Dreams Abhor Light

So you got an awesome idea … you want to work on a screenplay, or you’ve been bitten by the YouTube bug and want to start producing videos. Maybe you have an idea about a novel, or even a series of them.

This moment can be very empowering and exciting. You are about to set off on adventure that will take months, maybe even years to complete and who knows what opportunities await on the other side?

And then what do you do? You announce to the world your plans to do this magical thing.

As a creative, this is like inviting a group of vampires to your house, and telling them it’s an all you can drink special and so .. line on up, and pick a vein.

Why is this so?

Anything of merit takes work, and that work requires sacrifice. Persistent painful sacrifice. This effort requires a tremendous amount of energy and by sharing your project with your friends, you are literally giving this energy away.

For example, you start your screenplay and you tell *everybody* about it. Eventually, you hit a snag or run into the wall. Production stalls. Now, you have all those people circling over head, asking your progress. What to them is a positive question – an inquiry that shows that they care about your life – will to feel like a nip to you.

“Oh,” you say. “I haven’t had time.”

When in truth, you’ve been alligator wrestling with the story. Or maybe, you haven’t prioritized the story and it has fallen through the cracks.

Now imagine all your friends, co-workers, and associates asking you about the project. You’ll be nipped to death!

And slowly over time, this great project starts to feel like an anchor around your neck. Questions feel like barbs, and worst of all, you start thinking of yourself as a failure.

I’ve experienced this cycle many many times to the point now I don’t tell anyone my plans. I hold my cards in a balled fist that only very few people (mostly my wife and kiddos) know my intentions.

I keep my dreams in the dark until they are ready for the light. And if they never come to the light, well — I won’t feel depleted for explaining my creative process to the world. Let’s face it — not all ideas are good ones.

I’ve found this is especially true at the end of project as well. Let’s say you are within striking distance of your creative work … by all means, do not talk about it. Put all your remaining energy into finishing it, then head to the beer tent (or Twitter) for celebrations.

Ultimately, it’s what works best with your creative process. So try, experiment, and when you have the urge to tell the entire world of your intentions, write a personal journal entry instead. It might be less fun, but may end up with a completed project instead.

Ciao!

 

 

 

 

Happy Earth Day

There’s nothing like a good rant to celebrate Earth Day. I don’t know why that is so … maybe because I think of rants as a type of verbal compost of sorts. 😀

But here’s the thing … I hate it when people tell me to save the Earth. Or to treat the Earth like I’d want to be treated. Or to basically view the Earth as a person.

The Earth is not a person. It’s an amazing thing, but it’s not a sentient being of any sorts. It’s a planet – one of billions – that has an atmosphere lots of water, and well, us. The fact is, if the Earth were a person, then it’s currently taking a nap and that’s a good thing because if we look into the Earth’s past, it wasn’t always pretty.

 

At points in our planet’s history, the place was down right toxic and while life has managed to get a toe hold on this planet, there have been at least three extinction level events and by all accounts, we’re due for another one.  And well, things change and we can’t always expect our planet to have a hospitable climate when it’s been downright lethal in the past.

Mind you, I’m not even talking about our impact as well. We’re an incredibly messy species and that mess is taking its toll in our environment. In short, we’re terraforming ourselves off the planet.

Save the earth? The earth doesn’t need saving. It will be here until the sun eats it. Rather, we need to save ourselves.

And look, if you are one of those people who doesn’t believe in climate change or think it’s all grand standing  — you must admit, investing in green technologies that produce energy without making the surrounding area toxic is a good thing. It saves money in the long term.

Speaking of energy usage, here’s the US energy consumption in 2016:

Electricity_Generation_Sources_for_the_United_States.svg

I grabbed it from the Wikipedia page on the Electricity sector of the United States.

I’d love to see solar eventually represented on this chart and well, here’s where I’m going to lose some of you … I’d love to see coal replaced with nuclear.

Besides the waste, nuclear only releases steam. A nuclear plant does not pump tons of C02 into the atmosphere. The waste is a concern, and well, safety is a concern too as Fukushima showed us. I know these are all problems that we can solve until we reach that age when we no longer need such energy sources.

So this Earth Day, please don’t think of the Earth. It’s beautiful ball of rock that couldn’t care less about our species. Think about us – as a people – and how we can have our lifestyles without wreaking havoc on the environment that sustains us.

Just a thought. Back to nachos.

 

 

 

Fewer words

Just recently, I saw this tweet by Mike Davis.

Typically, tweets fall into three categories for me: interesting, funny, or non-existant. I like Twitter in that I can laser target things that interest me, but if a tweet falls outside that spectrum, it’s like reading blank paper ie, white space.

If I find someone producing too much “white space”, I just stop following or in the case where unfollowing will produce political results, I just mute them.

Mike doesn’t produce white space. He’s an interesting guy and I always take note of  his tweets. I became aquatinted with him through his Lovecraft zine.

I did submit a story to him, but it ended up getting rejected. Nothing personal. Just business. Bad writers cry about rejections. Good writers build relationships with them. I haven’t written in a couple of years so I’m not trying to back pat myself here.

In any case, I do like his tweet because it makes me think.

“The older I get, the less I have to say” – at first glance, you’d think it’s a quote about growing wiser, but I don’t think it is. If you froze time and live life like Groundhog’s Day, then yes — ultimately, your ideas may run dry or you find yourself too stagnant to be original.

But lately .. with everyone being online – with everyone writing – with everyone telling stories which are often derivatives of  other other stories – in a sea of communication, it’s hard to say something meaningful, because there are a choir of people are already saying it.

Sometimes, I’ll see a news headline or online video and an immediate joke comes to mind. Then I check the comments and lo and behold at least five other people have experienced that eureka moment. My originality is just a pattern of observation that has been already established.

Years ago, we didn’t see these patterns but now with everyone having access to the same bull horn, it’s becoming clear that while we may all be unique, the differences are more subtle than we’d like to acknowledge.

So why say things when a legion of folks have got you covered? It sounds like a cynical question. But I think the answer is simple and honest. It’s: because. That’s it. I say these things simply because.

My goal is that the older I get, the more I want to say. Not because it’s meaningful or significant. Not because it will change the world or do even the slightest thing worthy of mention.

I want to say things because life is worth squawking about, even to those who won’t listen. I may not be original, but I am alive, breathing this wonderful air, and grateful to be able recognize it.

In any case, thanks Mike for the interesting tweet.

Recipe for Creatives

Here’s the recipe for creative financial success:

  • Take 2 dreams. One from youth and one from when you should have known better
  • Burn dreams into ashes
  • Wait from x years to never for the phoenix to appear
  • ???
  • Profit

Serves only one person and goes great with a bottle of the following:

tears.jpg

Ciao!

The YouTube Echo Chamber

Not too long ago, YouTube announced a new rule of sorts that sent the tube-sphere in a bit of a tizzy. The rule basically states that monetizing videos is no longer an option for channels with less than 10k lifetime views.

In a nutshell, when you start a new channel, don’t expect to make any money right away. I had read about this when I was at my company’s conference, but recently, I was asked my opinion during my weekly livestreams.

Two things about this. First, YouTubers love controversy.

Controversy equals clicks, clicks equal eyeballs, and eye balls equal watch time. The greater the watch time, the better search results which equals more eye balls, etc, etc.

When ever there is a slight YouTube policy change, an army of YouTubers will get out front and center and sell their outrage, creating an echo chamber of sorts. It doesn’t matter the intent of the policy or if the policy is even attempting to fix a long standing issue. YouTubers will scream bloody murder.  While I am tempted to produce rebuttal videos, I’d be just feeding the beast only in an inverse manner.

So, I write articles instead! 😛

I can’t stand the echo chamber. It’s not that I may disagree with the prevailing views. Rather, I abhor the cash grab nature of it. At best, it dilutes the premise, because the real premise isn’t the stated outage, but to make money / views off of it.

All right … my thoughts about the actual policy. Honestly, this isn’t a big deal. Of course, if you are a new channel struggling to get only a hundred views – this may be a very big deal indeed. Which brings me to my second point:

You shouldn’t focus on monetizing when starting out. When building a channel, you need to get used to producing timely content, making and keeping to a schedule, and of course, balancing the needs of your audience with what you would like to do.

In time, your audience will come, but in the mean time, focus on the basics first. If you already know how to grow an audience, market your videos, and sell your content, that 10k will go by in a flash. In the meantime, use it as a benchmark.

Because here’s the thing — if you are struggling to reach 10k, then chances are, you won’t receive any money for a long time. We’re talking about ten bucks here by the roughest of estimates. Unless you are partnered with an MCN, it’s going to be a long while indeed before you see any money as Google requires you to reach $100 in ad revenue before paying you.

So focus on the small things, and the money situation will take care of itself so long as you are committed to your channel.

And of course, for the love of god, please don’t feed the echo chamber! I drink enough booze as it is. 😀

 

 

 

Welcome Back!

Hello Everyone,

Welcome back to my home base, Jezner.com. I have been running Jezner since 2000 and since that time, the site has ranged from a blog, to an old time radio site, to a review site about audio books, to its present incarnation.

In summation, it has been changing and evolving over the years.

In the past year or so, I’ve reached a crossroads with the site. Being pretty busy with life, this site has fallen into abandonment along with my other web sites. I reached a choice – do I pull the plug or keep it going? Well, for my other sites, I let them go. But Jezner has always been different. It’s always been apart of my online identity.

So onwards we go, but a bigger question … what will it be?  Honestly, I don’t have a big plan. I foresee this site as just being a mental scratchpad of sorts. It gives me the place to scribble thoughts, observations, and so forth. In the past year, I’ve found that I’ve missed blogging as a platform and would like to continue. Of course, I’d certainly love for you to share your thoughts as well via. comments and so forth.

That said, if you are looking for old time radio shows, you can find them over at the Internet Archive. They literally have everything that you could possibly want and for free, no less. While I will always love old time radio, I’ve moved on from it in these recent years and thus, so has this site.

That said, I’ll make sure to write up a little history about Jezner’s little contribution to keeping OTR alive. But that’s a future blog post.

In any case, thanks for stopping by. It’s good to see that you are still around!