I listened to a bunch of interviews with Steven Erikson on A Critical Dragon. Through that medium I really enjoyed the banter between channels that was happening off-stage, so to speak. I started getting to know some of these folks as much as one can through such limited interaction. I enjoyed making comments on the videos and getting responses. It was a new kind of high that fed my inner creative being. Ideas began brewing in my brain.
I knew I could do reviews. I’ve done them before. I knew I could do critical analysis of the art forms. That was kind of my specialty in college, although I was (still am) rusty. I thought, maybe I should attempt this You Tube thing. Why not? What’s the worst that could happen? I tank and go away and no one ever hears from me again. A little shame, a little humiliation, a small sense of failure; nothing I haven’t felt before in my life. I leaped in.
First, I researched a little bit about how to set up a channel. I found all kinds of different advice from “just set up your camera and shoot” to extensive explanations on cost analysis, equipment breakdown, lighting, sound, editing programs, etc. Then there are further videos on promotion, marketing and getting your stuff seen with key words, and snore….zzzzzzzz
Sorry, I put myself to sleep just thinking about that stuff. I opted for the set up your camera and shoot approach. I downloaded some simple editing software and decided to do a review of a book I just finished reading for my first video. At the time, I was becoming quite the bourbon aficionado, so I decided to recommend a drink with the book I was reviewing. I called my new channel The Fantasy Drink. It brought to my mind images of enjoying a relaxing drink while reading a great book and drinking in, and getting a buzz off, the material read as a kind of metaphor.
So, it started. I created an Instagram account and joined a couple of discord servers that other book tubers talked about. I learned on the fly how to make a thumbnail (nothing great, but servicable) and I just started making videos. I did reviews, monthly updates, comic comparisons, analysis, and essays. Some early highlights, for me anyway, was when Philip Chase encouraged me to do the essay video about Stephen R. Donaldson’s essay on Epic Literature, and Vaughn Roycroft commenting on my review of his book, The Severing Son.
Philip Chase was also instrumental in the name change of my channel. Apparently, the You Tube algorithm didn’t have the same metaphoric view of my channel name as I did. Go figure, an AI has no sense of irony. Philip made me aware that my name was sometimes getting blocked for no apparent reason. Thus, The Fantasy Thinker was born. That ended up being the better title anyway, so thanks AI. I think. Hmm…
It was up and onward from there as I talked with A.P. Canavan on my channel about role-playing games and literature. That was fun and I hope to talk with him again soon. Then Varsha from Reading by the Rainy Mountain invited me to the Page Chewing Forums which lead me to “meeting” a bunch more new friends. That lead me to today. Writing this blog for pagechewing.com.
If you’ve been reading my journey through the creative life fantastic, I hope you’ve gotten something out of it. Moving forward, I may focus more on individual works that affected me and my life, or I may delve into some opinion editorials. We’ll see where the creative urge takes me.