I came to a big decision last week.

Most of the people reading this will have seen my very short-lived video blog. A few things have killed it off after only 3 parts.

First I became too ill, for a period of three months, to either sit in front of a camera or to want to be seen by the world when I felt like I was dying.

Second my old PC finally gave up the ghost, succumbing to a full-scale motherboard failure. My PC was eventually replaced by a nice shiny new Dell 17″ desktop replacement laptop. Though admittedly weighing in at almost 4 kilos calling it a laptop might be, stretching things a little.

Finally when I did receive my new laptop, and set about recording a new video blog I ran in to some horrible technical problems. Not least the fact that my audio was completely out of synch with my video. That wouldn’t be much of a problem except that I have ZERO video editing knowledge, and in fact had used Windows Movie Maker to record, and produce my first three videos, none of which had actually involved much in the way of editing. End result, Amanda tearing her hair out after a full day of trying, and failing to synch them both up.

Well last week I was having a chat with a really lovely girl I know from the U.S., and she gave me some damned good advice. And that advice was as follows…

SLOW THE FUCK DOWN!

And do you know what? She had a pretty good point. Up until this week I have been doing the following, every, single, day. (Barring Sunday, and any day I have an appointment anywhere. So probably it’s more like 95% of every, single, day.)

* 1 hour of ukulele/mandolin practice. Scales, followed by working on one piece for at least 30 minutes.
* 1 hour of writing exercises. Time spent learning new words/trying to learn grammar/punctuation, (with minimal success I have to admit) as well as writing, and rewriting the same piece over and over as many times as I can, each time with different sentences/words/structure, while always keeping the content and message the same.
* 1 hour drawing practice. Which is literally what it sounds like.
* 2 hours working on a novel. This can be writing, researching, or taking down notes.
* 1 hour on one of my pet projects Lately this has been learning about airsofting, but in the past it’s included learning to build PC’s, building things, stuff like that. But it had included video blogging. And finally.
* 1 hour of research every evening. Actually this usually runs to about 2 hours. But that’s because I really enjoy finding out about new things, and expanding what I already know, all so I have a vast wealth of random information to use in whatever project I’m concentrating on.

I think you’ll agree that for a girl who has a really debilitating chronic illness, that’s kind of a lot of stuff to take on. And don’t get me wrong I love doing almost all of it. I enjoy working. I enjoy making, creating, writing, learning. To me it’s actually just as much fun as kicking ludicrous amounts of ass in Skyrim. But lately I’ve come to realise that it’s just too much for me to handle. Not least because those “* 1 hour”‘s usually overrun. I start out intending to do one hour of sketching, then look at the time and realise, “Oh shit! It’s been 3 hours!” It’s taken together, all too much.

So I listened to that girl, and then out of curiosity I went back to watched my own video blogs. Something I had never done before. And they’re, okay. Actually the transphobia one is pretty good. But they’re not what I had intended my video blog to be. And worse, they’re less than I know I’m capable of. So I’m stopping recording new video’s for the time being. I’m also putting my music practice to one side, and letting go of my writing exercises for a while. The former because It’s really just a hobby for me, not something that drives me. The latter because I honestly don’t believe I’m reaping much, if any, benefit from them any more.

That’s 2 hours each “working” day freed up, right away.

So for now there’ll be this blog, my webcomic and the work needed to bring that to where I feel it should be, the novel I’m currently trying to get written, and the extra time is going to go in getting ready to relaunch my video-blog at some stage in the future.

I know precisely what I want it to be, and while I know it won’t be exactly that instantly, it can, and should be much better than it currently is. It just needs work, and I have a lot to learn in order to be able to do that work. You know, minor things like basic video editing, lighting techniques, basic camera work. And I need to sort out equipment for it also, I need to make as much of it as I can, and source the rest for as little money as possible. I’m determined that when I go back to it, it will be what I truly want it to be, not the milky, watered down version it’s been to date.

So rest assured, my video blog will return in the future. It will be better than it was. It will probably be considerably different to what it used to be. But most of all it will be something I can be proud of.

But for now I hope that you’ll keep reading my blog, my webcomic, and some day maybe even my novels. (Goddesses and a publisher willing.)

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