Well, I’ve had the Big 500, that was last week so time to move on and get on with Blog #501. Things are the same for every content creator whether it’s me and my blog or Martin Scorsese and his next film. One project finishes and we move on to the next one. It’s great to put together a creative piece of work but I’ve always felt a little sadness leaving a completed blog or video behind and moving on to the next one. In fact, I wonder if it’s a feeling experienced by all creative people? In the movie The Bad and The Beautiful, Kirk Douglas plays a film producer who goes into a deep depression every time a project is finished. Was the author or the director putting his own experiences into the film?
The other day I was scanning through my diary from 2021 and I noticed in one entry I was feeling pretty pleased with myself because I had put together not one but three separate blog posts. I must have been feeling pretty creative that week because these days I often seem to be struggling for ideas.
Lately I’ve done some beta testing work for the online editing website Animoto. I put together two short video projects for them and reviewed a new facility in their software and in exchange they sent me an Amazon gift voucher. Now it just so happens that my subscription with Animoto has expired and I tried to barter the gift voucher for a discount subscription but despite my charm, which I’ve always thought was one of my great assets, they declined. Pity really because I rather like Animoto.
During my separation from them I’ve tried other online editing sites but I’ve not been totally happy so I suppose that soon I’ll just have to cough up the appropriate fees and re-join Animoto.
In the meantime I’ve been wondering what to do with my voucher. Eventually I decided it might be an idea to invest in a good microphone so I can improve the voiceovers I put together for my YouTube videos as well as my podcasts. That seems like a good excuse as any to publish a link one of my videos with an extensive voiceover. The video below has a narration based on a number of my blog posts as well as text from my book. the voiceover isn’t actually bad but a new recording might make it sound a bit more professional.
I sent off for my selected microphone and the one I chose came in a set with a telescopic arm, just like the ones you see in recording studios. Later I thought I might as well have bought the usual one with a little tripod as I don’t really have the room for the arm. I don’t have a room, a special room for writing and recording but then I don’t think a lot of writers do.
Recently I decided to take a short demo screenplay I had written ages ago and rewrite it as a short story. I did so and feeling fairly pleased with it decided to send it to an online magazine that was looking for just such a story. I was actually going to use the story as a blog post but I noticed in the small print that the magazine didn’t want work that had been printed elsewhere. Well, if I recorded the story as a podcast then really it wouldn’t have been printed elsewhere, would it? That was my cue to set up my new microphone and start recording. The sound quality was so much better than my previous recordings.
Not long ago I read Agatha Christie’s autobiography and in it she mentions that many people ask her where her famous novels were written. The fact is, they were written any place that was handy at the time. She didn’t have a special writing place and I wonder if writers, or indeed any writer has a particular writing place? I like to write in the dining room but then I also like to write in the lounge with the TV on in the background but the sound on mute. Sometimes I’ll write in bed or jot down ideas at my desk at work.
Dylan Thomas famously had a writing shed in the garden of his ‘house on stilts’ in Laugharne. I daresay he didn’t write everything he ever wrote in there but of course he did write there when he was at home. I visited the house once many years ago. I was really impressed with it. The national trust or some such organisation had rescued the building, saved it from sliding into the sea and reopened it as a museum. I arrived late in the day, just before they were closing up so I returned the following day for another look. The staff didn’t charge me as they remembered me having to leave prematurely and so I bought various items from their museum shop.
One place I’d like to visit would be Charles Dickens’ home; Gad’s Hill Place in Kent. Dickens spent the last 15 years of his life in the house and it was one he had seen and fallen in love with as a child when he and his father took long walks together. It must have seemed quite an achievement for him to buy the house, even in a life filled with great achievements. Dickens died in the house on June 9th, 1870 aged 58. What would Dickens make of a present-day writer’s life I wonder? Writing blogs to promote his work, tweeting Tweets, and making Facebook posts. I’m not sure he would have been impressed.
My minor problems of wondering what to write pale into insignificance when I watch the terrible news from the Ukraine. A few weeks ago, the Ukrainians had similar problems to us here in the UK. Things like getting to work on time; would the bus be late? Picking the kids up from school. What to have for tea. Now they wonder if their homes will be destroyed by bombs. Will their loved ones be safe? Only the other day I watched a newscast where a distraught woman went to a makeshift hospital with her young daughter who had been hurt in the Russian attack. Doctors fought to save her and the cameraman followed their efforts. One man, a doctor turned and began to rage at the camera. I guessed he was complaining to the cameraman for intruding but when his words were translated, he was calling for the camera man to take the video and show it to Mr Putin: let him see what he has done raged the doctor. Sadly, the young girl died.
So, here we go. My laptop has been cranked up. The Saint is playing on the TV with the sound muted. A large cup of tea is ready to be sipped. I pause for a moment to nibble on some toast and marmalade then press the button for NEW BLANK DOCUMENT and I am ready to write.