An Update (Youtube and Beyond!)

Well this is awkward.

Anyone familiar with the site has probably noticed that I haven’t posted anything here in over a year. Whoops. Maybe you arrived at this post through your inbox and can’t even remember what ‘Snacked Up’ is — or why you subscribed to it in the first place. That’s fine. Maybe you’re just visiting to reflect on past mistakes. That’s fine, too.

So where have all the posts gone?

To be entirely honest, last year I became disillusioned with Snacked Up. There was no single thing that caused it, but it was more of an evolving process. Throughout 2014 and 2015 I took on increasingly regular work as a freelance writer. This gave me a financial incentive to write, and as such, it became difficult to justify writing for free when I could get paid elsewhere. To complicate matters, it eventually became difficult to justify writing long-form criticism when — as I soon discovered — short-form corporate writing pays so much more.

At the time, I was buried under the ceaseless rejection letters that accompany modern unemployment, and freelance writing projects were my only source of income. I was confused and just a little bit miserable. Naturally, I internalised Snacked Up as a waste of time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere.

Zardoz Sean Connery Outfit Costume

Pcitured: Sean Connery in Zardoz, who I like to imagine was also ‘confused and just a little bit miserable’.

Luckily, like most naïve English graduates, I eventually fell into a nondescript office job, and realised that ‘real’ work pays exponentially more than writing does, and for half the effort, to boot. Almost overnight, the financial pressures that I had imposed on writing were lifted, and it became something that I did for fun again; just like when I started the site back in 2011.

Returning to Snacked Up and re-reading old posts was a strange experience, though, because it led me to a few small revelations. Namely: I don’t read criticism, I don’t read reviews, and I rarely buy magazines.

At some point over the last few years, I stopped reading criticism, and started watching it on YouTube, through channels like Joseph Anderson, Gamer Nation, Strummerdood and The Passion of the Nerd. Writing long-form criticism (read: self-indulgent think-pieces) takes a lot of time, and when I thought about it, I didn’t want to spend time working on something that I wouldn’t actually want to read myself. So I stopped updating.

It was around that time that I began dabbling with video production, in the hopes that I could eventually produce the sort of criticism that I enjoy. I’m still learning, but if you’re interested you can follow my YouTube channel here. After numerous stops-and-starts, I’ve uploaded 11 videos so far.They’re not all good (just a few months later, I look back at some and cringe) but the process of creating a video gives me the same sort of enjoyment that straightforward writing did when I started the site six years ago, and that can only be a good thing. One of my more recent videos is posted below:

Astute readers will notice that the transcript for this video is a Snacked Up post from early 2016. I’ve been using old posts as a testing ground while I come to grips with the minutiae of talking to myself in a darkened room and making pictures move on a screen. As things stand, though, I think I’m ready to start taking on more ambitious, original projects. Hence this post.

Over the coming week or so, I’ll be undertaking some housekeeping on Snacked Up. I’ll clear up some broken links, take some time to insert links to new videos in old posts, and I’ll also post two new articles based on original videos I’ve made – a review of the recent Hitman reboot, and a rambling essay on Final Fantasy XV’s emotional design. Going forward, I’m hoping to update YouTube and Snacked Up in parallel. As it turns out, making videos still requires the same amount of writing, and for those who still enjoy reading self-indulgent nonsense about films and videogames, I’m aiming to post edited transcripts here.

I’m really appreciative of the support that people have shown to my dumb words over the years, and I’m glad to return with newer, bigger, and better things. For those who stuck around, rest assured I’ll resume spamming your inboxes shortly.

Thanks,

CJ

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