Writing Wednesdays: Why I've decided to start vlogging

Alright, hear me out.

Yes, I have had a YouTube channel for about three years. Yes, I have uploaded some vlogs before. Yes, I even tried 'daily vlogging' once. No, I have never been consistent with any of it.

But this summer (I say, in my best dramatic movie trailer-guy voice) that's all about to change...

Why do I even have a YouTube account, if I don't vlog?

Fair question, to be honest. I had one because... of course I would? It's a social media, and one that made sense for me, I thought. Mostly, I've used it to share videos whenever I've had any kind of significant news to share. I posted a few different vlogs about The Kissing Booth movie when that came out, and last year, tried something different with a bit of a 'travel vlog', of my trip to Rio in Brazil for the Bienal do Livro.

It was another way for me, as a writer, to be able to reach my audience. And, personally, I like when you get to see from people behind something, like a book or a blog. 

I don't have great equipment or anything, but I do have better equipment over that I bought over the last year or so. By which I mean - I now own a tripod to put my phone in, and a remote microphone to plug into it, all of which were pretty cheap on Amazon, and are only one step up from just using the webcam on my laptop, but it does mean I'm now happier with the setup I can get, using the basics.

Yes, fine, I'm blaming the equipment, but I did always hate the effect it had, and how bad it looked. I didn't like the angles, was limited as to where I could position my laptop to film, and not liking the end product of my videos just left me really unmotivated to make more.

Real quick: what happened to the daily vlogs?

Once I moved to Durham and got my own flat in 2017, I thought I'd have a go at daily vlogging. I thought it'd help me get into vlogging more, came up with a bunch of ideas, and managed it for about five days before giving up.

Again - I didn't like the quality of the videos so was unmotivated to make them, and back then, was still getting used to being on camera.

What am I even going to vlog about?

Another very fair question.

Well, on this, I've taken your guidance. I've asked a few times on Instagram and collected a lot of suggestions, and I'm also basing it off questions and messages I get asked the most often, or that I find the most interesting, or that generally get a fair amount of interest.

So, currently scheduled for upload on my YouTube channel, are vlogs like:

  • Behind the Scenes: Being on set of The Kissing Booth
  • Should you post your book on Wattpad?
  • The worst reviews I ever got for The Kissing Booth
  • How to start writing a book

If you have suggestions for things you'd like to see from me, please let me know in the comments or over on Twitter (where you can find me @Reekles). 

I'm hoping they're at least a little bit entertaining (we all know I don't take myself too seriously) and that the ones offering writing advice will be helpful for some people. 

So what's changed now? 

For one thing: I've spent a lot of time, now, talking to the camera. Instagram Stories and Lives, a handful more vlogs, promotional videos for my publishers... 

The tripod helps too, to be honest. It just gives me a little more freedom of where I can sit in my little one-bedroom flat to film a vlog.

My editing skills probably still leave a lot to be desired (I use iMovie, which came free on my computer) and while I'd love to add sound effects and animation and things, I'm more focused on producing A Video than learning how to do all of that just yet. Maybe at some point, though!

Vlogging more was one of my goals for 2020. It's taken me a while to get around to it, but I'm there now. It's less to do with 'building an audience' or anything (I mean, I kind of have that on Twitter and Instagram already, and with this blog?) but more something I think will be fun and want to do for myself. 

Because here's the thing: I love a project. 

I love trying new things and the learning curve, and picking up new skills, and working on something. It probably sounds really nerdy, but I get a lot of enjoyment out of turning something into a 'project', and analysing it, and seeing how I can do it better. 

For example - my newest book, Lockdown on London Lane, which I decided to post on Wattpad. I've loved checking the stats for that, and applying some of my 'theory' around consistent posting, including images, and so on.

I'm not sure how long I'll be able to keep up the weekly (or even twice-weekly) vlogging, but I do want to do it for a while just to get used to it - and I'd like to keep it up at least twice a month, in the long term. 

I guess we'll see how it goes... and see what you guys think of it!

Make sure you subscribe here - I'm planning to post videos once or twice a week (on Thursdays and Sundays) with the first one going up tomorrow and there will be lots of exciting TKB2 content coming up later this summer once the movie's out!

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