Lights, Camera, Action!

As I hinted at in late 2017, I’m venturing into uncharted territory.

What territory? Video.

As of this writing, I’ve filmed five videos for another one of the channels I’m setting up* and I’m learning to edit to, hopefully, put out a finished product that’s not too painful or amateurish to watch.

Why Video? As I’ve consumed more video during the latter part of 2017, I realized both the power of the medium and how many people prefer video over text, or at least a mix of the two. 

Video definitely has its place as an effective medium to share ideas in a short amount of time. I think TED Talks is a great example of the power of video as a delivery mechanism for this type of information. 

Given the above, I think that video content could be a good complement to what I write on this blog and, who knows, we all might like it as much—or maybe even better—than blog posts alone. 

There are three reasons to venture into video:

  1. Crushing another one of my fears
  2. Learning something new
  3. Helping me get better at what I already do

1. Crushing Fear

I always need to be moving forward in some way and in September 2017 I started feeling that I was treading water. I don’t like that feeling. It started gnawing at me more and more as I tried to avoid dealing with it.

And I understand that the root cause of the avoidance is fear. It’s very real and ever present right now. In fact, it reminds me of how I felt when I first launched this blog. But this time, taking the leap feels more overwhelming, or maybe I just don’t remember just how worried/anxious I was before hitting the “publish” button back in January 2014. 

It’s been a bit confusing too. I’ve thought: 

“How is it that I can get in front of hundreds of people and speak and the speech or interview can be uploaded to YouTube, the radio, a podcast or TV and it’s fine? But, when it comes to being able to do a solo talk, just me and a camera, this woman can’t hit the ‘record’—let alone the ‘publish’—button to save her life?"

Ultimately, I know why. Vulnerability. 

One-on-one video is up close. It's personal. It's uncomfortable…and that’s why I need to go for it.

Filming and editing video, let alone being in front of the camera, scares me more than enough for me to know that I’ll grow leaps and bounds by doing it. And, even though I’ve only been dabbling in it for a few weeks now, I can confirm that I already am. 

2. Learning Something New

Second only to overcoming a doozy of a fear, I’m looking forward to learning. A lot.

I am learning, or will learn, how to:

  • Use my camera and associated equipment more effectively
  • Edit using iMovie and other related software to make the videos more polished 
  • Leverage YouTube to reach more people
  • Use videos to complement the content I offer you here on Free to Pursue
  • Write scripts tailored for video, which is a lot different from how I usually write
  • Use video to create course material for some public speaking engagements I offer from time to time

I can’t see how the above can’t help me over the short and long term. And I’m sure that the list is longer than this because, well, I don’t know what I don’t know.

3. Helping Me Get Better at What I Do

I already write and speak to groups regularly, but I know that working with video will help me improve both. 

It will help my writing because I don’t think we can be as verbose when we’re in front of the camera. If we’re too long winded, people mentally or literally tune us out. And even more so with video: as a private, passive activity, it’s much easier to let our mind wander. 

It will also help me with my public speaking, if my cringe-worthy first attempts at video are any indication. I’ve been told I’m a decent speaker and my seminar feedback has always been quite positive, but I’ve seen firsthand that I have a long way to go to be at the level I know I can achieve if I want it. And I find that to be an exciting challenge. 

Video also offers irrefutable, date-stamped evidence of personal improvement. I’m sure that I’ll look back on the first few and writhe in psychological agony at how bad they are, but that will also show me just how far I’ve come. (Hopefully!) 

Finally, any video we produce as individuals is competing with Netflix, Cable TV and other high-quality content. That makes it even more important to keep improving and to offer something of value that traditional video media can’t quite deliver effectively to niche audiences.

I look forward to hearing what you think of this new push well past my comfort zone and, as always, I appreciate any feedback or comments you have for me. 

* I figured I’d learn by goofing up royally on another channel and then bring you better, more polished stuff on this blog.