In possibly the most narcissistic you’ll read today: I was thinking about what I wrote yesterday.
Not just about employment difficulties, but about content creation. Why don’t I try making things? If not for upskilling, then just to flex creative muscles? It wouldn’t be the first time. Back in high school media studies I did a bunch of video editing. My post secondary education was in media studies and half of that was practical work. I shot, directed, wrote and edited a range of pieces. I’ve put together multimedia films using a variety of software. Plus there were those years when I did professional audio editing. What’s stopping me?
Well, the shortlist would be fear of failure, biting into leisure time, the effort of learning/re-learning skills and above all the probability that it’d actually be dogshit. When I put it that way, it doesn’t seem like I’ve got a lot to lose. I can’t remember his exact words, but I remember Dan Harmon saying something along the lines of writers block often being the conflict between the wish to write well and the fear of writing badly. The idea being that the possibility of putting anything out there less than 100% can leave you paralysed with indecision. What if it’s no good? Or worse, if it’s no good and people see it? The answer is to try again or make something else. Then keep making things until they start getting better. How do you improve at an activity? With practice. How do you practice the skills inherent to creating content? By creating content. If I’m afraid of putting in time and effort into something because it won’t win a Daytime Emmy, then how is my stuff ever gonna get good enough to win a Daytime Emmy?
Also did I forget somewhere along the line that while it involves effort, it’s fun to make things? It’s neat to see something launch from out your brain and onto a page or screen, to manifest in physical or virtual reality. If you’re doing it with friends, then you’ve got shared creativity incarnated in a final product. That’s all kinds of rad.
I’m keen to learn how to video edit again. It’s been years and, working in TV, those would be valuable skills to have in my back pocket. I was thinking back to that week of dialogue I wrote [Exhibits one, two, three, four, five, six and seven]. I had fun making those. If I wanted to work on editing, I could do worse than those simple scripts. Establishing shots, cutting back and forth. It’d be a great way to work on timing and shot selection. I could get friends to act the parts, film it then cut it all together. With the quality of phones these days, I could probably borrow a friend’s tripod/phone to film. I also have editor friends who I’m sure could teach me a couple of tricks.
Technology has advanced to the point where it’s easier and cheaper than ever to be creative. Why have I adopted this notion that I’m over the hill and past being able to learn? That’s just dumb. That’s not what the winner of a Daytime Emmy sounds like.