or: the importance of choosing a project, sitting down to write it, learning new skills along the way, and publishing that joint
im really new to the gaming community (more of a casual player because i used to scream whenever something would attack me and i don’t do that anymore…as much) and one of the things ive loved about sitting on the outskirts of this community is learning about devlogs. i adore learning how shit ticks (this extends to most things: i just watched the ice maker reset and start itself for ten minutes this morning) and devlogs are great because every time i play a game its like a little miracle bestowed upon me. how have all these pieces come together to create such an experience? what tools were used? HOW DID THEY DO THIS?
i often forget that writing is. hard. (especially creative nonfiction/nonfiction for me) pressing publish on a post and knowing people you care about are going to see, judge, and critique your words is hard. and seeing only the finished post makes it seem like it just came out of the writer’s brain and smack onto the page. even though ive been writing for over a decade and know thats not how it works, not seeing the proof of how difficult it is just to do this makes it seem like everyone inherently knows how to be a Writer and i missed the train on the way to get-your-shit togetherville.
writers all admonish ourselves: “writing isn’t like manual labor”, “anyone can write, what’s the big deal?”, “it’s nothing like xyz”, etc. etc. and you know what? youre right, its not like manual labor cause its writing, theyre completely different and you can’t pit one against the other if (pardon my not huge amount of math knowledge) if they don’t have similar factors. like im not gonna say basketball is harder than playing the xylophone. sure, they both have pros and cons, but at the end of the day, them shits aren’t the same and we’re not doing false equivalence in this room anymore! writing is hard. making sense of the stuff swirling around (often pounding on the walls of) your brain, is tough shit. sharing it? even more tough shit. if it was easy id be coming to the page at any given moment, descending a staircase of gold plated author awards, wearing nothing but an open bath robe, boxers, and durag laid upon a chaise and sharing each word that is going to hit paper with a 500,000 strong audience in real time because it’s so easy. it’s a different kind of hard and i think we can just leave it at that.
i’m writing this because i wanted to get back to that kind of wonder, that kind of magic, i feel when i see just about any kidn of creation. i want to go back to something i’ve loved so long but feel i’ve lost my roots to. so as long as i remember to, im going to write devlogs for my posts.
when i started writing WAP several things had happened/were happening within a 24 hour window:
- i’d deleted my facebook (FREE AT LAST)
- i pitched this article to a publication i love and immediately got imposter syndrome
- my cousins aged 4 months to 15 years decided it was play time
- as i sat down to get screenshots from the music video EVERY SINGLE FAMILY MEMBER decided to sit at the table with me even though they ALWAYS eat in the other room.
three out of four of these things were signs to give up, (i try not to make waves in my family and this would’ve created a tsunami seeing as almost every family family member is a schrodinger’s box regarding knowledge of my sexuality) and since im a stubborn bastard, i decided to keep going. i thought to myself: well if you can pull it off under these circumstances, you certainly can do it at any other time.
the objective: to write and publish a piece about megan thee stallion and lesbian activity
- i did indeed write a gay piece about megan thee stallion and WAP and published it
- i learned how to use two different video editors (GifCam and Windows Video Editor) and that once i start something, buddy, good luck pulling me away from it (lets take a moment for this tenacity!)
- i looked imposter syndrome in the face, and cried a shit ton, and then got my shit done
- i learned that what made me successful years ago isn’t applicable now, not because i am inherently a failure, but because i ignored a lot of my disability needs until my body and brain said “okay enough of that shit that hurts you more than helps you”. in unlearning a lot of ableist narratives about myself, and rewriting ones that feel truer to me, im able to do the work i care about in a way that allows me to show up as my full self as opposed to the chopped, screwed, and incomplete one others demand of me
- since i didnt have facebook (which ive learned is my main source of validation), i didnt have time to ask everyone if this was an idea worth pursuing or worry about how many likes/comments/etc. the post would get and i didn’t have time to talk myself out of writing a blog post and just making a facebook status instead
these are the things i learned:
- making gifs starts out really hard if you don’t know what you’re doing, but if you’re committed enough to getting just the right moment when megan thee stallion does the scissor hand signal, you will learn to persevere
- although i am bold, to an extent, these kids were coming around me too much for me to keep freeze framing on without them asking a lot of questions that i didn’t want to answer in front of both children and adults
- how to accidentally make glitch pictures like this!
- something we respect in this family is when someone is doing work. and when i say, “im working”, immediately everyone tries their best to not disturb. the problem is, i am also a big kid and hate feeling left out so i’d forget i was working and start talking and then get mad when they talked to me longer than anticipated which i realize is completely ludicrous. so i learned i could stay in family time for only a certain amount of time while working. (i ended up taking my stuff upstairs and hunkering down to figure out this gif making process because i am supremely uncomfortable with using other people’s images/art (even though i always source them), when i have the ability to maybe do it myself)
these are things i want to keep doing:
- write as truthfully as i can
- share my words and art in a way that makes me feel comfortable
- refuse to alter the way i write here just to adhere to “appropriate” article writing (but don’t mistake me when i say i can switch to “professional” right quick. i mean me and mines don’t code-switch for nothing)
- to just jump in! usually i try to read all the docs for editors and find out which one is best (thank you, autism), but this time i used what i already had and just played with the stuff til it worked (which is something i was afraid to do when i was learning to code, so im glad i was able to see why developers swear by this when first learning and know that i can do this while i learn again!)
- my social media cuts off between midnight and 8am every day, so i didn’t have time to worry about the reception (if any) this post would get and that allowed me to start thinking of new things to create and write
- I FINISHED (It’s like I’m making my own manifesto come true!)
these are things i want to learn for next time:
- how to hold the responsibility of critiquing/praising pop culture while acknowledging the possible harm that anyone within the article may have cause(d)
- how to properly edit in a way that, if new information is revealed to me, i can add that in a way that doesn’t center blame-escaping
- how, if i want a broader audience, to create that platform in a way that lets me use the tools i want to use
- how to research in a more efficient way/make folders that are easily searchable so im not spending 70% of the time finding information i know i’ve seen but just can’t remember where i saw it
your guess is as good as mine! have a great day!