De-Monotized

*sigh*

Over the weekend I noticed this message pop-up on my YouTube channel:

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I had heard originally that YouTube was making this plan but figured that I would be/had been grandfathered in, which is why I was both getting ads on my videos and making money from ads on my videos for the past five months. It isn’t so much the money that frustrates me about this situation as much as it is that because of an error on Google’s part, I’m suddenly not going to be making anything on videos until I hit some random arbitrary lifetime view count (which spoiler I’m 7,449 views away from) before I’m allowed to even potentially earn money for the videos I make. It’s worth noting that YouTube won’t even send a check for anything less than $100 anyway, so I now have to make considerably more content (without hope of payment for the foreseeable future) before I can even attempt to start to get money back.

I know that YouTube and Google don’t owe me anything, they don’t have to pay people at all, but it’s odd to me that as the company has gotten larger and more popular rather than doing more for its creators it’s somehow managed to screw them over more instead. I love doing YouTube, and I would do it money or not, but I have to wonder, why should I no longer make money because I haven’t hit enough viewers to ‘earn it?’

 

Welcome Back Cissa

I never wanted to stop blogging.

I never imagined that such a time would ever even exist, but the Universe has a way of bringing us where we need to be and along the way, some things, unfortunately, fall by the wayside. In the early days of starting on YouTube, I worked diligently to try and keep up with my regular blogging routine. I had been doing it for ten years after all, and I had only just gotten into the routine of doing it again. I had already put essays on hold, in favor of these vlogs, and podcasts. I couldn’t possibly put my blogging on hold too.

But there was a problem with all of this, in all of my worry about what I didn’t want to put on hold, I had without my even realizing it put something very important to me on hold. My novels. How had I not even noticed it? I thought to myself. I was so consumed with all of the things I needed to do for my platform that I had forgotten the whole reason I was creating the platform in the first place.

On the one hand, writers have more opportunities than ever to showcase our work and gain exposure, more so than ever before in history. In other ways, screaming into the void that is the internet can take a lot of work before it actually pays off, and as with anything sometimes trade-offs become inevitable, and so—I made a decision. I put blogging on hold.

For about three months.

It was sort of an indefinite timeline, and eventually, the pull to blog again was strong and I realized that there was a solution to all of my problems. A way to double my exposure with platforms I had already spent a decade creating. I had close to a hundred WordPress followers (down from well over 400 back before the blog name change) which meant at least a 100 new people who could potentially see my channel, and potentially subscribe, and potentially grow the power of Cissa! *muahahaha*

So here’s to coming back to blogging. To scheduling things in advance, and growing my platform.

Overwhelmed | GRWM

June was a rough month.

I say this, with full knowledge that it kind of goes against my current stance of trying to look at things from a more positive perspective. I’m working actively to put more positivity out into the Universe and for the most part, I think I’m doing pretty good, but I’d be dishonest if I said that June was anything but– rough. Though in hindsight, it’s difficult to point out why, exactly. Or where it even started. I don’t think the beginning of the month was necessarily that bad, but somewhere in the middle, I found myself overwhelmed with literally everything.

Work, writing, and my own self-imposed deadlines. There were no facets of my life that felt untouched by whatever was going on for me in June; and by the end, I was more than ready for the month to be over. Towards the end, I expressed this in a vlog I had intended to put up shortly after it was recorded, but somehow other, more pressing videos seemed to take over.

A few days before the end of the month, on our usual Sunday gathering, my good girlfriend, Adrianne and I got together and started recording a get ready with me style vlog. I had never filmed myself putting on makeup while I attempted to talk before. I had seen plenty of YouTuber’s do it, but being there– staring at yourself in a mirror much smaller than I had become used to (with my farsightedness anything less than two inches from a full-length mirror is tricky for eyeshadow), I found myself pausing more than I expected.

As it turns out, recording a video while you do your makeup is harder than it looks. There’s the whole matter of trying to both look at the camera and your mirror, and somehow hold a conversation all the while. As usual, I had written notes– detailed notes too, but as usual, I glanced at them in the beginning of the video to get a feel for the topic and main points and off I went.

On Sunday, I begin editing the video, watching it back, listening to us talk and I debate putting it up. On the one hand, it seems counterproductive to my work at positivity, on the other, it shows that positivity doesn’t just appear overnight. That trusting your gut, and the Universe, and working to put positivity out into the world can be a struggle. That you can still have times of uncertainty and feeling overwhelmed. It’s sharing a piece of my life that feels personal because it is, and I realize, I have to post it. Because it’s larger than me. Struggling with feeling overwhelmed and overworked and questioning your path are very real, and many often experience them, and that’s okay.

Lessons in Multi-Tasking

A few weeks ago, I attempted a multi-tasking feat which I dubbed Design with Me a vlog in which I would finish up the graphic design work on my website -–that was still in progress at the time—and make a vlog at the same time, in the vein of ‘Get Ready With Me’ style videos. A way in which to kill two birds with one stone with good old multi-tasking. I didn’t need much active thought to make design choices, but attempting to formulate my thoughts as I did so, proved immediately difficult, and ultimately I ended up not speaking as I worked to finish the designs, proving that this particular idea was not as brilliant as I’d otherwise hoped.

This doesn’t necessarily mean multi-tasking is impossible, but there’s something to be said for the conversation around whether or not multi-tasking isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. We want to believe we can successfully do multiple things at once. It’s important to us to believe that multi-tasking is possible, because it means that we can be extra productive in our lives, and really isn’t that what life is all about? How productive we are? As someone who constantly feels like there isn’t enough hours in the day in which to complete various tasks and projects, and who is working to follow a schedule for creating, in order to help with the struggle of ‘writer’s block’ there’s a certain desire to make multi-tasking work for me. There’s a deep seeded necessity to utilize and multiply the time that I have with multi-tasking. The problem is, for the most part it doesn’t really work that way. There’s a big difference between listening to YouTube while you put on makeup or do homework, and trying to write something while you hold a conversation, watch tv, and text your friend. Inevitably things get pushed to the back burner. You’ll say a thought for the story or type what you’re talking about into the story/blog. One thing will take precedent as much as you don’t want it too. Distractions abound, there have been many instances where I’ve been attempting to write something or work on something while having a conversation with another person and inevitably, the conversation will take over and I’ll end up behind from where I otherwise would have been.

Perhaps this is just my problem, but what I’m learning about multi-tasking these days is, it isn’t as easy as it seems, and sometimes devoting your full attention to a task is better than trying to do too many things at once.  What about you? Is there something to be said for multi-tasking or is it not what it claims to be?

The Podcast Diaries

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In case I never get to use this graphic

I never wanted my podcast to turn into any sort of political ranting soapbox. But over the course of the last twelve episodes, that’s a lot of what it’s become, and on the one hand that’s something of a frustration for me. I love(d) politics once upon a time, but as of late, there’s very little to love, and it’s increasingly a subject I’d just as soon not talk about. There’s little to no discussion where politics is concerned anymore, it’s shouting matches, and hurt feelings, and after the Clapback part 2, I’d like to make season 2 of my podcast less severe. It’s a complicated dichotomy of being a trans person for whom much of my life is political against my will; is where I go to the bathroom really that important of a political issue?

The answer is it’s not. It’s a distraction. And it’s something a lot of people have discussed so much better than I ever could hope to. The truth is, frankly I’m kind of sick of it.

I’d like to say that this will be the last political type post I post, and that my podcast/vlog will not go there going forward, but I don’t know that I necessarily believe that. There are good points to politics I suppose, but they are few and far between. So how do I reconcile the two conflicting sides of myself, the side that loved what politics should be, and the side that is so sick of everything, that it almost isn’t worth discussing anymore? The part of me that wants to resist the ridiculousness we’re facing and the part that wonders is resistance really futile?

I don’t think there are any easy answers, especially not where anything political is concerned, but for me, and for as much as I can, I’m going to try to tone down some of my political discussion; by which I mean how much I speak about it, not my actual tone because respectability politics is nonsense. But that’s a discussion for another day, and another blog.

What I Learned While Vlogging

vlogOver the last few weeks I’ve steadily been trying to get more and more into exploring alternative means to spread my trans goddess agenda across the land. While for years blogging was my main source for spreading this message, increasingly I’ve wanted to explore more vocal and visual avenues, namely podcasting and vlogging. This week while recording a vlog I discovered something interesting I hadn’t considered before. By expressing my thoughts in a vocal manner I had touched upon an answer to a question I was struggling to overcome, how to balance my newfound love of vlogging and podcasting with my general writing schedule and work schedule. I had noticed that with my ever increasing presence in outlets I had not previously explored, my writing was beginning to suffer in the process.

How was I to balance everything and somehow attempt to have any kind of work-life balance?

Record vlogs on Saturday.

As I wrote down the thought after I’d finished filming, more thoughts had come to me. Friday and Saturday are my days off from my day job, meaning that these would be the best days to do the majority of my creative work. Sundays were the easiest days to record podcasts, but they could be edited on Friday to be posted on Saturday. The vlogs would be recorded on Saturdays for the week, edited on Sunday and posted on their respective days. And the same would go for blog posts and essays, leaving me Monday-Thursday at the very least to work on novels, (both reading and writing).

It was such a simple concept I could almost hardly believe it had taken so long to come up with. It wasn’t as if I hadn’t done such things before, but for whatever reason, it was only when I vocalized my thoughts through my vlog that I was able to reach the most obvious conclusion to my problem.