Writer’s Journal: Short Stories on YouTube

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Some of you may already know this, but I recently began recording my short stories and uploading them to YouTube. It’s been an enjoyable experience so far, and though the reading is not perfect, I have gotten compliments.

I got this idea from a podcast I listened to recently. I believe it was a Creative Penn podcast, though I can’t be certain. I’m not a big fan of audio anything (or videos, for that matter) but I force myself to listen to one or two podcasts each week, for professional development. I have mentioned this in this previous post.

My process is not perfect. For one thing, I really need to be recording in a closet with sound dampening stuff hanging all over. However, it’s been close to 90⁰ F with some pretty high humidity lately, and there’s no air conditioning in the closets here at Burton Cottage. In my opinion, nothing is worth sweating that bad and getting sick from the heat, so I record at my desk. I didn’t notice with the first recording, but the second sounds a bit like I’m in an empty room.

I do not yet know how to edit the files, so any trip-ups my tongue makes remain. No one has complained yet, but again, I’ve only done two stories. I use a free program called Audacity to record, and bought a Blue Ice Snowball microphone. I love the mic, and the program has been easy to use, so far. I’m adding some professional development on editing audio files to my list. 🙂 I’m hoping it’s easy to do. 

To upload the files, I have to use Windows Movie Maker to turn them into videos. (My laptop has Windows 8.1. Movie Maker is preinstalled on it, but is no longer available for download as Microsoft has gone to only Movie Maker 10, I guess.) I use Canva to create a cover photo containing an image that relates to the story, the title, my name, and that it’s recorded by me. I load both the cover image and the audio file into Movie Maker, then go to the Project tab and click “fit to music.” Then, I save it as a YouTube video. Then, I go to my YouTube channel, click on the “create video” icon, click “upload a video,” and let the site do its thing. My longest story has been about five minutes long at this point, and of course, has only one image, so neither has taken very long to upload. When it’s all processed and ready to go, I share the link to Facebook and MeWe.

My plans for this project include recording most of the stories in my short stories book, Bits of Ribbon and Lace. I don’t want to record some of the modern ones, though I will likely do a couple. I will also record the early Thursday’s 300 posts that I did. It’s possible that I’ll write more short stories for this project in the future. We shall see. 🙂

By now, you’re probably wondering what purpose this has. It seems like a long process, at least on paper, and that’s a lot of time that could be used for other things. I have a few reasons for doing these recordings.

The first reason is simply to get some exposure on another public space. I only include my website address at this point in the metadata. My books page is under construction right now, so I don’t have a page to share that’s specific to the book, though I’m working on getting one.

Another reason for this project is to gain experience in recording and editing recordings. Even if this is all I use it for, it’s valuable experience and one that was actually requested of me at my old church. I didn’t have the knowledge then, but if I’m ever in a similar position of service in this new church I’m going to (or any church in the future), I’ll be able to take care of the request with ease if I know what I’m doing.

A third reason is simply that I enjoy learning new things, and this has certainly been a learning experience! <3

Finally, I hope to get better at reading aloud by, in the words of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, practicing. No one can improve without constant practice. 🙂 The end goal of the project is to be comfortable recording my own audiobooks. I’m an independent woman, you know, and I enjoy being in control of my intellectual property.

Yes, I know the prevailing advice is to hire a professional, but I am a confirmed DIY-er. I am confident that I can do as good a job as a pro. If I find out later that I cannot, then I’ll not record the audiobooks. 🙂

Have any of my readers attempted anything like this? How did it go for you?

Come back next Wednesday for another peek into my journal! <3

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