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Category: Meanderings

Good Old College Try

Posted in Meanderings

Well, as I start to write this I have yet to come up with a title for this particular entry that’s been sort of floating around in my brain – although in truth, this is most likely spurned on by my previous Meanderings article and my flailing YouTube channel – perhaps it should read as failing YouTube channel.

In regards to my YouTube channel Bradfangled, it may be apt to say “as you well know by now” – although odds are you don’t because no one really watches the content I put out on YouTube – the stats offer an extraordinarily in-depth break down of my channel’s failure – it’s unfortunate and spectacular at the same time, a real eye-opener you could say.

In perhaps, what could be the greatest diversionary tactic from my writing pursuits yet, I’ve spent the better part of two years sinking time, energy, money and creativity into a retro-game themed YouTube channel whose exponential growth in content quality and style surely deserves more than the average 20 – 40 views that my episodes garner, and a large portion of those views come from friends and family. So there’s that. Along the path to web show greatness – I learned loads about video and sound editing as well as script writing – yes, writing does play a huge role in the production of a web show, so in essence I was still writing throughout those two years.

Yet, it doesn’t stop there, an exhaustive amount of social media marketing was also spent, trying to gain followers on platforms like Twitter and Instagram in an effort to funnel them through to my YouTube channel – well of course that hasn’t really worked out too well either. So I guess at some point one needs to take a step back and evaluate the effort-to-viewership ratio, i.e – does the amount of time, effort and sacrifice that is poured into such a pursuit warrant the dismal viewership and engagement it gets? No, not in the slightest. Yes, YouTube is a creative outlet and ultimately one should focus on doing it for themselves but also take into consideration that the creation of and by extension the creative process involved in creating a web show is a form of art, and art is meant to be consumed and enjoyed, not hidden and ignored.

By contrast – and this isn’t to say that my content is the greatest of all time, but when compared to the endless cesspool of sheer garbage that populates YouTube, it’s clear that quality and effort are not factors that too many people are concerned with, nor YouTube for that matter – they will promote any shit that makes them money and will turn around saying that they support content creators, which is true, just as long as you’re one of their prized cash cows that they can continuously suck at the teat of, like the soulless corporate vampires that they are.

I also took it one step further, deciding to do a little social experiment and created a junk YouTube channel – literally no thought or planning going into it at all. A generic name, shitty banner, crappy icons and thumbnails pulled off of the web and uploaded vague, idiotic shit I filmed on my phone – a series of absurdly short clips, and I did this frequently. 12 videos in 2 days and wouldn’t you know, it’s getting views. In just 6 days, the channel already has 1826 views, so that’s basically just under half of what Bradfangled received over a 2 year period, and the most ridiculous video of them all received 650+ views in under 24 hours. Absolutely mind-boggling.

It’s worth noting that the above video is 28 seconds long, and just look at the watch time. I then posted a video on Bradfangled, using the same tags (as it was relevant – PS5 being at the forefront) about something trending which was Spider-Man Remastered and wouldn’t you know, the results were terrible, in fact, the video performed worse than usual, so clearly there is no visibility of my channel. It really doesn’t make any sense and is rather upsetting to be frank.

So with an average viewership of 20 – 40 views per video (there are a few exceptions) I’ve decided to take a step back from YouTube for a while and focus my energies elsewhere – specifically with getting my book published and probably some short stories and a comic strip, so you can expect my Patreon to be revamped to accommodate this change. On the plus side, I can say that I’ve given this YouTube thing a good old college try and at least I came up with a title for this article as I type these last few words.

Much Ado About Nothing

Posted in Meanderings

Writing has always come naturally to me, whether it’s about something made up or perhaps even a work-related email, note, or blog post – whether or not I’m good at it of course is another story entirely. Hey, I think I’m pretty good, okay?

December leading into 2020 has been a bit of a nightmare, we hired a contractor (an acquaintance of a family member) to do work on the house and what was meant to be a 2-week job turned into a 4-month nightmare which technically never ended as the work was never completed, but I think I will rant about that another time.

Needless to say, by March, the Coronavirus had the world firmly clasped in its grip and by the end of that same month, we here in South Africa were also subjected to restrictions and a strict lock-down in an effort to slow down what is now called COVID-19. The lock-down regulations range from the perfectly reasonable (stay at home, social-distancing, and so forth) to the ridiculous (no tobacco, alcohol or ready-made foods to be sold in supermarkets). How is that ridiculous you ask? Well, in the absence of said alcohol and tobacco, the government has inadvertently (though it should not come as a surprise to them) created tobacco bootleggers and home-beer-brewers, the latter supposedly ‘illegal’ now too – just what the fuck did they think was going to happen?

Oh course, the whole no cooked foods thing is just a big fat fuck-you to front-line medical workers and the elderly who rely on the convenience of read-made meals – but hey, that’s in the ‘fast food’ domain and since all fast food outlets and restaurants are currently closed, you don’t get to have that pie or chicken you’re either too frail to prepare or tired to think about making after a grueling 18 hour shift attending to the sick.

Given the weak state of SA’s economy, needless to say the lock-down is driving the economy even further into the ground as 1 in 5 companies begin lay-offs, people starve and despite what the media would have you think, crime is in fact increasing due to pure desperation. In that regard, my wife and I find ourselves in quite a fortunate situation as she is employed by the government and I contract IT services for a company abroad.

Amid all this chaos, I selfishly wonder if the little Houw Hoek Farm Stall will survive not being able to make and sell those pies as that is exactly what it’s famous for…man, those pies are good.

Beyond that, I’m a bit at odds with what sort of creative endeavours I should pursue – I still have an unpublished book that needs attention, a YouTube channel to maintain, the desire to draw some sort of comic strip and of course, write. Fuck, something’s got to go. Again, selfish, I know, especially when the world burns around us, but I’m not going to apologise, it’s good to have goals, even during the apocalypse.

Any-who, I’m trying to challenge myself to post an update here as frequently as possible, so I’ll keep at it and scribble down anything else that comes to mind that I think someone out there may find interesting.

If not, hey, at least I’m writing.

New year, new me bullshit? Well, sort of but not really…

Posted in Meanderings

I wasn’t overly aware as to just how long it had been since my previous blog post – a realisation that dawned on me when I logged into the Dashboard this morning only to see that there were 10 pending updates and WordPress had seemingly reinvented itself with ‘blocks’, new features and what have you.

The usage of ‘block paragraph inserts’ seems lost on me but I’ll go with it…for now. My last post was the 4th May 2018, now that’s quite a while ago, and even then I wasn’t really writing, having shifted my focus to a small web comic I was doing which has subsequently fallen to the wayside due to time constraints and just a general lack of interest I suppose.

Yesterday was the first time since December last year that I managed to dedicate some time to my novel – an endevour that I started in 2012. The book is essentially complete, I’m just going over it one last time before I set out on the arduous task of looking for a publisher. My lovely wife-to-be is also assisting me by offering advice and criticism which is welcomed as after having spent 6 years working on the thing, I undoubtedly have a degree of tunnel vision so there is room to gain a widened perspective via an additional viewpoint – especially since she is an avid reader.

So what have I been doing? Well, for the most part, I have been diverted from working on my book yet again by a YouTube channel I started in July of last year – it’s been quite an undertaking and although it may not seem like it, there is a fair amount of writing that goes into developing episodes, namely writing scripts and so forth. It’s been fun but I think it’s time to go back to my roots – complete my book and get it off to a publisher. There is certainly a degree of self-sabotage at play here since I always seem to find ways not to work on my main project.

I aspire to be a published writer – read; ‘published’ – I hate the term ‘aspiring writer’. I’m already a fucking writer and won’t allow anyone to tell me differently. If the difference between being a writer was measured on whether or not one is published then I fear for the industry. If you want to write, then write. If you want to get published, then get published. There are numerous avenues a writer can take to get their work out there. The real danger is procrastination and self-sabotage, in this era it is simply too easy to get side-tracked by the sickly wonderful hindrances of streaming services and social media. Not discounting the unfortunate hindrance of a tedious day job either…

I’m not about to abandon the YouTube channel – I’ve invested far too much time and effort into it, but I will slow it down a bit – besides I have some other ideas in mind which will be explained in next week’s video.

So for now, I will return to the pages of my book, thereafter I intend on finishing off a couple short stories I had been working on – I read the pages of one in particular I had started last year and really enjoyed it – I think if you can read your own work and smile about it or look at it in awe then you’re on the right track and it would be a shame to let something like that fall to the wayside.

| Brad.


Don’t Get it Right, Get it Written

Posted in Meanderings, and Writing

Don’t get it right. Get it written. – James Thurber (Pictured above).

 

The above quote is perhaps one of the most important pieces of advice any writer should adhere to, it’s telling you to write down your ideas regardless of whether or not it’s perfect.  Just get it down on paper or screen so that you have a framework to work with.

Your idea can be perfect but your initial implementation of that idea doesn’t have to be.  In fact, can you imagine just how long it would take an author to put out a book if he attempted to make every written page perfect each time before moving onto the next?  That’s what editing is for, so remember that.

So that’s just what I’ve done.  I whipped out my first draft for my first novel in a matter of months after a single, solitary idea popped into my head one night and lo and behold I fashioned an entire book around one key idea.  Oftentimes I couldn’t get the ideas out faster enough to the point where I had a backlog of chapters in my head, this backlog served as the perfect goalpost as the story I had to tell poured out of me like a broken sieve.  I had plenty ideas in my brain and every time one popped up I had to work out how my story would reach that point, and after enough instances of that I was sitting with a full-length book ready to be edited and fine-tuned.

Believe me when I say that having a completed draft to work with makes the experience all the more enjoyable.  Do the characters and names have to stay the same? Do their motivations and agendas need to be fixed? Of course not and I guarantee you as you progress through your novel with each revision you will go back to change things or omit something in order to make your story all the more greater.

I’ve been editing my work for almost three years now and even though a lot has changed the one thing that never did was the book’s core.  So tear a page out of Thurber’s book (completely metaphorical of course – he was a great American author), and just get it written!

Work Constraints

Posted in Meanderings

Hi Everyone,

While there hasn’t been any new posts in a while, you can be rest assured that there will be more content coming soon.  Unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way of the creative process and unfortunately a day job is a necessity, so that I can keep writing…and you know, keep living.  Anywho, while work constraints have definitely impacted on my ability to release more articles, I will be taking as much time in between to resolve this.

It’s also worth noting that I have a book to finish editing, but somehow I will be victorious.

| Brad.

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Seasons Greetings & Happy New Year

Posted in Meanderings

Hi Everyone,

While this is certainly a ‘place-holder’ post, December month has been an extremely busy one for me and trying to get any new posts published has proven to be a challenge (there are several unfinished ones under drafts though…).

However, you can be rest-assured that new content will find its way on these pages in 2016.  For now, have a festive holiday and a happy new year!

Brad.

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