Category Archives: Simple Stories

A New Phase in My Life: From Journaler to Writer to Video Content Creator

Nautical Pocket Page Scrapbooking Layouts for 6x8 Album

Nautical Pocket Page Scrapbooking Layouts for 6×8 Album

Updated 2-17-2024: I originally shared this blog post a few months ago with the intention of also posting the photos to go along with it at Instagram. However, my life around that time got crazy, and I never actually posted the pics on Instagram. So I am sharing them today and bumping this up to the top of my blog in case any of my Instagram friends want to check out the video link. Thanks so much for visiting!

6x8 Sailing Themed Pocket Page Scrapbooking Layout Featuring Supplies by Graphic 45, Altenew, Pinkfresh Studio, Simple Stories and Tim Holtz for Ranger Industries

6×8 Sailing Themed Pocket Page Scrapbooking Layout Featuring Supplies by Graphic 45, Altenew, Pinkfresh Studio, Simple Stories and Tim Holtz for Ranger Industries

I have been a journaler and writer for almost as long as I can remember. I started daily journaling when I was around 11 or 12 years old; I don’t remember my age at the time, exactly. I tore up my earliest journals, so I don’t have a record of the exact date when I started; my oldest intact journals are from when I was a teenager.

The precise timeframe doesn’t matter. The point is, I’ve been at it for a long time.

I continued with daily journaling until the time I graduated from high school. When I started college, I stuck with journaling but couldn’t manage to do it daily; I usually made a few entries every week, but the pace of my journaling definitely slowed.

After Mike and I met and I started working full-time in the textile industry, my journaling became even more sporadic and basically stopped, although I have several random entries per year from those years.

Then when I discovered scrapbooking around 2006, I decided that my journaling and scrapbooking should be merged. I wish this idea had occurred to me earlier than it did. I am still in the process of going back through old scrapbooks and merging my journaling with my photos. This project is not my highest priority, so it is taking a long time. It might take the rest of my life to finish, and I am at peace with that understanding.

And I am now working as a freelance writer, although most of my writing now takes the form of digital marketing for paying clients.

All this to say that being a writer is a central component of my identity. I see myself as being a journaler and writer. I have held other jobs in my life: restaurant server, theatre costume assistant, retail store sales associate, assistant store manager, textile designer, director of design, search engine optimizer, content marketer, digital marketer and freelance writer. In hindsight, I realize that ALL those other roles have been essential to my success as a writer, because writers need solid, real-world experiences to draw from, or they have nothing to write about.

Through every role change, I have never ceased to think of myself as a writer…

…until this past month when I was doing my planning for the months ahead, and I had a startling realization.

In the long term, writing does not appear to be the smartest path forward for my personal projects as a content creator — and, in particular, for my crochet patterns and other craft projects.

I believe I am an exceptional writer; I have devoted a sizable portion of my life to improving my proficiency at the craft of writing. I really don’t want to stop being a writer, and I don’t plan to give up writing. I am blessed (and sincerely grateful!) to have an amazing lineup of freelance writing clients who still value human writers in general; in particular, they value the life experience and insights I bring to the table as a writer.

But considering that robots are now able to write passably well, it seems inevitable that my skills will need to evolve if I hope to stay relevant as a content creator in the long term.

Up until now, I have not really thought of myself as being a videographer. However, I have all the skills required to excel at videography, so there is no earthly reason that I shouldn’t think of myself as being a videographer.

That’s because Mike, my husband and the love of my life, is an exceptionally talented videographer, and he has been super generous about teaching me how to film, edit, and attend to all the little details that successful videography requires. He used to work in the Hollywood film industry and was involved with the filming of many impressive productions; he also founded and managed a local TV channel. I picked up the basics of videography along the way by helping him make the videos he needs for his businesses, which are heavily reliant on audio-visuals.

One of the first things Mike taught me about videography: A video will only be as successful as the script it is based on. Outstanding script => Outstanding video. Mediocre script => Mediocre video. Terrible script => Terrible video.

I am excited and hopeful at this thought, because, if this is really true, there will be a time in the future when I will be able to call myself an exceptional videographer. I am not there yet, but my script writing skills are solid (I know this because I write some of the video scripts for Mike’s productions).

So I basically just need to make a shift in mindset and also a shift in my day-to-day habits; from here on out, I plan to start incorporating videography into my usual, daily content creation process.

I am announcing this intention to the world now: You can all now start thinking of me as being both a writer and a video content creator.

So let’s get this party started with a brand new video, shall we? It’s a video I made about the sailing-themed pocket page scrapbooking layout pictured above. You can find more pics plus the video and supply list posted at my craft website. I hope you will be forgiving enough to overlook the mistakes in this video, which are numerous. I learned a thousand things from making this, and I promise you, it will only get better from here.

Thanks so much for checking out this post and spending a portion of your day with me. I appreciate your interest in this project!

P.S. Did you notice that there’s a lot of space devoted to journaling in this scrapbooking layout? By now, you’ve probably deduced that it’s not a coincidence. 😀 The photos and video show you how the journaling blocks look “before the pen.” I will have to transfer the actual journaling I have from this trip onto the page at some point in the future, because right now, my old journals are packed up in moving boxes and not easily accessible.

Biking at Catalina Island: Madman on a Folding Bike 6×8 Scrapbooking Layout

Biking at Catalina Island: Madman on a Folding Bike 6x8 Scrapbooking Layout by Amy Solovay

Biking at Catalina Island: Madman on a Folding Bike 6×8 Scrapbooking Layout by Amy Solovay

When it comes to sailing, my husband Mike and I are mostly a couple of goofballs. We pass for capable sailors because we’ve completed impressive ocean crossings, but that could just as easily have been from dumb luck as it was from any kind of real proficiency. It takes a lifetime to truly master sailing, and we’ve only invested about five years’ worth of full-time effort in learning the sport.

Mountain biking is a different story, though. Mike is a skilled mountain biker. He can keep up with most guys ten years younger than him. A guy who’s out of shape and ten years younger than him, Mike will blow past that guy on the trail like he’s standing still.

Not long before we moved aboard a sailboat to go cruising, Mike told me he was selling his mountain bike and buying us folding bikes. I had a hard time wrapping my head around that, because Mike without a mountain bike is like a cat without its purr. But he made the decision to do that because our sailboat, Typhoon, was only 24’ (7 meters.) There wasn’t any easy way to store a couple of mountain bikes aboard the boat.

There were bunches of times we sailed out to Catalina Island and found that real mountain bikes would have been super useful to have. We’d be anchored, with bow and stern anchors set, and we didn’t want to pull them up or give up our spot in the anchorage to go get mail or groceries or whatever. So Mike, being Mike, decided he’d ride his bike from wherever we were to wherever it was we needed him to go — never mind that the terrain in between Two Harbors and Avalon is gnarly.

If you were to ride a bike across Catalina Island, you’d want it to be a mountain bike, not a crappy folding bike. But Mike didn’t let that stop him. He is the guy who rode a folding bike from Two Harbors to Avalon and back bunches of times. And frequently, he then rode back to our anchorage with a backpack full of groceries on his back. Once when he was in transit, he even got chased by an angry bison.

I usually stayed aboard the boat and crocheted while Mike went on those solo adventures. I don’t remember taking these photos of him, but I guess there must have been at least one time I went ashore with him AND the bike AND the camera. It might not seem like a big deal, but rowing anything ashore in those days was a pain in the neck. Looking back at these photos, I marvel that there was a day when we motivated to get both a bike and a camera ashore at the same time in our 5’ sailing dinghy. I am glad we did, because now I am working on scrapbooking our adventures.

Thanks so much for taking a look at my project. I appreciate your interest!