Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Early Resolutions, Belated Solutions

Perhaps it's a little too early to be making resolutions for 2013 (or a little too late, depending on when you're reading this), but I think I'd like to spend less time making videos.

I know; I know. I'm the guy who makes videos like this, explaining why I'm not making videos. It's not even conceivable that I could spend less time making videos. Allow me to elaborate: by 2013, I'd like YouTube to be an occasional hobby instead of an ongoing creative project. Like it used to be.

When I started making videos for YouTube, I'd come home from work, do some recording before dinner, and dedicate a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to wrapping up whatever I couldn't finish during the week. I was finishing entire video series in a matter of what, a month? Three, tops? I started playing Space Quest 0 this past July, recorded all the video footage in something like two days, sat down to record all the commentary for each video in 1-2 takes, and it's now November and I've got at least two more videos to go.

Wha happen??

Video recording, like so many of my other things I've tried to work on this past year, became relegated to a routine to ensure that it wouldn't fall by the wayside. The trouble is, when you're making video recording, blogging, writing for GameCola, watching anime, watching movies, watching TV shows, playing video games, reading books, reading comic books...insert another two dozen examples here...part of your routine, you don't really get much of anything done.

I should know better: When I commit to a project, I follow through on it. I don't need to keep chipping away at it every day or every few days to keep from losing momentum; I just need to want to do it in the first place. I started an FAQ/Walkthrough for the PC game Jetpack back in 2008, a few months before the founding of this blog. I added new content off and on throughout the next year, published what I had...and got busy with other things.

Three and a half years later, I picked up where I left off.

My YouTube moniker was selected because it's a Mega Man weapon I like, and because everything else I could think of was already taken...but truly is fitting: GeminiLaser, the one that moves slowly but always bounces back. In my heart, I'm not really a YouTuber. I never intended to make more than a handful of videos. Now I've got 4,161 subscribers and 1,094,078 video views, and that's just for my personal channel alone—that doesn't cover any of the collaborations or contributions I've made for other channels. I've become a thing.

Would I like to continue making videos? Sure. But pretending I'm always working on a video is a drag. I'm a marathon man. I write short poetry, not novels. I do my best work when I can shut out the world for a few hours and stay totally focused on one thing. I have a long short-term attention span, and a short long-term attention span. Prolonging the completion of a video or video series I'm allegedly working on is just delaying the gratification.

Either I'm working on it, and having fun, or I'm not working on it, and having fun doing something else. No more of this in-between business; saying I'm working on a video and having little or nothing to show for it is tantamount to failure. It's like joining a football team and wandering off the field mid-game to compose a symphony—it might be a magnificent symphony, but you're a failure as a football player. I'm tired of subconsciously dragging myself down because I'm not achieving the things I'm not making a priority to achieve. When the opportunity and motivation arise, I'll make another video. Until then, I'm going on a YouTube hiatus.

Remember the last time I went on hiatus? I stepped away from the blog for two weeks, and when I came back, I felt better about writing than I had in months. Whether it's two days or two years before I get back to recording videos, I'm convinced it'll be worth the wait...and even if it isn't, I'll be happier for it.

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