The Obligatory Birthday Update

It’s almost like these posts are part of some sort of annual holiday or something, isn’t it? I’m not going to waste time with preamble, cos there’s a bit to say, so I’ll just get into it.

Remember last year I said I was doing my YouTube content and finally I had found an audience and how great it was to feel like the stuff I made was finally being appreciated? Well, I’m still doing that, and I still (mostly) feel that way. However, a few weeks after I made that post, some unexpected events took place. I had recently began working as a content consultant for a company. Basically, my job was to help them with their social media content and give them advice on their YouTube content strategy, but that wasn’t the original position I had been going for. Originally, I’d been trying to work for them as a content writer, but during my interview, my soon-to-be employer reckoned my particular knowledge would be useful in that particular area. It was a much better position than I’d been going for, so I wasn’t complaining.

Whilst doing this, I was still creating content for my own channel too, but it was starting to bleed into my time with that, because I also had to liaison with the editors and script writers, even sometimes having to give pointers to said writers, and proofreading their work. Still, this was all stuff I was enjoying because it was basically me getting compensated for things I was genuinely good at, and in areas I was already heavily invested into. So, the appreciation I had mentioned feeling for my skills/talents in my post last year, was actually heightened to a level I couldn’t have anticipated just weeks after I made that post.

And it didn’t end there.

After a few months working with that company, my employer invited me for a meeting. I didn’t know what it was for other than him saying he wanted to have a chat about the work. So far I’d been told everything I was doing was great, so I didn’t think it was going to be any sort of complaint, but still, you never really know, right? So I braced myself. But I don’t think I could’ve been braced enough.

We spoke a bit about work just like he said, and just general life stuff as well. But then eventually he asked me how I feel about team management. I said to him I have no real work experience doing that beyond school, but I’ve found I tend to be good at managing people in more general contexts like in old customer-facing roles I had. He then dropped a bombshell: he wanted me to manage a team of writers in the creation of a pilot episode for a tv series.

Yes, me.

As you can imagine, I was taken aback, utterly bewildered. I mean, trust me, I have plenty of confidence in my writing abilities, and as I said, I do think I can do a decent job of managing people in a general context, but for an actual production project? Now, had I not known better, I might’ve thought there was some sort of catch, but this wasn’t some dodgy start-up or something. I already had a contract, and if I accepted this, I was going to have to sign a new one. It was all official.

Again, I’d already been working with him, so I knew what his company was all about, and whilst I can’t go into the specifics, I can at least say they’re already heavily involved in media, mostly in the music industry. I’d seen the production of their music videos, heck, I’m jealous of the production of even their YouTube content. It’s genuinely smoothly made high quality stuff, all I help with is the scripts, topics, and SEO. So one thing I knew for sure, was that the visuals for this thing were going to be professional. This wouldn’t look raggedy and rundown, or budget. This would be clean, creative and powerful production. Knowing that gave me a lot of confidence in the project immediately, but also it was very daunting.

I had to help in hiring these new writers, knowing that whoever we hired would be under my guidance, and whilst I didn’t have complete control over anything or the final say, I was still being given a degree of weight and authority I hadn’t expected. The only reason for this, was because my employer wanted to use the skills and talents of his team to create a show, but he knew none of them had the ability to craft an engaging story, and in his opinion, based on what he’d seen of my work, I would be the perfect fit for what he wanted, as I had a unique blend of knowledge and was oddly enough, at the right age to perfectly understand what would be required to nail the tone of the show. He did also have a close associate/friend of his, that is an editor for a magazine, and he was overseeing me whilst I was overseeing the group, which made me feel a lot better about it because I knew there was someone with a bit more experience than me I could refer to for assistance.

For about a month, I was frequently getting forwarded emails containing CVs and cover letters of applicants. Being on that side of things was bizarre, but oddly, I found myself naturally taking to it, which my employer seemed to have believed I would. It was interesting seeing what other people would send in their applications, what pieces of writing they would choose, and how some had the audacity to apply with no writing at all… lol. I think I was getting a hint of insight into what the average literary agent/publishing house goes through, and I really do only mean a hint, because the applications we got were a mere fraction of a fraction of what they’d be getting.

Eventually however, I shortlisted some, sent them to my employer for his consideration, and then interviews took place and from there, the final picks were chosen. I found that whole process very, very insightful and a valuable experience to have. It was so different for me. Imagine being outside somewhere and getting an email notification on your phone of 4 new CVs you need to go through, and that’s on top of the 3 you got already earlier, and the 2 that came through yesterday evening that you said you’d go through today…

I wish I could say more about it and what’s going on, but suffice to say, I ended up stepping away from my YouTube channel for a total of roughly 6 months last year (up until late December) because I had to focus on this. And we were only working on just the pilot. The potential for a full series is what we’re looking into now, but the actual creation of the pilot, auditioning, filming, composing etc. that’s all still ongoing.

However, for my part, I’ve mostly done the work that was asked of me, and so now, I have mostly returned to doing my previous role, whilst still providing input. It has been one of the most unique experiences of my life so far, and something I never would have thought I’d have the fortune of being part of at this stage in my journey, but I can certainly say I’m grateful for it.

I’ve even managed to get a little specific thing I wanted into the show, which I hope someday in the future, I’ll be able to reveal to an audience of my own and point back to as a fun sort of easter egg/reference.

My break from my channel certainly hindered it’s growth, although when I came back, the third video I uploaded ended up being my best performing video ever, getting me over 50,000 views in my first month of uploading it, and the craziest part about that is the video was completely out of left field for my channel. It was a video essay about the Netflix show Arcane, whilst most of my content before and since has been about Kingdom Hearts. So, that was yet another little achievement for me in the midst of all of this.

Soon, I’ll be releasing another video essay, but this one will be about my favourite episode from the anime miniseries Star Wars: Visions. Whilst I don’t expect that video to come anywhere close to what that Arcane video did, or even my average uploads, I’m still going to upload it because I love Star Wars and want to finally make a damn video praising something related to it on my channel.

I’ve also got plans to start doing some other things in regards to YouTube, but I’m not even going to talk about it. I’ll just do it and see how it goes, because I’ve been taking that approach lately, and it’s been generally working out for me a lot better. For some perspective on this: my family didn’t even know about all of this stuff I was working on until a few months in, because I didn’t want to talk about just in case something went wrong, since I have always had a terrible habit of talking about doing things and not always following through (I do sometimes, just not enough lol).

There’s other things I could talk about, but honestly, I feel like since this site was mostly always about my writing, this is the milestone and major information about my writing in the last year, so it’s the only thing I really need to share.

If you happen to be one of the few people that are curious, yes I am still writing my own stories. I’ve always got one foot in the world of Fateslayer, and like I said already last year, I would love to just throw the sequels out there as soon as they’re done, but I’m choosing to hold off until I have built up an audience from the first book, it’s just I’m going about things in ways I didn’t expect.

But it’s been a long while since I posted some writing up on here, so I’ll be rectifying that with a short story very, very soon.

I have to say though, what 2021 did for me was truly significant, because I finally experienced what it was like to actually be compensated for the skills and knowledge I had been accumulating in my own time for almost the entirety of the past decade. I’ve sampled the potential I always knew I had, and it’s just as satisfying as I thought it’d be. I’m not going to act like I’m in some completely new stratosphere, because I’m not, but I’m undoubtedly gaining key experience and knowledge in the exact areas I’ve always wanted.

I’ve said before how I want to tell stories across as many mediums as I realistically can, so you’ve got to understand that for me, having any level of input into a brand new storytelling medium like this, is something that’s astounding because I thought it’d be many more years before that’d be happening. It’s not my production or project or my story, but I have a significant say in how that story takes shape, and to be honest, this is how it usually is writing as part of someone else’s project. Regardless, the knowledge and experience I’ll take away from this will be invaluable in helping me to craft my own content in similar ways someday.

You know, when I started with this NextGenNovelist idea back when I was 17 (I started this site back in 2015 when I was 18, but NGN is from a bit before that), I really was adamant about certain things like being published as a teenager, or being a traditionally published author with DAW books, with all my gorgeous paperbacks lining the shelves of your local Waterstones, or Barnes and Nobles or wherever you go… I mean, don’t we all have dreams like that? My trajectory has adjusted, and over the years I’ve made all the necessary course corrections to better align me with my goals, and… you know what…? I feel like I’m sounding cliché here, so I’m going to stop lol.

You guys get it.

Remember, I’ll be posting that short story soon, so keep an eye out for that.

But until then, thanks for reading this post, and I truly hope you too will continue to grow and gain in whatever ways you desire.

May the 4th be with you, and that’s all I’ve got to say, and I’m out.

Peace!

Published by

Alexander Thomas

Through the act of storytelling, I strive to subvert your expectations of stories, the world, and maybe even yourself.

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