In January 2016, I started vlogging – keeping a video journal of my life.
When I was in college, from 2002-2007, I kept an online written (typed) journal and found it very therapeutic. I’d write about my stresses and fears and accomplishments and joys. Some of these posts were made public to my friends online, but most of them were kept private and were just a means of getting my thoughts down and working through them. I hadn’t written in a while, mostly because I didn’t have the time or energy to dedicate to writing so when New Year 2016 came around and it was time to start thinking about my personal goals for the year, I decided I should resume journal writing in the form of a blog. I thought about it for a couple of weeks and the more I thought, the more I realized it wasn’t a realistic goal for myself. I knew I would start writing for the first week or two and then stop because I’d be too tired, or because I wouldn’t know what to write about, or because my hand would start to cramp up…EXCUSES…I know. But I know myself too well and I knew I wouldn’t keep up with it. And that’s when I thought about starting a video journal.
A video journal seemed more personal because I could actually speak and express the tone of my voice and expressions on my face and get a true picture of my life at any given moment. I was also intrigued by the endless creativity that is possible with a video journal. So I recorded my first vlog and posted it on YouTube. It was bad and it was awkward and it was “cringey” as some would say. I had no idea what I was doing and was extremely camera shy. This is evident by how stiff I am in front of the camera during these first vlogs and videos on my channel. I’ve wanted to delete this first vlog and I’ve deleted several of my first vlogs, but I kept my very first one up on YouTube as a way to mark the date that I started vlogging as well as to show how much I’ve learned and grown as a vlogger/YouTuber and as a person in general.
I’ve come a looong way!
When I first started vlogging, the goal was to do daily vlogs but it became monotonous and boring. Everyday was the same thing. I’d get in my car, run some errands, work, and that was it. It also became overwhelming and time consuming. I couldn’t keep up with the hours it took to edit each day. Then I started making creative videos that included skits and sketch comedy. The response to those videos was very positive and I absolutely loved using my imagination and creativity to turn my silly ideas into something that would make others smile. So I went from being a vlogger to an actual YouTube personality. I have a long way to go before I’m “Internet Famous” and I’m not entirely sure that this is my goal. But for now I’m happy with just creating my videos and getting positive feedback from the small viewing audience that I do have. I’ve made some amazing Internet friends who support me day to day and I’ve even made a couple of fans, which is interesting and pretty cool. It also feels a bit weird at times, letting complete strangers into my life like that and chatting with them as if we’re old friends, but I chat with some of these people EVERYDAY which is more than my own family at times. They’ve become a second family to me.
It’s been a pretty rough year for me so far. I started the year spending an entire week in the hospital with my mom. My Mom’s Mother in Law was living with us and it made for a very tense and stressful time. My grandmother and step dad spent some time in the hospital. My brother broke his neck. My uncle developed cancer and recently had an operation and is undergoing chemotherapy. My other grandmother had an operation, too and her health is very delicate. Some of these events are featured in the vlogs and some are not and through it all, I try to keep my videos as positive as possible. But the encouragement and positivity I get from my viewers has made this year fun and exciting and worthwhile and they have helped to get me through these tough times. I truly look forward to telling them about my day and showing them my video creations. It’s like having a best friend that you’re eager to talk to.
It’s been 9 months since I started vlogging and even though I’ve gone a week or two, here or there, where I’ve been too tired to even think about making a video, I haven’t gotten tired of the process as a whole. I love making my weekly videos more than ever and each new video seems to be more exciting than the last and I eagerly await the chance to create and share the next big video!
I’ve included my first vlog ever down below. Please, don’t judge me based on this video! 🙂 I only share it to show how much I’ve grown and to encourage whoever is reading that just because you may not be that great at something when you first start, don’t give up. Practice really does make perfect and if you stick with it, you might even surprise yourself! ❤
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