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Virtual Story Telling-The weekly nerves!

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

The bigger jump with no safety net!

I thought when I started out as a writer that it was simply me writing books and presenting them to a publisher and then on to the next book. I had no idea that being an author in today's world meant putting my face on a screen. I had no idea it meant talking to a blank screen where someone might literally look at you or not at all and you have no idea how you are resigning with them. When the teachers went to virtual learning on a computer I could completely relate with their new found struggles. A bunch of blank screens of icons! At least with the teachers you were guaranteed an audience when they took attendance.

I read some literature before starting my journey to publication, once I had made my mind up to do so. The first thing the book said was " grow on social media and make your account public". For those of you that don't know, I previously kept my social media circle small. I didn't even like video calls with my family. I was an in-person or send me an email/ text message girl. I was very camera shy and my common word was "um", because I am not so confident once the camera is on! If I can engage with another person that completely cuts down on my nerves it helps. Someone else is feeding the conversation with me. I am also comfortable with that person, since I have established a relationship of some sort prior to turning that camera on.

Now that isn't the case. It takes practice reading the books, expecting something will go wrong and the 20 seconds of joy I get when someone actually tunes in. I am very uncomfortable when someone can just look back and see me. They don't have to say anything. A person could be watching me from the toilet for all I know. Or I'm a person that talks to themselves for 20 minutes and no one bothers to talk to, 'woohoo crazy lady checking in!' Every week I'm all dressed up with nowhere to go.

I will say I am now respecting the musician SIA for more than her voice. It bugged me that she hid behind a massive wig when she performed. I always wanted to see her face. But now I get why she does that. It's a layer of protection.

My first visual storytelling was a mess. I was so nervous. I said "um" with every other word, I messed up the story and at the end the tripod fell over and down went my phone! I wanted to hide from doing another live ever again. But then I remembered this thing called the algorithm. Social media requires you to make lives or reels in order to pick you up. Without it you aren't given the opportunity to grow. Do not forget the hashtags! Since when is the number key called a hashtag?

It's still a work in progress

I am still a nervous wreck every week. I have come a long way. I think I am on to something though. This week I dressed up for the Halloween virtual storytelling as Winnifred Sanderson. I watched "Hocus Pocus" at least 4 times in the last 2 weeks. I studied her. I saw what fun it could be to step into someone else's shoes. When I got in-front of the camera I gave it my best go around. Now, I was not even close to Bette Middler. I mean, she is so talented and no one could have played the character better. But what I was able to do was become my own Winnifred Sanderson. I was more confident. I was able to play it up and give more to the kids in that story telling, than I had ever done before!

I don't want to lose the kids seeing me, but having a character to drive what I can bring for the purposes of entertainment? Well it wasn't such a bad idea. But is there a character I can create all on my own that will work and not work against me. Fictionally Mrs. Doubtfire was perfect! Or is this something that only works with established commercials for seasonal specials?

It's something to think about. I would love for kids to tune in. Love for parents to watch and maybe just maybe I will be great with the Storytelling after all. If I can write a great book I would also love to be able to tell them well too!

My favourite live storytelling days are the days that I have other authors come on as guests. Most of the time it is the first time I have ever met them face to face. I love meeting new authors. By doing this it creates a connection between myself and them. I now have a name to their face and their account is one that when their name pops up on my feed I want to stay current with whatever they post and publish. I also love that I am supporting that author in letting others know they are an author and what they write. I also give a gift to my followers because they get to see and meet the author I am interviewing. It doesn't always work out that I can get an author I reach out to, to come on live. But when it does it stands out for me. Authors are people and they love any and all support of their books they can possibly get. I am so grateful for the opportunity to do that.

Going forth I am going to continue to do virtual storytelling. It is worth the nerves and moments that just happen. Because at the end of the day I am rewarded with a new connection, I get to make time to read and as I grow it will mean something to the kids, as it did for me when I was lucky enough to see authors as a kid. I saw Robert Munsch at my school library when I was in elementary school and it is something I have remembered ever since! I need to do this for my followers too.

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