Well, that’s a very open-ended title for a post, huh? Well, this is kind of an open-ended post, at least in the way that we aren’t going to be exclusively talking about the site or writing these posts.
I’m clearly fairly used to writing these posts at this point. I’ve written well over a hundred by now and I’ve been doing it for over a year straight, so I’ve established somewhat of a pattern to how this all works. But what spurred this post was a different kind of writing than I was used to.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m in the process of launching a YouTube channel. I talked about it a bit back on my New Years post and I wasn’t kidding. While there’s no content there now, I’m working on recording and editing the first video that will go up, as well as figuring out art to use for the channel, which means I’m commissioning artists better than me. I’m cleaning everything up, pretty much.
There’s been a lot of things to learn from how everything goes together, to training my voice, getting footage, and a bunch of other crazy stuff, but of everything, one aspect really surprised me. My usual writing doesn’t translate perfectly to video format.
Let me elaborate. I think most of my writing is actually better suited for video. I think I tell certain jokes that would work better with visuals, and I think my tone works better being spoken. However, when I sat down to actually record my script, it wasn’t natural.
Videos are very much a say more with less type of thing. I found myself trimming through the script and getting rid of a ton of words here and there. Nothing that changed the actual message, but it did change the flow.
Writing and reading like this also has a flow, but it’s a lot more forgiving. You can pause whenever you need to. You see the period or comma, and you know what to do. It can be structured in a far more sporadic, I guess, way.
But what I learned was that even that last sentence would sound kind of awkward spoken. Breaking up my point to go “I guess” works here, I think, but wouldn’t be as good if I was actually reading it all in one breathe.
I also learned that I tend to ramble sometimes. I think it works fine, but when I’m reading aloud, I find myself running out of breath sometimes and having to break things up or pause in between.
What helps, is that my writing has adopted a very conversational tone naturally. If you read the stuff I wrote on the site super early on, I was the same overall, but I was far more professional and serious. That type of writing would never work for the types of videos I want to make.
All I want to do is make stupid little videos where I talk about anime for like 15-20 minutes and crack a few jokes that maybe make people laugh along the way. That’s it. My format and style works decent for the most part, but my video scripts are far more streamlined, even if it’s very similar to how the stuff here is.
I think what it comes down to is that to sound natural in a recording, at least the way I want to, you need to sound conversational and casual. Not too stiff, and not too exaggerated either. I certainly haven’t mastered this yet.
I don’t want to sound like some uptight guy reading a script. I want to sound like I’m just your friend chatting about something I like. That’s why I do allow myself to go off script a little, so long as it doesn’t make things too bad. I go off script about three times in the first video that will go up in a few weeks for those curious, and a few of my screw-ups made it into the actual script.
And in a normal conversation, I don’t say “however” all the time or speak with a lot of interjections (with parenthesis.) It would sound, and it speaks, awkward when I do. Reading on a post, it’s fine. Listening to my voice speak it isn’t. For some, I’m sure it does. For me, it doesn’t. It’s not the type of content I think I could make well, and it’s not the type I personally want to create.
I just found that all really fascinating because I figured my normal writing would translate just fine. I didn’t see all the little things that would come up when I was actually reading it aloud because I generally never do that unless I have a reason to.
I’m sure for some, this is all pretty common knowledge, but just like with the site, I enjoy being transparent about all the behind-the-scenes stuff. It’s what I always wished people would do. I want to hear about how the sausage is made, you know? I never thought that would kill my enjoyment.
I feel like there’s this stigma around content creators, or really anyone successful that they can feel out of reach. That we can never get to them because we aren’t the same. At least, that’s how I always felt. I hope that my being open about the process of things and my occasionally (maybe more than that) screw-ups helps break that perception a bit if I ever get to be pretty successful. Well, to be fair, in my mind, I am successful. I’m happy at least, and I consider that the biggest success of all.
So look forward to all of that soon. And no, the channel won’t affect anything with the site. I’ll still be doing the same amount I do now. No need to worry! All that will probably happen is the bigger projects will be in video format instead, while whatever the hell I want goes here.
Thank you very much for reading
Writing is, in fact, weird.
This Post Has 5 Comments
I look forward to this, I like watching people grow as writers and creators. Best of luck, and I’m sure it’s a learning curve but seems you’re figuring it out. As a blogger who also does YouTube, anything I could do to help or you want to talk about I’m usually available…I’m a little better than my recent resume though.
Thank you. It’s nice to know I have some help if I need it! I’m sure there’s going to be some growing pains, but it’s going better than I expected, at least.
Well for me, writing is not weird, it just depends on its delivery and what will be the reaction of those who read it.
That’s defintely a worry of mine. I wonder how people will respond to it. Got to power through and try to improve, though.
Well, yours already look good to me. But yes, if we need to improve, we gotta try all sorts of things like taking some risks, discard what does not work and keep what works.