When I embarked on AcWriMo this year, for the very first time, I honestly went for a small goal, because I knew how much of a challenge it was. As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I reached said goal in a few days, so I set a second goal, which was to write a third chapter of my book Women in Science Fiction Television. Well, I am happy to say that except for some quotes I need to find and add – possibly adding some more words to introduce them properly, I am done with that. I am really proud of this, because now my AcWriMo total word count is 17885.
As much as I know that the regular word goal for NaNoWriMo is 50K, I am very happy with how well I have been doing so far, especially with how bad my burn out is becoming. I also know that once all is said and done, I’ll calculate that other general word count, including my blog posts, as I think I have almost written a blog post per day since November 1, which is also a pretty big achievement for me. Blogging isn’t something I consider my forte, and I was (still am) a bit worried that delivering regular new content wouldn’t really be something I’d manage successfully.
That shows once again how learning is a never ending process, and that takes me to the topic I have at heart for this specific post. Going through all papers and old vids lately made me realize once again how we were all beginners once. We all have to start somewhere, no matter what the subject is, and this is also the beauty of life that we can embark on new territories at about any given time. I personally seem to need three years before jumping into things for real.
Though I have written research papers for the past nine years or so, it was really in my third year of Ph.D. studies that I delved deep into papers and conferences, and it is really since then that I have had a very active research activity. It is going to be two years in 2014 that I’ve considered myself an independent researcher and writer and I know that it has allowed me to devote time and energy for many projects that matter to me.
All the same, it took me three years before giving a try to fan fiction based role playing. Since I gave it a try in 2008, I never stopped indulging in this creative outlet, though by now I know that the Star Wars universe is really the one that speaks to me, after having dabbed into a couple other universes.
As for vidding? Well, it was the same pattern, as it took me three years of thinking about it and hesitating, before I created my very first video in 2005. By now, I only keep my YouTube channel for selected (i.e. mostly Science Fiction and Fantasy genres) videos. All of them are creations I consider good enough to be featured on a professional portfolio. After more than eight years and 299 videos, I know I have come a very long way. And the best part is that as much as I know my style and preferences, I know I still have much room to continue to improve and experience new things.
And to illustrate my post, I decided to go dig back into my vid collection, since I have to face my old stuff as well, don’t I? So, I decided to share my second ever video, Straight from the Heart, a Mulder/Scully X-Files video, which I made early September 2005. So, without further ado, there you go:
Am I cringing inside? Well, of course I am. This video is packed with flaws: mixed ratio, squished clips, talking heads, cheesy/distracting transitions, a couple of ghost frames, clips that run too long, messy timing, and for whatever reason the music’s sound didn’t render all that well. I was still using Windows Movie Maker by then and it is such an early video that I didn’t even have my Aruna7 logo back then. I think that my father designed it for me only a week or two afterwards; and I switched to Sony Vegas on December 30, 2005. I remember the day because it was my birthday and I had giddy fun discovering Vegas like for six hours, before it was my birthday dinner!
I think that I used to be ‘ashamed’ of my old videos for a good while as I became to become much “better” around 2007 and 2008. But now, I look back at them with much fondness. Of course, I’m horrified by the technical issues. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have improved much. Yet, the song still screams Mulder and Scully to me, and I stand by my clip choices regarding the lyrics (except that I would have avoided talking heads, adjusted timing and added more clips to avoid some running too long).
We were all beginners once. The trick is to keep going, keep believing and working hard.
And let’s not forget the amount of times we need a helmet before banging our head against the desk, because something isn’t working as we are hoping it would or as it should!