It’s halfway through October — and also halfway through my October break; so I thought, what better time to write an update in my blog?
I originally wanted to write a few Tea Reflections, and I still have them planned, but right now I’m not in a headspace for writing something that requires a lot of energy, but I still wanted to write in my blog — hence this life update instead.
So, it’s time for an old-fashioned life update, divided into categories for easier writing!
Firstly, I wanted to talk about my mood. I wrote in-depth about my frustrations and trouble with staying creative during the summer in my End of Summer post, so I just wanted to briefly touch upon it now that it’s been a month and a half since then.
I’m happy to say that my mood has improved a lot since the summer ended. During those months, I felt like my creativity (and me, in a way) was stagnating and I had nothing to keep me inspired or motivated to create. Well, since I’ve started university again, my creative juices have just been flowing like never before. Every week, I seem to get new ideas for stories, films, radio programs, youtube videos, blog posts, even for TableTalk. Sometimes I feel like I can’t keep up with my mind. I have religiously written down every single idea I’ve gotten, so as to not forget them and pick them up whenever I have the time/energy/even equipment necessary down the line.
Maybe it goes without saying, but being this creative again has made me incredibly happy. It’s just such a sharp contrast to my summer self that it’s kind of weird to think that I was both the stagnating, frustrated summer person and this creative, energetic, definitely more motivated self. I don’t quite understand how these two very different people can co-exist in the same body.
A lot of the positive change, I think, is due to university starting again. I have deadlines again, I have a routine again — but, more importantly, I am learning again and I am surrounded by creative people like me again. I think those have definitely had a major impact on me. I am the type of creative person who needs to be around other creative people to keep myself motivated. That’s an important aspect of myself I have learned since going back to college, and it’s something I should keep in mind for the future and for the times I’m feeling unmotivated.
So my mood has improved and my creativity has returned full-force, it would seem. I really missed this. I definitely feel more like myself now. ✨
I’ve been keeping on top of all of my assignments so far and started planning a few of them that are still down the line, but that I just wanted to get a head start on. As I mentioned earlier, I’m on October break, which makes this much easier, and by the end of the week I will hopefully have finished a few more assignments and thought of concrete plots for my films.
The timescale of video production is slightly worrying me this year (we have to make an 8-minute video — it can be anything — but we only get 3 weeks of pre-production and 5 weeks of production and post-production combined), but I think I have an idea that I can execute in 8 minutes. I’m using the holidays just now to define it more. As for radio, I already have ideas figured out for every assignment, so now it’s just a matter of turning them into something more substantial.
In other related news, I’ve been trying to join a society this year but I haven’t had much luck in terms of figuring out which one would actually be fun for me. To be honest, I’m wondering if societies are even my cup of tea; I’m very introverted and having a weekly society meet-up with people I don’t know yet is very energy-draining — not to mention I’m the type who would rather stay in and watch a film or read a book. I might not succeed in joining a society because of my personality, but I’m trying to not let that get to me. It’s okay to be introverted.
Peter’s younger brother started a new job here in Stirling, so he’s also moving here! He’s been sleeping in our living room for the past month while sorting out things for his own flat with his flatmate. Having him over has been at times fun and at times a bit not so fun, but really I’ve just hit that point in my life where I cannot live with a third person anymore — I very much like it to be just me and Peter. After having our own place for a year, it’s really hard to adjust to sharing that space with a third person and I’m just mentally not up for that kind of living arrangement anymore. What can I say, I’m a grumpy old woman on the inside. ?
I’ve been trying to get better at networking and keeping an eye out for networking events in my uni and my city. I don’t really like reading articles about networking, as it just reminds me that I’m not very good at it due to my introverted personality — but I really want to try and meet people and make an effort to really connect at these events, not just to superficially interact, which doesn’t sit well with me at all. I’m going to one of these events on Monday at my uni and I hope it’s going to be both fun and useful — to learn new things, but also to meet people who might enjoy my work!
I’ve started my application for the settlement scheme as well — a thing EU citizens in the UK need to do in order to not be kicked out after 2020. It’s been a bit of a pain and added extra stress I didn’t need, but I’m confident I’ll be able to get ‘settled’ status. I’ve lived here since 2011 — it would be ridiculous if I got kicked out. It’s just annoying that I have to do this on top of everything else.
Some short hobbies updates, because why not!
I finished The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and I loved it. I initially started reading it because I saw trailers of the film adaptation and it got me curious, but I genuinely devoured this book. I loved the style of the author and it reminded me a lot of my own, too. I’m curious to see how they adapted it for the big screen!
I don’t know if I’ve said it before, but I started reading Dracula a while back. I’m enjoying it so far, but I seem to have hit a weird reader’s block where I can’t concentrate on books just now. Hoping it passes soon.
Peter and I have been watching a bunch of films to help us come up with ideas and shots for our video production films — and also just movies that I’d been meaning to watch for ages. So I recently watched Terminator (I had never watched it and I liked it), The Woman in the Window, Call Me By Your Name, Carnival of Souls and Psycho. I absolutely loved Carnival of Souls — it is honestly my new favourite black & white film, and it gave me some ideas for my own dreamlike video production project! I’m planning on making a youtube video about it, too. I cannot recommend it enough, it’s a gem.
I have played only a few video games since the start of uni. I’ve finished Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, which Peter and I got for the Switch and I really liked it (it was another game I’d never played before).
Right now I’m really enjoying Dragon Quest XI for the Switch. To tell you the truth, I was actually in the mood for a JRPG, so I tried the demo and it definitely scratched the JRPG itch and got me hooked in the process. Right now I’ve sunk 60+ hours in it already and I have just started Act 2, so this game is going to keep me occupied for a long while yet — which is fine by me, because I’m having lots of fun with it!
I’ve actually been pretty productive on my youtube videos behind the scenes!
Firstly, I’ve gotten even more ideas for videos, which is great. But also, I’ve done some self-reflection recently and I’ve decided to stop using the term “video essays” when referring to my own videos. I’ve realised that using that term was putting a lot of needless pressure on me, because of the way I approach essays in academic contexts, and thus it meant I just wasn’t having any fun throughout the whole process.
So I’ve decided to take a different approach to my videos, starting from the way I refer to them and the way I write the scripts for them. Usually I would start with just a blank word document and try to turn my thoughts into an essay-like structure; but of course, that meant I didn’t actually enjoy the writing process. So now I’ve switched to the template I’d use to write documentaries with and it’s so much better in every way. Writing scripts this way means the pressure is off; that I can be more concise, get to the point faster and thus having my videos be shorter and only concentrate on what I actually care about (whereas before, I definitely felt like I had to talk about everything regarding the topic that I picked — but of course, that’s not the case at all!); and, because I can come up with the visuals during the script stage, it means I’m already deciding what visuals to use instead of doing that at the end, and that’s also saving up time during the edit and making the script feel more organic, as audio and visuals are complementing and feeding into each other, as I’m writing both.
I want to write a whole Tea Reflection on what brought me to think about this change and how exactly it takes the pressure off, so for now I’ll just leave it at that. But it’s made a huge difference in how I write, approach and feel about my videos. Now I’m having fun creating them and they don’t feel like these collossal things that need a huge amount of work and that need to be perfect. It’s made me realise that it’s okay if my videos are the way I want them to be, without following anybody else’s formula. Plus, now that I’ve realised this, I can experiment and try to turn them into something visually pleasing as well as topically interesting — like some sort of ‘art’ in itself. I’m definitely up for it, to make something different from the usual.
So I’ve been working away at various scripts using this method — a lot of them are being rewritten like this just now. But I’m hoping to have something uploaded by the end of the year. Fingers crossed. ?
I’ve also decided to do some vlogs on the side — just something fun, that makes me use the camera, that makes me practise my shot composition and that I can upload to my channel so that it doesn’t stay “empty” for long stretches of time while I work away at these more production-intensive videos. I’ve realised that having fun with my channel is really important to me; so I will! ? Plus, the vlogs might motivate me, too.
And that’s it for this update! It turned out to be a quite lengthy one, but I feel much better now for writing in my blog. See you in the next post! ?