What happened to your book? | Show notes

This past weekend, I had an interesting conversation on my way home from Kat’s going away party– I was in the car with her aunt and grandma, and her aunt asked me what had ever happened to my book? (I had self-published in 2011/2012) and though I had published 2 she had only read the first and as she said: she was hooked.

I awkwardly explained that I had become self-conscious about it, and had taken it down in an effort to edit it and make it something more to my liking. But a thought struck me recently– when it comes to books, how important is it that I like the book I’m creating really?

Even though it’s still in progress I feel like I do actually like it now more than ever, but does it really matter? I mean you think about something like even this channel– I don’t watch my videos further than editing them. I cringe watching it when my boyfriend puts it on– even if I like the video, my perception of it after filming is usually like whatever– and then I edit it and manage to put it up and that’s that. I don’t watch them… But they aren’t really for me. They are created for me to express myself, but not for me to consume, so if others enjoy something I create, and I don’t, who’s opinion matters?

The Birthday Tag Show Notes

So I was looking for a good tag for bday questions and decided to make my own so I decided on 26 questions (cause spoiler alert that is how old I am going to be this year: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!
  1. How old are you going to be?
  2. What is your favorite birthday memory?
  3. What time were you born?
  4. What was your favorite gift?
  5. Gift you always wanted but never got
  6. Secret birthday wish as a kid
  7. Famous person who shares your birthday
  8. Do you like cake or no?
  9. Do you like surprise parties?
  10. What is a gift you want now but would never ask for/get for yourself (dream gift)
  11. What party theme would you love to have?
  12. What did you want to be when you grew up?
  13. What internet speed did you have growing up?
  14. What was your favorite kids’ show?
  15. Did you get a permit to drive at 16?
  16. Did you/will you have a sweet 16?
  17. What was your Sr year like?
  18. Did you do 18+ things when you finally hit 18?
  19. Did you wait until the legal drinking age to try alcohol?
  20. How old were you when you had your first kiss/boyfriend?
  21. First bar/club (did you like it?)
  22. Have you reached the age of your birth day? (For instance, my bday is 9/22)
  23. Do you still get cards/gifts from family/friends?
  24. How old were you when you lost your virginity?
  25. Do you actually enjoy birthdays or ignore them?
  26. How old were your parents when they had you?

*Warning this video contains strong language, viewer discretion is advised. *

So we filmed this as a multi going away for Kat and double birthday for me and Adrianne and let’s just say that it was only through the magic of editing that I was able to find a semi-coherent video here. Why did I only half ass do my face? The world may never know. The questions were made up by me, and hilariously at the time I wrote them they sounded good but in editing, they all sound generic and boring. Sorry bout it.

The Pressure to Create

Increasingly I have seen the advice that one ought to write every day, in order to be a serious writer. In which case, not only have I never been a serious writer, any hope of that as of late is completely out the window. Only, that isn’t exactly true. Anyone who has followed this blog for any length of time can attest to the fact that I have been writing at least since I was 10 years old, and even then I took it very seriously. Yet here again I find myself, not writing. For a rather prolonged period of time now, I have written nothing new, save for a few blog posts and some script notes for vlogs, and honestly, it’s maddening. Somewhere in my head, I know that I’ve been here before, and I’m trying to be patient with myself. To take it easy, and trust that when it is time for me to write again, I will. But of course, my lack of writing has driven me into an all too familiar existential crisis. What am I, who am I, if not a writer?
 
Of course, that’s a silly question. You’re never not a writer. The urge to write never truly goes away. Even if the muse does disappear for a moment. It always returns. Even now I am writing something, it’s just not the something I feel I ought to be writing. Which of course, isn’t how any of this works, yet still I try to bend the Universe to my will, hoping, praying, that somehow it will give me what I want. As if overthinking, overanalyzing, and overstressing about not writing has ever produced more work from anyone.
I’ve always put pressure on myself to work harder, do more, write more, be better, and though to some these are signs of a ‘good work ethic’ it leads to the problems I now find myself in. Burnout. You become so exhausted from doing so much and never giving yourself time to rest and recharge that you find yourself doing not much of anything at all.
Except that I am doing something, and that scares me a little bit. Because if I’m vlogging, more than I am writing, what happens to my life as a writer? Can I ever go back, or am I simply now, someone who does YouTube, no longer a writer, barely a person who can find themselves creating a proper sentence anymore. It’s hard to complain. This was my decision after all, and if I honestly believed YouTube is the reason I’m not writing, shouldn’t I stop? Wouldn’t I stop?
The trouble is, I’ve been here before. Each time feels more and more like the end, and yet, I can’t help but hold out a sliver of hope, that each time, as before, I will eventually get back to work.

17 Unexpected Things You Learn from Doing YouTube

When I started creating content for YouTube earlier this year, I didn’t really know what I might get from it, or what to expect from the experience. I knew that I wanted to challenge myself to do something different, and originally I didn’t expect to make more than one or two videos. Along the way, I’ve learned a couple of things that new YouTubers or people considering doing YouTube might want to know.
  1. Time=Content

    We spend a lot of time doing things that aren’t creating content in our daily lives. Some of that time is prepping for creating content and that’s time we could be devoting to more content. Which is why GRWMs are such a big part of my YouTube life.

  2. Time Management

    Not surprisingly all of this has also taught me better time management skills. If Time=Content,  any time you’re spending not creating content is time wasted unless it’s watching other YouTube videos because then it’s research.

  3. Celebrate the Little things

    Success is what you make of it, but celebrating the small victories and successes (like your first 13 followers or your first 20 or 100) is important. It’s all amazing, people want to watch you and hear what you have to say, and I’m eager to celebrate all of that, as much as possible.

  4. Don’t Engage in Negative Comments

    Technically this is something I learned long before starting with YouTube but I definitely feel as though now that I’m more active on YouTube, and as my channel continues to grow it’s going to be necessary more and more not to engage with negative comments. As mama Ru would say: What other people think of me is none of my business.

  5. Authenticity Speaks volumes

    This is an obvious one, and another one I knew before YouTube but one thing you can definitely tell is when someone isn’t being genuine. I knew fairly early on that Valentina (season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race) wasn’t genuine, and though a lot of people seemed to love her, recent incidents have proven that her attitude on the show was fake. It’s easy to want to put on a good public face to make yourself seem better than you really are, but if the rise of YouTube drama channels (and call outs from other channels about drama channel creators) proves anything it’s that the fake-shit comes out real quick.

  6. Better communication

    For someone who does YouTube, runs a podcast, and writes as a part of my career future, it’s kind of ironic how bad I can be at communication. Particularly personal communication. I think it’s largely a Virgo thing, but something about me is that I struggle to be open about things for one reason or another.

  7. It’s cathartic

    Not too long ago I had a serious dysphoric incident… I decided rather than sit and wallow, I would start filming and try and work through this, if for no other reason than to document it, and to share my struggle with others– I never did post it, but it ended up being very cathartic for me.

  8. It’s fun

    Along with being at times cathartic YouTube is surprisingly fun. Well, filming is. There’s something about getting in front of the camera and sharing your thoughts and what’s going on that is actually fun. But like writing, the editing is… tedious.

  9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

    Some of the best YouTubers are known for being a little out there, it’s relatable because that’s life. We’re not perfect, and if you take yourself so seriously you put yourself in a position where you can’t really have fun, and you can’t just be yourself and that can be limiting. It goes back to the conversation too about authenticity. If you’re reserved people can see that.

  10. You don’t need fancy equipment

    The alluring siren song of Canon cameras and ring lights can be hard to resist for a YouTuber starting out but you don’t need it to start. If you have an iPhone you’re already off to a great start. The back camera can film up to 4k, but you can create some great stuff with 1080p at 60 FPS. For lighting, add two lamps with LED bulbs and place them on either side of the camera, have at least two more overhead lights to really brighten up the room as much as possible (or substitute natural light if that’s more your speed) and you’ll have beautiful videos.

  11. Pace yourself

    I have a tendency to jump into things 110% out of the gate, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but one of the things I realized is that actually it can be detrimental in terms of long term success. It’s great to want to put up 5 vids in a week, but it can also be exhausting, so pace yourself. If you have the time and energy to keep it up great, if you don’t, create a more sensible schedule or you risk burnout which is a nightmare in any creative context.

  12. Find your niche and fill it

    It’s a business 101 strategy, find what you’re good at, preferably something few others are doing and fill it. And if everyone else is doing it. Then find a way to do it better. Chances are good that there’s something unique about you that makes you stand out better than the next person. YouTubers are a dime-a-dozen. But what I offer is a YouTuber, writer, and graphic designer who also records a podcast and can mix some music together, in a way that is uniquely me. No one can do everything, but I can do a lot of things, and very well, if you can do something well and you can offer that to people in some form you’re going to be at a better advantage to succeed than someone who can’t.

  13. It’s Rewarding if you let it

    The good comments often out weigh the bad and it’s so cool hearing people who enjoy what you do. It isn’t necessarily about material rewards either, sure there’s monetization which can be great if you’re lucky enough to hit it big, but it’s the interactions. The communication with people who are loving what you do, who support you and maybe that you can even help.

  14. Use social media to your advantage 

    The social media platform you’ve already built can be very helpful in succeeding with YouTube. I learned through analytics that about 30% of my viewership comes from Instagram. So I make sure to share links to my vids through Instagram and tag the shit out of them. Marketing is your friend.

  15. Take analytics with a grain of salt

    Analytics are a good way to drive yourself into a panic attack, particularly if you’re someone already prone to such things, or are a perfectionist; they can be beneficial like figuring out who are the majority of people watching your content, for how long, their age range and even where they come from, but take it with a grain of salt. I’ve gotten 2 views on a video just from putting in cards, and end screen info for them, and a girlfriend of mine and fellow YouTuber has told me that the analytics vary greatly from the phone app to computer app.

  16. Don’t let analytics determine your content

    If you have subscribers, you have them because of staying true to your vision. A lot of people try and follow the ‘scientific’ seeming analytics, to see what videos do the best, and do those more in an effort to double their success. This is the sort of thing that leads to rebooting old shows (Gilmore Girls, Fuller House, Roseanne, etc) hoping that if they can just rekindle the magic that worked a decade ago, so they can hit on a successful enterprise. But it isn’t a decade ago, and just because something hit once doesn’t mean you can repeat that success. I have a video that is 3 minutes long, is about next to nothing (save for a very attractive man stripping {taking his shirt off} in the middle) and it has over 600 views. Why? I presume the stripping, but no video I’ve made has come close to this analytics, yet, and I can’t spend my time recording guys stripping just to hit upon that success again. It’s an anomaly of a video, and I’m okay with that.

  17. Subscribe for Subscribe?

    There’s a lot of people who will subscribe to you hoping for a subscribe back, and for some people, this is certainly one path to success, but it’s not a long term solution. Sure you can get a lot of people following you which looks great, but are they watching your content? Are they commenting? Are they liking and contributing? Views and subscribers are great, but part of the fun of YouTube is the interaction. It’s the communication with people who enjoy your content. Sure it can get ugly quickly and that’s the part of YouTube you have to be careful of, but there are great things too.

    Ultimately I’ve learned a lot of important lessons from creating on YouTube, it’s so much more amazing than I ever could have imagined. It’s fun, and it’s something I genuinely enjoy doing. I never imagined it could take over my years of blogging and almost make me quit blogging entirely but here we are. Almost months later, with all the knowledge I have accumulated. What have you learned that has surprised you either from YouTube, or social media in general or just sharing your work?

    Check out my other social media platforms:

    YouTube Channel | Twitter @narcissadeville | Facebook.com/narcissadeville | narcissadeville.tumblr.com | Instagram @narcissadeville | Email: askcissa@narcissadeville.com | Podcast

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.

Reacting to Old Writing

What was I thinking?

From the moment I sit down, I’m nervous. This was a bad idea. My mind is racing with a million thoughts. INTP—the logician—a thousand and one thoughts at a time. My life for years—at least I have a name for it now. I’ve already pressed record and I’m already made up, and my mother is with me, and there’s no backing out now. This was my idea after all.

It’s been years since I’ve looked at it. The cover is as cute as I remember, and I’m almost impressed that at 12 I was able to put this whole thing together. It has my old name and I’m bothered by that, but my attempts to grab masking tape to block it out are thwarted by the masking tape all but being glued to the roll. I give up—and introduce my mother, then begin the way I always do.

“I’m your host, not for possession, Narcissa Deville… and Welcome to Hell,” I’ve added a flourish to the end, all the more dramatic. I’m glad I’m wearing makeup because I can feel my face getting redder by the second as we introduce the book and I begin to read. This is going to be harder than I thought, I realize. But then, that was the point. 2017 has been a year of challenging myself. To move outside of my comfort zone. It’s why I began vlogging in the first place. So I know that I have to do this. And I know that I have to share it. Because this was the point of all of it.

I barely look at the camera the entire time—but I stick with it.

It’s funny in a way, and almost cute in others… I was so passionate even then. Some things never change—though I know that I definitely write better than I did then. It’s easier to edit than I expect and the majority of our 29 minutes ends up in the final version. I watch it several more times, add the finishing touches and prepare to share it. Maybe I’ll do this again sometime. Or maybe I’ve stepped outside of my comfort zone enough for one video.

Carry On | A Book Review

It’s nearing one in the morning, not that I know that at the time, I’m deep in the heart of Carry On. By which I mean, it’s the climactic end and I know that I cannot possibly stop reading now. It’s somewhere around one fifteen by the time I finally finish the book and I feel a mixture of relief and sadness that I’ve completed this book in one night and there is now no more left to read.

I can’t even remember the last time I devoured a book so quickly—but there was just something about it that I couldn’t help but love… and crave more…

Carry On is the story of Simon Snow, “the worst chosen one who has ever been chosen.” Told from the view point of multiple different characters, in the last year of Simon’s school career, and his battle against the Insidious Humdrum. In between we learn that not all is as it seems, and that there is a fine line between love and hate when it comes to him and his roommate Basilton ‘Baz’ Pitch. (Who I kept reading as Bastilion). Reading like a slow-burn romantic fanfic Carry On is a Warholian revamp of the fantasy genre that I honestly could not get enough of. And it’s one of the first times I almost immediately thought, I want to read that again and again.

10 out of 10 would recommend. 5 demon glasses. It was so adorable, and just so addicting…

PS: I’ve found fanfic and it’s soo good. Yay.

May Favorites feat. Happy Sassy B.

A staple of YouTubers across the spectrum is the monthly favorites vlog in which one discusses their favorite things of the month. Or at least, that’s how I understand it in the most basic sense. Honestly I’ve never watched a Monthly Favorites video, so I decided to go about it my own way; breaking it down into multiple categories that relate to things I enjoy and/or care about.
Category Is… May Favorites…

The Fine Line

There is a dangerously fine line between confidence and cockiness, but what is the line, and how do we avoid crossing it?
The thing to know is that confidence vs. cockiness is all about  perspective. A lot of people who are currently successful at the top of their fields, have admitted that even before they were successful they had an idea that they could be successful and/or would be successful. Had they articulated these ideas at the time, it would be easy to view that sort of thing as cockiness. Without the goods to back it up, some might have looked at even people we see as talented without question now, as just full of themselves. We’d tell ourselves, they’ll learn, they’ll get a swift dose of reality.
There’s a certain desire that exists in some, particularly in the art world– to tear down the confidence of others. While there are plenty of inspirational quotes about not looking to others to quantify your self worth, there are a lot of contradicting realities that are taught to us from a very young age. To know your self worth and to know you are talented is to be cocky and therefore, is considered a negative thing you don’t want to be.
To be vocal about this knowledge, and to be willing to share it can get you vilified, and you begin to learn rather quickly that being confident is not actually what people want you to be. Secretly they want you to need them for validation. If you aren’t validated by others, how can you possibly know you are talented, or beautiful, or intelligent?
Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t bad to want validation from others either. But there’s a very real cycle of shame when it comes to validation, where, you aren’t supposed to know you’re talented and admit it, but then if you ask for validation rather than waiting for it to simply come to you, then you look desperate and needy. Another negative that we’re made to feel is wrong, putting us in a lose/lose situation in which either way we’re wrong.

In my conversation with Adrianne, the thing I really took out of all of this was that frankly it shouldn’t matter, there is nothing inherently wrong with being ‘cocky’. You really should be able to know your self worth and admit it.

Is it All Worth it?

writeRecently I’ve noticed a frustrating trend. I’ve worked diligently to ensure that I am posting daily blogs, and 3x weekly vlogs as well as bi-weekly podcasts and essays. I’m making it a point to utilize Twitter more and working to use Facebook more, and ultimately continuing work to grow my brand to its greatest potential. But this has come at a cost, in terms of my literary output. I spend so much of my time working on avenues to get my name out there and get my brand out there that I’m not actually doing the one thing that I desperately need to do to make all of this even worth the effort.

Write.

Mostly I am writing every day in the form of blog posts, or essays or ideas for things, but the novel writing, the part that is why I’m doing any of this has slowed considerably, and it makes me wonder, is platform building worth it, if it comes at the cost of me actually writing?

I feel like I’ve had this existential crisis before, but I still haven’t figured out the answer. I want to believe that I can have both in tandem with one another, building a platform while also continuing to write novels, but the evidence thus far is showing that less and less. The more I do one, the less I seem to do the other. Finding that balance has become increasingly tricky and I can’t help but wonder if something will fall by the wayside in the process.