Show Notes: (the future of the blog)

Well, that didn’t take long.
I still haven’t fully decided how I’m going to do this. Frankly, for a Slytherin I’m intolerably indecisive when it comes to things like this (or at least as of late). But here’s the thing, I have decided on a couple of things.

#1 – Show notes:

This one has been kind of a long time coming. I’m embarrassed to admit, I came up with this idea months ago. I’ve debated for some time holding off on it, maybe using it as a feature for my future Patreon if I decided to go down that road, but honestly at this point, I kind of just want to do this because it’s just sitting there. I spend a LOT of time writing out show notes for each video I make. Whether it’s just a general note of things I want to talk about or a full ‘script’ there’s a lot of information that doesn’t always make it into the video, so I figured these show notes might offer people who enjoy my videos a sort of behind the scenes look into my process.
Why share them now? Aren’t we seeing them in the video?
Yes and no. My videos aren’t specifically scripted; even if I write out what amounts to a script when it comes time to film videos– things don’t always end up the way I wrote them, and that’s a good thing. I thought it might be fun to offer readers and viewers a behind the scenes take on my vlogs. I also have a number of videos that I had notes for that never made it or videos that have already been done that I have notes for all of which could eventually be shared here.
#2 – Archives
One of the biggest questions I’ve been trying to figure out is how I want to do these show notes, and what happens to the content already available here? Should I just leave this as purely an archival site, sharing show notes through another platform like Tumblr? Or should I utilize the subscriber base I’ve already procured on WordPress and post the show notes here offering a mix of both the video itself in each post along with the show notes for said video? This to me seems like the most obvious choice, at least for the time being. I’ve spent a good amount of time building up the audience that I already have, it would be a shame to just abandon that and leave the blog purely for archival purposes without ever updating things.
 
#3 – Essays, Podcasts, and Shorts
Now that I’ve officially left Wix for WordPress, there’s a number of things that I still think I want to share. I have tentative plans to share some essays as a YouTube video (maybe a compilation of 2 or 3, I haven’t decided yet) and even more tentative plans to archive all podcast episodes with YouTube (and any future episodes that may occur).  The psychical written copies of the essays will continue to live on through the blog, and eventually, once I’m settled on how I want to do things I can archive podcast episodes here as well (but more on that in future). As for short stories, I’m not sure I’ll be sharing the ‘original’ Wix versions anytime soon but that isn’t to say I won’t want to share them in future, which I think is part of why this blog has been next to impossible to get rid of. I just have a thousand and one ideas and plans and thoughts and I like to keep my options open.
What does this all mean? In the abstract, it means that this blog will be a lot more active than it usually is. Between ‘new’ show notes, and old show notes I could reasonably put up a new post every day, and if ever there’s a time when I want to share some type of thought or note that isn’t necessary vlog specific, that could also be done on a non-vlog day. This offers me plenty of options with how I proceed with the blog in question and keeping up everything as I’ve wanted to for all this time.
I don’t know yet whether or not I’ll take the time to make actual blogs again, frankly show notes are something in between a blog and a script. They probably read enough like a blog post but a number of them can be a little jumpy as they are meant to serve more as talking points than as scripts. Ultimately I feel like this will offer me a considerable amount of freedom because the blog isn’t so much about blogging and whatever that means, as it is, sharing a behind the scenes look at something new that I’m working on, mixed in with other things on my mind. Maybe there are more thoughts I have on a story than I want or can put in a video, and rather than crowding my YouTube description box with all of this, I can share it in a long-form blog post. Where the idea came from, my motivations, or even addendums/author notes. This will open greater creative avenues for me, and hopefully, allow an even greater interaction with subscribers as they will be able to have an even deeper depth into my work than what would be traditionally seen through vlogs. Or at least, that’s the hope and idea. They can also comment here and leave suggestions for topics and ideas, answer polls and everything in between.

Welcome Back Cissa

I never wanted to stop blogging.

I never imagined that such a time would ever even exist, but the Universe has a way of bringing us where we need to be and along the way, some things, unfortunately, fall by the wayside. In the early days of starting on YouTube, I worked diligently to try and keep up with my regular blogging routine. I had been doing it for ten years after all, and I had only just gotten into the routine of doing it again. I had already put essays on hold, in favor of these vlogs, and podcasts. I couldn’t possibly put my blogging on hold too.

But there was a problem with all of this, in all of my worry about what I didn’t want to put on hold, I had without my even realizing it put something very important to me on hold. My novels. How had I not even noticed it? I thought to myself. I was so consumed with all of the things I needed to do for my platform that I had forgotten the whole reason I was creating the platform in the first place.

On the one hand, writers have more opportunities than ever to showcase our work and gain exposure, more so than ever before in history. In other ways, screaming into the void that is the internet can take a lot of work before it actually pays off, and as with anything sometimes trade-offs become inevitable, and so—I made a decision. I put blogging on hold.

For about three months.

It was sort of an indefinite timeline, and eventually, the pull to blog again was strong and I realized that there was a solution to all of my problems. A way to double my exposure with platforms I had already spent a decade creating. I had close to a hundred WordPress followers (down from well over 400 back before the blog name change) which meant at least a 100 new people who could potentially see my channel, and potentially subscribe, and potentially grow the power of Cissa! *muahahaha*

So here’s to coming back to blogging. To scheduling things in advance, and growing my platform.

What I Learned While Vlogging

vlogOver the last few weeks I’ve steadily been trying to get more and more into exploring alternative means to spread my trans goddess agenda across the land. While for years blogging was my main source for spreading this message, increasingly I’ve wanted to explore more vocal and visual avenues, namely podcasting and vlogging. This week while recording a vlog I discovered something interesting I hadn’t considered before. By expressing my thoughts in a vocal manner I had touched upon an answer to a question I was struggling to overcome, how to balance my newfound love of vlogging and podcasting with my general writing schedule and work schedule. I had noticed that with my ever increasing presence in outlets I had not previously explored, my writing was beginning to suffer in the process.

How was I to balance everything and somehow attempt to have any kind of work-life balance?

Record vlogs on Saturday.

As I wrote down the thought after I’d finished filming, more thoughts had come to me. Friday and Saturday are my days off from my day job, meaning that these would be the best days to do the majority of my creative work. Sundays were the easiest days to record podcasts, but they could be edited on Friday to be posted on Saturday. The vlogs would be recorded on Saturdays for the week, edited on Sunday and posted on their respective days. And the same would go for blog posts and essays, leaving me Monday-Thursday at the very least to work on novels, (both reading and writing).

It was such a simple concept I could almost hardly believe it had taken so long to come up with. It wasn’t as if I hadn’t done such things before, but for whatever reason, it was only when I vocalized my thoughts through my vlog that I was able to reach the most obvious conclusion to my problem.

Under the Wire

PostGrphx

Happy New Year! 2016 may have snuck up on me, but I managed to get a bit of work done right under the wire.

I’ve missed a lot of deadlines this year. Not necessarily for a lack of trying, but as far as my writing is concerned, 2015 was something of a difficult year. So for this New Year’s Eve my only real goal for the night was to finish this blasted novel. I only had a chapter left, I didn’t think that seemed like much work after all. I was almost halfway finished when at 10:30, an hour and a half before my self imposed deadline, I was stuck. I might have cried, were I capable of it. As my fingers hovered over the keys trying to formulate the words, I was struck with the feeling that I may not be able to finish it after all. In an effort to purge my mind and get a tactile feel for my ideas I decided to break out the notebook that I’d written the better part of the last half of the book in thus far. I was determined to get things finished.
By 11:30, I’d handwritten the last ten pages, and the final line. I couldn’t believe it. I had made it. Just under the wire for 2016. My book was finished. I immediately started typing up the ten pages I’d written, and by 12:30, I was completely finished. I compiled the manuscript in Scrivener, saved the PDF, and went to bed.

2015 was a great year in many ways. It was the year of my name change, and gender marker change, it was the year I started hormones and even the year I got a boyfriend, but for writing, 2015 could have been a lot better. So here’s to 2016, to more writing, more reading, more blogging and more transitioning.

Stay Devilish.
Magically Yours,
-Narcissa

New Beginnings

In just a few short weeks it will be 2015, and in just a few short weeks I will be retiring the Cult of Racewood brand. I’ve thought long and hard about this decision. I’ve spent the better part of 2014 debating whether or not I should start an entirely new blog or simply repurpose this one or… I really didn’t know. Back in October during my Looking Ahead to 2015 post I explained that there were a few things I needed to consider about the direction my blog was going in, and whether or not to retire the Cult of Racewood brand and how to describe my thoughts and intentions with this has been a large part of that decision making progress. Ultimately however, I realized that I needed to make the change for myself. And while I’ve enjoyed the Cult of Racewood brand, and I have enjoyed the many readers I’ve been fortunate enough to find myself with over the last few years, I feel that I need to take myself in a different direction.

Coming in January I will be launching a brand new blog for my new brand called Devillicious by Narcissa Deville. This blog will feature everything from book reviews, to beauty box reviews, and of course posts about writing and life updates. In addition to short stories and a possible serial (I know I’ve been promising that for years but I really mean it this time). For now and through 2016, I will be running both narcissadeville.com and cultofracewood.com as I own the CultofRacewood domain through May of 2016, at which time I will discontinue the blog and likely the domain as well. I hope that some of the readers I’ve been fortunate enough to amass over these last few years on WordPress will join me at my new blog and hopefully you will enjoy the changes coming in the future. I have a lot of big plans, none of which I intend to announce at this moment but I will announce in the future.

In an effort to keep the brand as seamless as possible on both sites, CultofRacewood.com will receive a brand update that matches the brand identity I’ve created for Devillicious by Narcissa Deville. In an effort for similar cohesion I will be changing my Twitter handle and my Facebook Page in the near future to my updated brand and name. Thank you to everyone who has followed me on this adventure thus far and thank you to everyone who intends to follow me in the future. I could not have done this without any of you.

-xoxo

Narcissa Deville

(formerly A.J.Race)