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.

Seriously?! Here’s the Thing- Outing People

popcultureOne of my goals for 2017 was initially to try not to let little things get to me, which needless to say has been largely unsuccessful thus far.

Not for nothing though, this particular story really stuck in my craw and pissed me off so much that I decided I wanted to talk about it here.

Back in the early-2000’s Perez Hilton made a name for himself outing celebrities, talking shit about celebrities, and just generally being really toxic. Somewhere in the last few years however, we’ve come to realize that actually outing people is super gross, and thankfully it’s something that a lot of people look at for what it is, really fucking gross and shady. Unless you’re like some website that shoots pictures of Caitlyn mid-transition then it’s totally fair game, because obviously while it’s totally gross to out gay people trans people are fair game. Which brings me to the crux of this story.

This past week on a (game-show?) called Survivor (I didn’t even know this shit was still running), a contestant decided to go for broke and out a fellow contestant as a trans man. Because… nothing says I’m desperate to stay in the competition than throwing someone under the bus for their gender identity.

Luckily (if you can call it that) the show’s host made it a point to basically tell the guy hey that’s not fucking cool, but now this person who spoiler alert didn’t want his business all over the universe now has to talk about this because… why would anyone ever let this go?

Some people, (shitty people) would likely suggest that if he didn’t want his business all over the world then he shouldn’t have gone on reality tv. To those people I say… shut up and have a seat.

And I wish I had a megaphone to say this:

TRANS PEOPLE DO NOT OWE YOU THEIR HISTORY!

This is really really important.

Just because you’re going on reality television, does not mean every cavity or pap-smear is suddenly up for public consumption. A person’s transition is a personal and private decision (occasionally a medical one) and spoiler alert no one is required to give you their complete medical history in order to be a contestant on a game show/ reality competition.

And really, WHO FUCKING CARES IF HE’S TRANS?!

How does that impede his ability to be on tv?

It wasn’t just that he outed this guy either, it’s that he did so, claiming that he was lying and hiding by not disclosing his trans-ness.

Nuh-uh!

Don’t play that asinine you’re lying if your trans trope.

STOP IT!

Newsflash, you don’t get to decide for people what their gender is. Just because you don’t agree with who a person is doesn’t give you the right to tell the world.

I don’t care if you are bffs with a trans person, that doesn’t inherently give you the right to out them to everyone you know. If they give you permission that’s one thing, but it’s nobodies damn business for you to just share with the world.

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?

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.