2020 New Beginnings

So over a year ago I made my last post here on my new blog that I opened to a fanfare of newness that the WordPress.com site just couldn’t compete with. Well that went well, right? Once again I am in the position of falling foul of the very thing I was trying to blog about. There is a pattern there. My name is Tom and I am a serial procrastinator!

Where does that leave this blog, well it’s almost an annual ceremony now, and I do know of blogs that are notoriously popular and have a similar posting schedule, but this is my attempt to change all that. Life has gotten in the way over the last year for various reasons but that’s honestly just excuses. Plenty of other people manage to carry on life and also spend time on their hobbies so what it comes down to in my mind now is desire. I am happy sitting around juggling track plans, watching training videos on line, and following other peoples modelling progress in forums et cetera and always have been a bit of an armchair modeller, or maybe that should be chronic?!

Once again I am at the starting point and thinking about which way to take my online modelling presence. In the last year I have not been totally idle, in that I have been tinkering around on the edges rather than creating actual things. During the spring and around the York Model Railway Show I decided to start a YouTube channel to help me document my progress, rather than talking about things on my blog. Daaan Daaaannn Daaaaaaa!! It was a way of pushing me to actually create things rather than talk about them. Well it went reasonably according to plan. It was rather nerve wracking at the beginning as I am very much not a natural presenter and more of an introvert. I think the joke is I have a face for radio. But it was interesting to see the small progressions in the short space of time when I did it consistently. By magic I managed to generate around 20 videos. Some of them were better than others, and due to the fact I wasn’t actually creating a layout or doing physical modelling particularly the content started to stall and I started filling it with visits to shows and visits to steam railways. Friends Kindly pointed this out and if you know anything about creating content for YouTube, the beast needs feeding if you want any kind of growth from it. This is a whole other topic and there are multitudes of people telling you how to clarify and maximise.. etc. But I guess anyone starting a channel is doing it for some kind of recognition. Some for money, some for fame, but in my case it is really just to help keep me motivated to enjoy a life long hobby.

However, it is my intention this year to rekindle the video channel and take it forward with some consistent modelling content where I show my efforts. Whether it be something that I am experienced in or whether it’s something I am a complete novice at, which in honesty is probably most things. Having watched some online creators talking about how to propel a YouTube channel forwards, it seems to be the opinion that one should niche down. Unfortunately this doesn’t suit my personality. So I am going to create what I enjoy doing and see whether people want to watch it or not. As I have stated on here before I have a very wide variety of interests when it comes to railway modelling and I don’t intend to stop that though it may put people of and annoy the algorithm. It helps me to be able to jump around, and I had become mentally stuck on something or more likely bored of it, due to attention issues. However I will try and keep content bundled into areas of interest, rather than flitting around. I also plan to add in occasional material like going to railway model shows or steam railways, but also things like how I create the videos which I think are of interest to some people, to see behind-the-scenes, and to see the technology used. One idea is to show The evolution of the layout through to it in quotes completion.

As I have a very limited space I see myself working on a number of projects to completion where they will make space for new ideas. Improvement though iteration. I see this as a truly blank canvas and unlike many I don’t maybe feel constrained by any particular boundaries. I don’t intend on amounting a massive stock for any, excuse the pun, platform as its not about collecting for me. This might all be different if I had a different space but I would like to think that this would be the way I modelled anyway. 

There is a lot more that I have in mind for the channel which really doesn’t fit here but if you are interested you can follow me over on YouTube. At the moment I only have around 30 subscribers and have not reached the point at 100 subscribers where I can claim the unique address for my channel. So one of the goals for 2020 is to get to 1000 viewers as this seems to be the point where are YouTube starts to promote the content to other people. This is also enough of a motivation to keep rolling out the vids. It seems to be a very dark art which I’m not particularly bothered about trying to game, as I really am doing this because I enjoy my railway modelling, if others enjoy this too then great.

So where does that leave this blog? Well I see it as running alongside my YouTube channel, as a place for my thoughts and ideas that don’t easily fit into a video format. More of a long form, considered scribblings. I also think this suits the type of content I enjoy writing and presenting. Some people enjoy the written word and pictures and YouTube is not for everyone, maybe a certain niche. It is my plan to carry on doing a post a week and maybe I will include my thoughts on current events in the railway modelling world, but it will be more of an archive of my thoughts and modelling ideas. 

I will probably link to some videos here but I’m guessing that most people that read this will already know of the YouTube channel. If not may I suggest you shimmy on over to https://tinyurl.com/vv69tr9. I am trying out some modern getting things done techniques in order to keep myself focussed and maybe that will be a topic I follow up on in the future as to how effective they and I am. For someone who regularly suffers lack of focus I have a strange fascination with order.. 🙂

I will leave you with best wishes for the new year ahead and hope that we achieve what we want to with our modelling aspirations in our hobby.

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