A Month of Mini Time Capsule Videos

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 22.41.07It’s hard to admit this on my blog that features the word ‘creative’ in the title, but I’ve been creatively blocked for a while now when it comes to my own projects (as you might have guessed by the lack of posts recently).

I have a bad habit of starting up something creative with great gusto and spending loads of time on it but then giving up as soon as the going gets tough – or when I realise that I just can’t carve out that much time on a regular basis.

I’m well aware that starting small is the key to establishing a new habit but even when I’ve tried to keep things small in the past, things have somehow got out of hand. My Mad Genius “Micro-Guides” are a good example of this. There was very little that was “micro” about them in reality because I didn’t set clear constraints in advance and each ended up taking a considerable amount of work to produce. And for various reasons I’ve never quite finished the series of 6 I planned to write (although I do still plan to remedy this at some point before the next ice age).

So I was delighted when my online pal and accomplished illustrator Cathryn, aka concretemoomin, shared the idea of “mini time capsules” on her blog. The idea comes from the talented photographer/videographer Xanthe Berkeley who shares weekly mini films of her weekend adventures on Instagram to great effect.

Here was something truly tiny to try – Instagram limits video uploads to 15 seconds (except for advertisers who are allowed to upload 30). And if I stuck to one video a week, this would surely be a manageable and sustainable project to try! Thankfully I had already filmed some footage that week from our trip to Torquay for a family wedding. I shared the video on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and it got a really nice reaction from friends and family.

Finding Your Voice Online – Interview with Nicola Balkind

Nicola BalkindAre you a writer, or do you want to be?  Then you’ll probably want to have a listen to this in-depth interview I recently recorded with Glasgow-based Writer and Content Specialist Nicola Balkind.

Nicola is giving a workshop in Edinburgh on Finding Your Voice Online (at the Skriva Writing School on Friday 23rd October) where she will help writers create “a plan you can’t ignore” for their online writing career.

She’s very well qualified to do so, being a published author, long-time freelancer and a regular contributor to BBC Radio Scotland and The List Magazine – just to mention a few of her accomplishments!

Listen on SoundCloud

We cover a dizzying array of topics in this half hour conversation including:

  • Why finding your voice online is so important
  • How she juggles so many multi-media projects
  • How she got started in freelancing and why it’s good to have a mix of more “serious” and fun work
  • Persuading people to hire you and take your advice when you’re ahead of the curve
  • Why being a young woman can be both an advantage and a disadvantage in the media
  • Her experience writing two books (about Glasgow film locations and Hunger Games fandom)
  • What she learnt from Oliver Burkeman’s book about self-help for cynics when she was a literary guineapig for Canongate Books

As well as her impressive business blog, you can also read more from Nicola at her personal blog Robotnic.co which features “monthly reading wrap-ups, book and film reviews, and pop culture chat” or you can enjoy watching/listening to her talking about the same topics on YouTube and the podcast she co-hosts, ‘Bookish Blether.’

Oh, and a final reminder that if you live locally you can book a place on her Edinburgh workshop over at Eventbrite.