On the last weekend of February, I went into a fugue state and 48 hours later, woke up to discover that I had posted a vlog on the YouTubes:
And, nearly five years after I shuttered my experimental games and media writing, I have once again relaunched my Patreon with the narrow focus of supporting these filmed bookish endeavours.
Despite my jests about fugue states, I want to emphasize that this was not an entirely impulsive decision. For a few years now, I've been thinking about how I could use Patreon to give me a bit of security, but I knew that 1) it would need to have a narrow focus — unlike before — and 2) be something that I could easily sustain no matter what my client work was looking like. While organizing my work papers the other day, I ran across some old scribbles brainstorming a potential YouTube series, focused at least at first on Edwardian and fin-de-siècle literature in both French and English. But something like that would require a lot more research and scripting and equipment and time than I was confident I could commit to, especially given my schedule at the time. Then the pandemic happened. I put everything about Patreon and YouTube on the backburner. Like everyone else, I got swallowed by the stress of ensuring that my freelance business didn't collapse, of social distancing and the confinement, of making sure I was not being a burden on my loved ones. But, even from the backburner, clearly something about last year's musings stuck around.
One of my favourite things about my life before the pandemic was forcing myself to leave work behind (sometimes even leaving the phone behind!), go to a coffee shop and talk about literature with friends. I drafted a lot of my Reading Notes and Drink Tea, Read Books blog posts in my notebooks during those excursions. And, though my bookish writing on this blog has perhaps not been what it was before the pandemic, I'm still making sure that I find time in my schedule to read for pleasure. As I'm sure a lot of people can relate, reading is far from a frivolous pastime for me. I'm not just using it to escape, I'm using it to dialogue with ideas and authors and characters. The worst periods of my life are the ones where I stopped reading "for pleasure" entirely. As long as I'm reading, I feel like myself, and a little more willing to endure.
So if I can't go stick myself in a coffee shop and read and discuss books and writing technique for hours on end with my friends, hopefully talking to myself about books at a camera will help curb the restlessness I've been feeling of late.
This project has also given me a shiny new challenge, learning how to film and edit video. It's funny, back in the early 00s, I used to wish I had the equipment to make AMVs (anime music videos) of all my favourite characters from Sailor Moon, Gundam Wing, InuYasha, etc. And then in the late 10s, I had access to Instagram stories and suddenly found myself intrigued by the storytelling potential of 15 second clips of video and audio. Now, I'm finally trying my hand at vlogging and I have a lot to learn. My most recent lesson: if you don't want garbage audio, try talking into the mic! Amazing, but it works!
Of course, I will not be neglecting this blog. This blog has been my vital anchor for more than a decade and has also (err, I sincerely hope) helped me become a better storyteller. I will be writing here when I can, as before. A big lesson of the past *gestures at everything* is that I do need to make all of this creative output more sustainable, but I also want to make sure that I'm creating something that merits community support. Bookish vlogging is what I've landed on. I want to create a YouTube channel that gets people excited to read whatever they're reading, that makes them feel like we're sharing a cup of tea and having a little discussion about our TBR (to be read) piles.
I do hope you'll take a moment to subscribe to my YouTube channel (sincerely, even if you never check out my channel again doing that will help me SO much) and check out my Patreon before the second vlog lands sometime in the next few days, but if you're just here to have a good time with my blog, don't worry, I'm not going anywhere! ♥️🍵📚
À bientôt et namárië!