A couple of things to mention which are the audio novel I’m working on and a series of short sketches in the character of Wade Moss. I’m putting them up via my new website called Noisy Bark.
The reason I’ve started a new website, which is sort of a catch-all for my own work (and is broad enough to host content from others) is that I really want to know where my writing is going. I don’t want to be writing scripts anymore that I can’t get to an audience. I’m finding this useful since I’m not thinking while I’m working – “how am I go to sell this piece to a theatre, pitch it to a producer” or whatever. It allows me to write things just for me. And it’s made a huge difference to what I’m doing. I wouldn’t be writing something novel length if I thought I had to get it passed a publisher or secure an agent. for instance.
I wanted to mention also my continuing problem with the way you build an audience online and how crap I am at it. When I set up Noisy Bark I also set up all the twitter, facebook and YouTube accounts at the same time. And I really did make an effort to post each day and try to interact (this lasted about a week). I’m discovering that I’m really no good at posting via social media – either as an individual for “fun”, or as a form of meta-marketing. I think you’re either that sort of person, someone who has a thought and wants to share it, or you’re not. I don’t have any desire to share my thoughts regularly. If I tell my girlfriend what I’m thinking I’m pretty much satisfied with that interaction and telling a bunch of people doesn’t really appeal to me.
There’s a big difference between the speed at which I work and the speed at which people want new stuff online and posting to social media only makes that difference stand out more. You end up posting random junk in lieu of actual content. Maybe there’s a middle ground but I haven’t really found it yet. So, I’ve decided that if my personality doesn’t fit the climate of constant interaction I’m going to stop trying to do that. I’m beginning to realise that if something feels forced it’s generally not the right thing to be doing anyway. I rarely even post to close friends and family on Facebook. I see their posts drifting down the newsfeed and think “cool, they’re going along doing their thing. They watched a movie. They’re happy about this, or sad about that.” And knowing they’re there, going about there lives is enough. This blog is another case in point. It’s five months since my last post. So, I’m obviously not someone who thinks “damn, I have to say this and put it out there” very often.
In fact, I think I use blogs and such as markers. When something ends or begins or you reach some sort of turning point. And that doesn’t happen every day for me.
Before starting Noisy Bark I thought about resurrecting Vexation Audio, which had a decent following for the work we’d done. Enough to garner responses when we posted a new episode or something. But that seemed like a backwards step. Some of that old work is good but they’re not ideas I’m planning to return to any time soon and having a website with a series (Nova Star Hunters) that stops abruptly mid-season doesn’t send out the best impression. What I’d like Noisy Bark to end up being is a library of content that people can listen to or watch long after its completed. A place for stuff that has a definite beginning, middle and end – and a place to post ongoing projects.
Finally, I was doing some videos on YouTube, experimenting with how you build an audience online, choosing video games as a focus for the channel, since they’re an easy source of video content and not too time consuming. This has been interesting and I’ve learned that if you really want to retain a following of people the time commitment (despite the fact that it’s relatively simple to film and post gameplay footage) is immense. You’ve really got to be aiming to post one video a day and you’ve got to hammer at the social media and love that interaction. Obviously I’m not suited to doing that – but it was (and still is, since I still intend on doing these videos) a fun thing to do. You can sort of switch off your brain and talk shit for an hour. I’ve learned a ton about producing video content for YouTube – which was the point. I’d done video sketches and short films in the past but focusing more on the logistics of doing stuff swiftly was the key for me - things like aspect ratio, compression, how to get Premiere to play nice, and how to tag and publicize videos effectively so they stand out in search engines. Hopefully this should be useful if I decide to start filming the real world again. Just need a decent camera (and of course a script that’s up to snuff!)
Right, that’s it for me. I’m off to potter.