I made my first video with gifs, as I understood I could make a video by combining several moving pictures. At that time, I didn’t yet realise it was possible to get actual video material, but luckily I found out fairly quickly through my fellow editors. My first videos were fan videos contributed to Avatar the Last Airbender. I was 13 then and started to make them in order to express myself. I used the song ‘I’m just a kid’ by Linkin Park for my first video, which resonated with me at the time. I’m not a musical person and so I wouldn’t be able to create my own songs without learning a completely new skill. Therefore, being able to express my emotions through other people’s songs while creating something ‘new’ was a good alternative. As a result, I became a ‘full time’ video editor on Youtube for 5 years.
I wrote my first story during class in primary school and I honestly can’t remember what it was about. I continued to write a bit here and there but I only wrote my first full story when I was 13. The story came about shortly after a fight I had with my friends. The fight was resolved but it felt like it had broken down a wall in my head that started to lead to thoughts that I couldn’t stop. This was the start of what came to be my depression and the first time I actively felt like committing suicide. Instead of giving in to my thoughts, I ended up writing a story that I ended up publishing (although I would advise you not to buy or read it, as I cannot recognise myself in the story or the writing style any longer. I was too young.)
The similarities between my need to write and video editing are clear. They are both brought upon by my need to express myself. For a while, I combined video editing with writing but I soon noticed I could write better if I didn’t have any Internet near me. I wrote 3 full stories over the course of two years and then stopped. I didn’t think my writing was good enough; I didn’t get any immediate results and I just felt really, really shitty. I didn’t want to disappear into the realm that is my thoughts. I wanted the opposite of that, but I have to think when I’m writing and so I didn’t see a way to continue writing. This wasn’t the case for video editing.
Although the days of uploading a video every week had long passed, I hadn’t stopped video editing at all. I changed the content of my videos (changed from ATLA to anime) and this form of creativity remained a constant way for me to express myself. The major difference between writing and video editing for me is that there isn’t as much of a need to think when video editing. Of course, you have to think of a concept and the clips and effects you’re going to use etc. but it is vastly different from writing where you’re left alone with your own thoughts. Although I represented myself with my videos, video editing managed to take me out of myself and to somewhere else. This form of art was capable of expressing me while staying away from my thoughts. It was perfect.
Nowadays, of course, the balance has shifted again. I rarely still edit (I still do, but nothing compared to what I used to in the past) but I write a lot more. While I absolutely love the activity of video editing, it’s no longer a desperate need. This allows me to focus on my dreams, which is to publish an actual novel. I would still say it is easier to edit because I will always have to delve into my thoughts in order to write. However, now that I’m feeling better mentally, writing has become fun again.
Another reason why I pursue my ambition to write over video editing is that I can create my own story entirely when writing. Video editing is always partly dependant on whichever story another person is trying to tell; a video editor is slightly dependant on the footage that’s available. That is not to say video editors don’t create their own story, but I don’t think it is as liberating as writing can be.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t do without writing or video editing. I don’t think one is better than the other; it all depends on your own preference.