I challenged myself to make 4 videos about my own personal creative journey. I've been a producer of podcasts and videos for my entire career helping others convey their messages. Now I'm coming out from behind the scenes. This is the second in my self-challenge series and explores the conflict between humility and self expression, and the changes in the video industry.
I'm collecting my "creative Journey" video series here.
When I posted the video about podcasting safely while social distancing a few people asked me about wind noise. I realized that things I've been doing for 30 years are second nature to me, but not everyone knows them. So - here's a quick video about 4 ways to stop wind noise from ruining your shoot when you get to record outside.
Find more technique and "how To" videos for podcasters and YouTubers here.
It started when I heard an interview with James Clear, author of Atomic Habits. He said to establish a habit start with something really small, for example one push up a day. It sounds ridiculous. But when you start with a small commitment you'll be more likely to keep it. Once you start keeping it you begin to see yourself in a new light - as someone who does a push up every day.
So I decided I'd run one mile every day. I've written about that, and it's been going pretty well. And James Clear was right. Success there lead me to take on another challenge. When COVID times started I committed to posting a daily photo journal here on my blog for a month. I did that too. I realized that the simple practice of writing and photographing every day was helping me grow as a creative, whether anyone read it or not.
Now I'm challenging myself to create a video, with me as the on camera host, talking about my own creative journey, every week for the next four weeks. Here is the first:
Next week I'm going to talk about the value of keeping your work to YOURSELF.
How are we podcasting in these complicated times? We managed to pull off an in-person Spartan Up podcasting session this week with Joe De Sena and Sefra the Seedhuntress. Here's how we did it:
I’ve worked from a home office since I took out my first business loan and bought an edit system in 1995. I have always loved the flexibility. Taking calls while pacing around the yard. But equally important have been the trips and adventures that break up the time at home. That’s what I’ve always loved most about my job as a videographer, producer, and photographer. The places I get to go, the people I get to meet and spend time with.
For me, the part of life that happens at home hasn’t changed that much, I cherish that as much as ever, but I do miss the rest!
On January 2nd I wrote in my journal "Run 1 mile every day. More is ok, but always 1 mile."
I hadn't given much thought to that fact that it was January and the days were short and cold. I figured I could do one mile. I had heard an interview with James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, a few days before. He suggested picking something small, like one push up, every day. Through my work at Spartan and the Spartan Up podcast I've come to think of ultras as no big deal. A mile seemed so small. But I started.
For 44 days, usually in the dark and usually in the snow, I ran one mile every day. I never looked forward to it, but I was always glad I had done it. I made it public - told my family and friends. But on day 45 I mixed up time zones coming back from a conference in LA and missed a day. So I started again at one.
I made it through another 25 day streak then one night sat up in the middle of the night and realized I had completely forgotten to run. Today is day 61 of my third streak.
Here's what I've learned:
1. I've heard it takes 30 days to create a habit. I disagree. It's been over 150 days (minus the two I missed) and it's still not a solid habit.
2. That moment of decision - "should I run today or take a day off?" - that is where the greatest challenge lies. Knowing that I will run every day, removes that hurdle.
3. In COVID times I've had the most consistent and predictable schedule I have had in years! Probably ever. I miss unpredictable, but the sameness has made me start look forward to my daily runs.
4. It's about more than running. I'm starting to think of myself as someone who runs every day and that starts driving me to keep doing running, but also to take on new challenges.
5. It's a bare minimum that I always know I've accomplished when my head hits the pillow. That's good.
Ultimately I think of it as practice keeping my word to myself.
So... the home haircut didn't quite turn out as planned. But it provided a few of the best laughs we've shared as a family since COVID times began!
The good news:
1. His beautiful smile is even more visible
2. Hair grows back
3. Mac is a great sport, with a great sense of humor who doesn't let the little things like an unintended shaved head get him down.
8 years ago the small town of Pittsfield was struck hard by the remnants of Hurricane Irene. In a town of fewer than 500 people more than 10 homes were completely destroyed. The town, with little official infrastructure, was completely cut off from the outside world. Pittsfield did not have it's own police force, ambulance, hospital or school. What it had was strong resilient community.
Our house was among those hit hard, but still in many ways it was a glorious time. Days filled with sunshine and community. The roads were closed so everyone walked, the pace slowed down and everyone was looking for ways to help their neighbors.
That first Sunday when the storm hit was frightening, we saw the river rise higher than we'd ever seen it rise. Friends had to be rescued by volunteer fire fighters and neighbors just minutes before their house collapsed, my husband was stuck for the night in the car in the driveway. Unable to get back to our house as it was slammed by 8 feet of raging water, and unable to cross the bridge from our road into town. Meanwhile I had taken our two young kids and my mother to the Swiss Farm Inn for refuge.
By 7am the first morning the town gathered at the town hall to start coming up with a plan. Already neighbors were feeding each other, taking each other in, and sorting through debris for prized possessions. Soon after families with heavy machinery started building roads, the two general stores in town set up a massive BBQ on the town green with the food from their quickly thawing freezers, medical facilities were set up in the library, and an outdoor school was set up on the green.
I did what I knew how to do. I started to capture the story. It was awkward at first. I wanted to be part of the story, part of the effort to rebuild, but eventually I realized this was my best way to contribute.
The film aired on PBS 4 or 5 times, now I'd like to get the word out - community resilience comes from strong community bonds. Here is the complete documentary.
On March 27th I was envious of the "pause" to reassess and learn I kept hearing about. I was fortunate enough to still be working, so I committed to a more active blog. This is my chance to think out loud about podcasting, messaging, story, nature, family and life.
~ Marion Abrams