Wednesday, May 14, 2014

If You Really Want To

This week, my sister Sophie turned thirteen. Amongst all the excitement about it being her birthday and about the fact that she is now a teenager, one of the things that she excited her most was the fact that she was now old enough to have her own Youtube channel. Sophie wants to be a vlogger as well as a blogger. With all the practice she’s had a making other videos (such as her ‘Show and Tell’ feature on her blog), she’s got all the skills to make the videos. But to me, who’s so camera shy that I won’t even listen to my own recorded voice, this idea sounds crazy. Who would willingly sit in front of a camera and talk to the world? It’s far easier to hide behind the written word.

But Sophie really wants to be a vlogger, and the fact that she has to sit in front of a camera and talk doesn’t seem to worry her. Nothing is going to stop her from having that shiny new Youtube channel she’s been dreaming about for weeks. I can understand that. For a long time I wanted to start a writing blog and talk about characters and plots and writers block and share the things I learnt about the craft of writing. But, for a long time, I held myself back, because after all, who would want to listen to me? It’s not like I’m the most experienced writer in the world and there are so many other writing blogs out there. Who would notice one more?

I’m sure there are a lot of vloggers out there too. Youtube is filled with so many different kinds of channels, from musicians, to Youtube shows, vloggers and those who make videos for businesses. Sophie could easily have said, ‘what’s the point of making that Youtube channel I want when there are so many others out there?’ But she didn’t. She went ahead and started her channel because she really wants it. And after all, what’s to stop her? The only thing that would stop her is herself, just like I was the only thing stopping myself from having a writing blog.

If you really want to do something, then the fact that there are lots of others doing the exact same thing shouldn’t stop you. Sophie has her Youtube channel now, despite the fact that there are other vloggers, and I finally made that writing blog I wanted, even though lots of other people have them. If there’s one thing I’m learning, it’s that, if you really want to do something, then you’ll find a way to do it, no matter what. No one can really stop you, except yourself.

Do you have a vlog channel? Have you ever wanted to start one? Or are you camera shy like me? What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do? 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Camp NaNoWriMo, a Blog, and a Dog

I don’t know about you, but to me, April means Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m never one to let a NaNoWriMo event pass me by. Come April 1st and I was in my virtual Camp Cabin, chatting with my fellow writers and frantically typing away. Camp NaNoWriMo is always a month filled with frenzied writing, bursts of inspiration and unexpected challenges and this April was no exception.

My first challenge came in the form of RSI (Repetitive Stress Injury) in one of my hands, which reduced me to typing with one hand. Of course, being the stubborn writer I am, I refused to admit defeat and strapped my hand up in a wrist brace, bought an ergonomic keyboard, and soldiered on. While it made writing tough for a while, I wasn’t about to let it bring my Camp to an end early.

The next distraction came in the form of a brand new blog, this time about writing. For a long time I’ve wanted to start a blog about writing, but it wasn’t until this April that I actually got around to starting one. And so, Gossiping with Dragons was born. Of course, I started it in one of the busiest months of the whole year, but after all, that is what Camp NaNoWriMo is all about, the challenge.

Finally, we adopted a puppy from the animal shelter. A dog is another thing I've always wanted. So, just after Easter, right at the end of Camp when I needed to be catching up with the word count I got behind on during Easter, I was playing with a six month old puppy with a big nose and masses of curiosity. Nora is a bitzer, a bit of this and a bit of that, all combined to make a puppy that is a bundle of energy and endearingly friendly.

At the end of April, after all the challenges and distractions, what have I got? I have a Camp NaNoWriMo win, a brand new novel (in the form of a terrible first draft), a dog, and a new writing blog. To me, that equals a successful month.

How was your April? Like to come and visit my new blog? Did you take part in Camp NaNoWriMo? Anyone else got a dog with a nose like a vacuum cleaner? Any tips for avoiding RSI?