“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and – SNAP – the job’s a game!” – Disney’s Mary Poppins
I came back from the conference knowing what I needed to do. I bought a tripod for my phone and typed out a script. I found the best camera angle, and I hit record. After mere moments I stopped the recording and watched what I had done. I never hit record again. The partial video was never completed and never posted.
I’d mentioned my desire to record book review videos in an online writing group. Several authors mentioned a similar desire and the same reservations I faced. For a group that seems to include a large number of introverts, the writing world pushes its members into many uncomfortable, extroverted activities. Recording and posting videos on YouTube is, to me, probably the hardest of those activities.
I heard several choruses of “just make yourself do it”. That particular song wasn’t very helpful. If I was the type of person who could just do it, I wouldn’t have the problem in the first place. “Be comfortable with yourself” was added in the next verse. It was equally unhelpful. If I had to the tools to make me like the way I sound or look on video, I would patent it and make millions. I don’t.
When I’d all but given up hope of finding the courage to do this daunting thing, something amazing occurred in the form of a group instant message from a fellow author. As we spoke, we found out we were all struggling with the same issue. We wanted to expand our reach as authors into the video world, but we lacked experience, know how, and the confidence to begin on our own. But we were no longer on our own. Three of us determined we were close enough to meet every couple months to record videos together. With the added safety that comes from being part of a group, we might get up the nerve to do what we set out to do.
We just finished our first recording session. We had a place to meet. We had a plan. We had a list, actually one for each of us thanks to the hard work of one of the group. We had topics to discuss on reading and writing and our own personal journeys as authors. And, truthfully, we had no idea what we were doing, but we committed to going ahead.
We set up, sat down, and started recording. We laughed. We paused. We looked at each other awkwardly. Then, we turned the camera off, gathered our thoughts, and started again. We recorded all afternoon, and we got more comfortable with each clip we recorded. By the time we said good-bye for the afternoon, we had accomplished a lot. And what we achieved went far beyond the videos we recorded.
We learned we’re not alone in this. We can grow as authors. And when the path to growth is unnerving, we can join together to do what feels impossible alone. By making it a group effort, the fear dissipated. I may even find the courage to create my own book review videos.
There’s a special camaraderie created when we join together as a tribe of authors rather than competitors. Together we can accomplish more and make fear flee in the face of the laughter and fun.
*You can find our first video on YouTube beginning Saturday, October 19th. Look for Once Upon A Page. Videos will be posted on a weekly basis.
Heather Greer is the contemporary romance author of Faith’s Journey and Grasping Hope. Her third book, Relentless Love, is scheduled to release in June 2020. Heather lives with her husband and the last of four children still in the nest in southern Illinois. She loves the writing ministry God has blessed her with and enjoys the opportunity to encourage and challenge believers in their faith.
Heather always enjoys connecting with readers. You can find her at www.heathergreer.com, as Author Heather Greer on Facebook, 1heather.greer on Instagram, and @Heather_Greer1 on Twitter. You can email Heather at email@example.com.