Writer as YouTuber – Paula Brackston

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By Paula Brackston

Every now and then we writers get ideas in our heads about reaching out to our readers. So it was that one workaday afternoon (I think it was a Wednesday; I am always susceptible to strange ideas on Wednesdays) I decided it would be a good thing to have my own YouTube channel.♥

I quickly became taken up with the whole business of making videos and creating a channel. It is a satisfyingly creative activity. Once, that is,  you’ve overcome the horror of seeing yourself on ‘film’. The cameras on iPhones might be excellent but they are also unforgiving. I don’t have fancy lighting or flattering lenses. I film most of my videos in my writer’s shed, so sound effects include thunderous rain, lawn mowers, and stupendously noisy sheep.

I have at last decided it is worth brushing my hair before starting, and I realise that if I don’t sit up straight I look ancient. That said, having to make regular videos and focussing on the content rather than what I look like, is a wonderful cure for vanity. I simply don’t have time to be faffing about with lipstick or worrying about slimming angles, I just have to get on with it.

And that is sort of liberating. Now that I’m over being bashful, I love sharing my thoughts on books, or explaining my writing processes, or discussing my new stories, or research, with my readers. Or should that now be viewers? Reader-viewers. I try to make content that will appeal to people who already know about my books, people who are new to them, and people who have an interest in creative writing.

This means there is l-o-a-d-s of material for me to work with. I’ve published a dozen books already, with a new series kicking off this month, and many more exciting developments in the works. It is lovely to be able to share these things with readers, or to feel that I am in some small way helping new writers.

My channel is new and small and I don’t plan to make any money out of it, so is it worth all the effort that goes into it? Is it a good use of my writerly time? So far, I think the answer to both those questions is a definite yes. For several reasons. First, the videos give me focus: explaining my processes, thinking about aspects of creative writing, discussing my books, etc. Second, there is a sense of real connection and interaction with my readers, which I very much hope will continue to grow. And third, it’s fun!

To be a writer you need to be disciplined, determined, resilient, hard working and creative. That is you need to be a business woman and an artist both. My YouTube channel is a bit of sociable light relief, which has to be good for me and therefore ultimately good for my productivity too.

Just so long as I don’t let it take up more than its allotted two hours per week. And so long as I don’t become seduced by the cult of celebrity… now, where did I put that lipstick?


Paula Brackston is the New York Times bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter. She has written four other novels in the collection about witches and also writes historical-crime-comedies under the name PJ Brackston. Paula lives in a mountainous part of Wales with her partner, their two children, and far too many pets. Her new series begins with The Little Shop of Found Things, which launches in October.

paulabrackston.com

 

1 Comment

  1. judyzilla

    October 31, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    Paula, this reader really enjoys your videos (as well as your books). I’ll send you a lipstick – what colour? Ha ha ha.

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