, and as I possess both, it is high time both were used. Consider this a cottage industry, adjunct to my current output. It will give variety to the workload and much needed colour to the feed.

Most importantly there are vague ideas of what this is all going to be about. Once I’ve had some time to play with equipment, we’ll see where we are. I’m planning to start presenting work in April. Then, all things being equal, we’ll see if we can’t sort out doing some kind of art/poetry project in the Summer. It’ll look nicer outside, there’ll be more time to go and film stuff, plus by then there should be enough confidence with the nuts and bolts. I trained how to do this in practice, now to see what is remembered.

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Needless to say, Watch this Space.