I’ll admit it. My foray into YouTube land has been limited pretty much to clicking on the links sent to me. Some have resulted in belly laughs (Dancing puppet in car). Others have saddened me (Amanda Todd’s Message before Suicide). Still others have both angered and inspired me (Kony 2012). But prior to this week, I would’ve said that my experience with YouTube had been, well…random. A few links here and there. Searching for a funny birthday video to post on a friend’s Facebook page. Occasionally checking out the most-watched YouTube videos (which usually left me with the feeling, “Uh…that’s funny? More like Idiocracy at its best”). But this week I did something different. I actually took the time to really search YouTube to find videos that were meaningful to me, as a fledgling new writer. And wow…there is a lot of material out there! Instructional videos for new writers, tips, interviews. A plethora of information. One could spend hours and hours watching all of the videos. Where to start?
Well, interestingly enough, the first two YouTube videos that I watched were produced by BigThink.com. Being the ever curious person that I am, I clicked on the link and found an amazing website whose goal is to help sift through the overwhelming amount of information out there. In their words:
Big Think is a knowledge forum…we aim to help you move above and beyond random information, toward real knowledge, offering big ideas from fields outside your own that you can apply toward the questions and challenges in your own life. Every idea on Big Think comes from our ever-growing network of 2,000 Big Think fellows and guest speakers, who comprise the top thinkers and doers from around the globe….Our editors then sift through the submitted ideas and determine which qualify to appear on Big Think, subjecting each to our simple, three-pronged standard geared to your interests:
- significance — how will this idea change the world and impact your life?
- relevance — what groups and individuals does this idea most affect?
- application — how can this idea change the way you think or act?
Pretty amazing, huh? Can’t wait to go back and explore it further. But first, back to YouTube videos and writers.
Below are three YouTube videos that I watched. Why did I chose these ones? After being totally overwhelmed with all the videos that popped up, I decided to simply pick three that jumped out at me (or I would’ve spent hours and hours watching them all). If you want to watch the video, click on the YouTube image or the link within the write-up.
The first was a 12 minute instructional video on Storyboarding, by author and writing instructor Mary Carroll Moore. Although the sound was a bit echo-y, I found the concepts easy to follow and informative (at least to a novice like me). It was also a great example of using YouTube for marketing , as the video was made prior to the release of her 2011 book: Your Book Starts Here.
Another video I watched was a short interview with Stephen King. Why? Because the title caught my attention: Writing is hypnosis. This was a short (2:40) interview where the famous author spoke of how having a daily routine helps him fall into a writing trance. He also spoke briefly about e-books, with these parting words “If you drop a book in the toilet you can fish it out and dry it off and read it. If you drop your Kindle in the toilet, you’re done.” Mr. Horror made me smile – who would’ve thunk it. 🙂
The last one that caught my eye was an interview with author Paul Auster, with its intriguing title Staring Down the Challenges of Writing. This was another short interview (3:47) published by BigThink. Watching the full 30 minute interview, requires you to go to the Big Think website. Good marketing ploy – it got me to go there. I found the interview with the author both interesting and inspiring. I love his final comment, when he talks about what he says to himself when he gets stuck:
“If this book needs to be written, if it’s something valuable, if it has the power that I think it might, then I’m going to figure it out. And all I have to be is patient. Sometimes it’s a matter of taking a couple of days off. Sometimes it’s a month off, which happened with this new book, Invisible. I took about 6 weeks off just to meditate on what I wanted to do with it. And then lo and behold you’re rolling again. I don’t know why this happens but I think it’s so much a matter of the unconscious telling you what to put on the page and if you’re listening and relaxed enough to be able to listen, it will happen”
Inspiring quote, isn’t it? “If you’re listening and relaxed enough to be able to listen, it will happen”.
I guess there is more to YouTube than giggles.