TLDR: Barham Ink has a YouTube Channel! Read on for more…

One important lesson I learned while writing the first drafts in the Alora’s Tear series is that—at least for me—one creative project isn’t enough. There needs to be more than one outlet where a writer can direct their creative energies. By having more than one option for creative purpose, so the thinking goes, I’m able to allow my brain to process problems or difficulties with the novel in the background while I do something else that supports my self-image as an author and creator. As a result, I came up with the mantra “There is no such thing as writer’s block; you just need to write something else.”

And I truly believe this. Your mileage my vary, of course, but I needed (and still need) to believe that I couldn’t be stopped. At first, the “something else” was limited to other writing projects. It began with tech and gaming blog posts that comprised all of the articles on the predecessor to this site, Think Critical. Over time, the secondary writing outlet changed. For a while I wrote and photographed reviews for Tools and Toys or wrote freelance tech articles for a handful of other publications. I started a podcast with my good friend Scott Boren, writing and recording once a week for over a year. There was even a brief adventure working on narrative and dialogue elements for an iOS game that unfortunately never made its way to the App Store.

Then, by natural progression rather than any kind of epiphany, I began using other forms of expression to continue creating when the main project was giving me trouble, moving slowly, or feeling more like work than joy. I performed in musicals and dance. I took on the Drama class assignment at my teaching job. I wrote songs and played music. Last year, in the midst of publishing Circlets and Seekers, I scrapped my old website, switched providers, and wrote the HTML and CSS for the new by hand. The point? Creative expression comes in many forms, and it is my firm belief that the alternative avenues to explore that creativity are essential to maintaining the level of world building, character depth, and storytelling of the main project: Alora’s Tear.

All of that to say, over the summer I’ve been experimenting again. This time with video. I present information to an audience on a daily basis as an English teacher (and Speech, and Drama, and all the rest) not to mention that as the years go by, video projects have become more frequent for my students. I wanted to know more, to do more. My conclusion was to try my hand at a YouTube channel for Barham Ink. And that is what I did.

I considered what might be the best way to practice the skills I’d by asking my students to exercise in class and the kind of content I’d both like to make and that I’d personally be interested in watching both for practical purposes and just for fun. I came up with three categories: mini-lessons, advice, and technology. Within these groupings, I intend to keep the lessons very short, the advice short, and to dive deeper on the technology side.

So that’s it. Barham Ink now has a YouTube channel. The first few videos are about the area of tech with which I’m currently most interested—the iPad Pro and its universe of accessories—while the draft queue contains several ideas for writing mechanics mini-lessons that will benefit my students as well as general viewers and some advice ideas for people looking to pursue writing their first novel or publishing it themselves. Of course there will be new iPhones soon and likely plenty of other great topics that I haven’t thought of yet. The categories could expand. The format could change. I’m not interested in limiting what this particular creative experiment can be.

Worry not, however, Volume V (I know the title, but you don’t…yet) is in great shape thus far. In fact, the characters have already taken me to places and put themselves through trials I did not foresee in the outline. And with a new way to exercise my creative muscle, when I’m not working on the book, I expect they’ll be off finding even more ways to get into trouble and to surprise us all.

Check out the Barham Ink Channel on YouTube. Also, like and subscribe while you’re there, because apparently that’s pretty important.