Sunday, 5 March 2017

Why I make videos... Some words from a struggling author

I'VE always had lots of ideas, lots of visions - this way of thinking has been with me my whole life - but most creative people will likely say this same thing.

Most of my stories appear in my mind out of nowhere, others are formed from pieces of dreams I still remember.

I write for the love of it.  There is nothing better than finishing a story - even if it is only half a page long.

It feels me with euphoria to to complete a tale.

Whether other people like the stories or not doesn't really bother me, and I speak truly here - I write for myself.  I put the work out there to share it with the community - if anyone is interested then that is wonderful.  If people get some pleasure out of the work I couldn't ask for more, if they don't then that is fine as well!

I can't keep my ideas bottled up I have to get them out.

I used to send my work to publishers in the past.  I lot of writers will probably have the same story to tell you - post scripts to publishers - wait a few weeks, to receive nothing but rejection, rejection, REJECTION.

"We don't publish unsolicited work!" -  I used to read this all the time.

The emergent electronic form of self publishing is a wonderful way of getting any piece of written work out there - it's then up to you to sell it.

One way I thought of advertising my work was to make videos.

And so my video making journey began...

I made a few short videos of my reading pieces of my book - I read some of the Legend of Rudwin, and I think a chapter of "Where do the Dreams Go?"

A friend and I tried to record a reading in a park - even though we were interrupted a few times by nosy onlookers, it was great fun.

I won't lie, I soon discovered that it gave me a lot of pleasure going around with a camera recording scenery, and things - then piecing it together to tell a story - AND that was really how it started.  I found that through video I was able to tell stories, NO - I mean - SHOW stories, and this was a new and thrilling thing to me.

I have been writing stories on a computer since 97 - with the sincerest attempt at becoming a writer professionally - and with many books behind me I have to admit I have had NO real success in the field. No one has taken the work seriously.  NO publishers are interested in the work.  I understand, - its a large and cluttered business, so, you know, its hard to get into.  That's fair enough and I do accept this,
  When I eventually self published books on kindle I created some adverts, but its extremely hard work trying to spread the word on forums.  You have to be careful, tread on eggshells - hint at your book but never talk about it directly because my word!  I tell you! the moment anyone on a forum thinks you are talking about your own work you get accused of self promotion and hated into oblivion.  Honestly, it's really difficult business and after - I don't know, ten years of it, I felt like I was hitting my  head against a brick wall.  I think the last straw came when a friend of mine mentioned my book as a recommendation in a book reading forum and someone accused him of being me in a fabricated account - self promoting his own work...   I think that was when I decided I had had enough.

I hold my hands up and tell you, the writing industry had defeated me.  I withdrew from it.  It takes a lot of guts sticking to the writers forums on the internet, keeping your head above the waves of volatile's, and I say with no exaggeration its tough - and I admire anyone who holds their ground and finds success in that industry - I really do!

As for myself I am not tough enough for it, so I gracefully bow out.

Having been defeated by the writing world I found a lot of comfort from making videos.  Like I mentioned before, I found this way of telling stories by piecing together bits of visual media to be quite exciting.  It's a fresh new way of story telling for me.

I have made videos in drama school, back in 97, nothing more than bitty amateur movies - but my new passion for video making kindled in 2013.  About 2014 I had made the Without Death Movie and had uploaded it to the internet.

I made a few more movies after that.  All of the movies had a seed in a half written book I had abandoned from way back when...

The Time Line Disaster movie was based on a short story called Death Machine.  As a story I just couldn't finish Death Machine properly.  It just didn't work as a book!

But as a video I think it work out quite well.

Then there was "Through the Mirror."

Again, this was another book of mine where I was stuck on my feet with writers block.  Honestly, I was knocking my head against invisible walls with this one.  My head couldn't find the words and my hands couldn't find the keys!  I had no idea where to go with it.  Then I thought, why not turn it into a video?  And so that was what I did, and it was done, and the video got made, and "Through the Mirror" was finally completed.

And then there were the cartoons (or...comics - I don't know either one will do).  I have always had a bit of zany, wacky sense of humour; if you read my books, Where do the Dreams Go? or Aradas - you will quickly understand me.

I made a series of cartoons starring an owl called Martin and I understand that these cartoons can be dark - and cover controversial subjects, but the idea behind this was to create something that stood out and got a reaction.  It's dangerous business stepping into that toxic pool - but sometimes it's the only way to get your work noticed.  You have to take a risk every now and then and talk about something that's off limits every once and a while to get people to turn their heads in your direction.


So after all that what does the future hold?

Maybe this whole well of video making I have just dug up will dry out in time - could just be a fad, a passing faze.  A distraction from the writers block I have been suffering from for the last few years since finishing my last book "The Pits."

There is no doubt I will go back to writing books again - it's in my blood - it's my life and what I am all about -

But I am enjoining making the videos, its my passion at the moment, and I will continue to produce these things until I hear the calling again, returning me to the pages of the written work.

I will leave it at that for now.

Best wishes all readers

Sean Wadley

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