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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 710 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 12 trips to carry that many people.
I spent a good portion of today writing. I spent a good portion of yesterday doing video editing.
What a mess!
What feels even messier is that I’m drafting part of an article Laurie and I are working on about writing (and digital composing) being messy. Here’s just how messy my draft is looking right now:
And, as I write, I keep thinking to myself,
Yep, this is how it goes. Be one with it. Own it. Go with the flow. Embrace the mess.
But it’s making me nuts! I can’t stand when my house is messy. The same goes for my writing. I even tweeted this earlier today:
Writing is messy. Like a tornado. I can practically see the Wicked Witch’s shoes peeking out from beneath my draft. #scholarlyprobs
It’s true, though, that writing and composing isn’t a neat process. And it is a frustrating process. Hence, why I’ve abandoned my draft to write a blog post. The messier the writing, the more breaks I seem to need to clear my head from all the clutter.
Video editing has proven to be equally messy. Given its non-linear nature, plopping in footage here, sound there, cropping this, don’t-forget-to-go-back-and-fix-that-part-at-the-beginning, it’s a time-consuming process. And, in some sick way, like writing, it’s also enjoyable.
If you asked Laurie, she would confirm that I said to her just yesterday,
I’m actually looking forward to doing some writing.
Yeah, until I actually started writing, that was. It’s such a love-hate thing. Can you relate? Share some of your writing secrets in the comments below. What helps you break through the clutter? (Seriously, please. I could use some good advice.)
Well, better get back to it. This paper isn’t going to draft itself … and I’m only on the first draft. Oh, the road that lies ahead … (or is it lays? I had to Google it. Ugh. Writing is so much work!) 😉
That pretty much sums up where I’m at right now. The spring semester starts in fewer than six days, and I’m nowhere near ready! I’ve got syllabi to revise, assignments to prep, reading to do.
I’m expecting the semi-annual nightmares to begin soon… You know, the ones where you walk into the classroom on the first day only to realize that you’ve forgotten to prep your syllabus and have no lesson prepared. The students revolt (not sure where that comes from, cause students would not revolt; they’d just be jazzed about getting out of class early). It only gets worse from there.
Hey, I think there might be a video there! (Not saying any more!)
But, I’m really excited to be getting started with the production of EIGHT, yes, EIGHT, WinkyFace videos this spring! If all goes according to plan, our first video will go live in mid-February, so stay tuned! We’ll be working with two awesome production assistants, Brigid and Mackenzie, and I have no doubt they’re going to keep Laurie and I on task. Don’t worry, we’ll introduce them soon!
In the meantime, if you’re looking for me, I’m somewhere at a computer panicking and freaking out! 😉
So, as you may or may not have noticed, I’m late with my weekly blog post this week.
The short answer to explain this is that it was finals week. I was pulled in a number of directions with giving and grading final exams and wrapping up the semester with parties and whatnot. ‘Hard work,’ you’re thinking. I know. Excuses.
But, the more thoughtful answer is that blogging well takes work. The truth is, I knew that I needed to write a post for some time. And, I had all kinds of thoughts on what to write about. First, I thought about writing about hash tagging after I saw this video.
Laurie and I were talking about creating unique-to-us hash tags that we could use on our Twitter feed. I thought initially that this would be something neat to blog about, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I didn’t have anything really profound to write about it.
Then I saw this YouTube Rewind 2013 vid…
… and I got to thinking:
1) how cool it was to see some of our fav YouTubers (Jenna Marbles, Ryan Higa, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon) featured in the vid.
2) how cool it would be to someday see WinkyFace in a YouTube Rewind vid. I mean, come on. If the Prancersize lady can make the vid, surely Laurie and I can create something that will capture attention in the YouTube community.
But, neither of those initial thoughts were good enough to warrant a whole blog post.
In the past week, Laurie and I have been doing a lot of projecting and planning to make sure that as we move forward, we have a clear sense of direction and purpose for this work. We’ve been thinking about everything from a video production schedule to a scholarship schedule. We’ve been making plans for future production assistants, research assistants, and even possible conference and book proposals. All are longer-term goals. But, I guess we haven’t been doing a lot of thinking about the immediate, outside of worrying that our grading is completed on deadline and the Christmas presents are bought and wrapped before Dec. 25.
The pressure to produce a thoughtful blog post really made me realize that I need to do a bit more thinking and planning for the short term, especially for Margin Notes. Great blog posts don’t always just materialize. When they do, it’s completely awesome. But when they’d don’t, well, it’s rough.
So, note to self: Make a monthly blog plan. If the plans change and one of those amazing blog posts does materialize from an interesting conversation or happening, then so be it. But if not, then at least I’ll have something in place to prevent the panic. As a communication professional, I know that planning is good practice. I guess I need to practice what I preach! 😉
So, yesterday, Laurie and I decided to do a little bit of experimentation with cameras, tripods, and acting abilities. We knew we weren’t quite ready to make our first official WinkyFace video, but we get that practice is essential to success.
We met in my office at about 9 a.m. We set up our tripods (that was pretty easy), powered up the cameras (also manageable), and began “rehearsing” (another story!) with the cameras rolling.
If having fun = success, we hit it out of the park. We had a great time, and we laughed … a lot. But we also learned a lot, too. Here’s a short list of some of the things we learned while practicing.
1. We need to practice.
2. Our camera skills could use some work.
3. We probably need an assistant (or two).
4. We’ve got to find a way to improve the quality of our videos (lighting, sound, etc.).
5. We’ve got to have a more solid plan for filming so as not to waste precious time.
So, we’re going to work on all of those things. We’ve already conned (OK, they agreed willingly) two awesome students into being our production assistants in the spring, so we can check #3 off the list.
I had so much fun working on editing this video. I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy the process. I stayed up until 2 a.m. last night working. Then, I dreamt about video editing in the short five hours of sleep I did get. And, I even woke up before my alarm wondering if my video had finished exporting! I’m a nut. But, I’m a storyteller at heart. Web video is just another cool medium for telling stories, and I’m excited to experiment more with it.
Until then, check out our video and let us know what you think by either commenting here or on YouTube. We’re not gonna lie. We’re a bit anxious about how this and any other videos we produce will be received and about the types of comments we’ll get. Laurie’s working on a post with more on that, so stay tuned.