Saturday, December 17, 2016

Saturday Sentiment: I Can't Vlog, So ...

Okay, y'all know how much I love YouTube, right? And you know that the people I like to watch on there are a mix of topic-based, lifestyle-type channels and follow-me-style vlog channels. Some of the people I watch even manage to juggle both types, with a channel for their topic-based videos and a separate channel for their vlogging.

You know what though, I really can't even say why I love those vlogs so much. Generally, it's nothing exciting; they aren't all travel vlogs or anything really sensational - they're just people, living their lives. Sure, sometimes something more exciting happens, but generally the vlogs I watch are just a string of video clips like, "Hey, camera people, let's go to Target," or "You know what I've been thinking?" or, "Hey, wanna watch me put my Christmas tree up?"

Maybe vlogs are my guilty pleasure. I don't even know why I love them, but I do. And here's the thing - I'm not alone in that, otherwise they wouldn't be such a big deal. But maybe I can explain it to some degree like this:

  1. I'm a single mom. I have two kids, both of whom have ADHD and are often extremely loud and rowdy even when they're on their medications. It's easy enough for me to deal with usually because I'm used to them, but they can be overwhelming for other people, and I'll tell you the truth; it's a little isolating. The other side of this is that I'm a single mom 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. My kids' dad isn't really around a lot, and most of my family are too spread out to be able to spell me now and then so I can get some time to myself. And the people I do know that are close enough geographically to be able to maybe do that sometimes? They're mostly single parents too, so they're just as overwhelmed as I am, and the last thing they want to do is take on more in their lives. I get it, but like I said, it's a little isolating. So, one of the vloggers I really love to watch is a single mom like me. She talks honestly about what it's like when she's overwhelmed and frustrated, and she's just as honest about how much she loves her kids and how dedicated she is to making sure they know they're loved - even when she has to lay a smackdown to make sure they know they're being raised right. She's winning life right now; she's successful, and she's building a good life by pursing her dreams in a way that's true to who she is and what she wants her world to look like. She inspires me to keep pushing on when I think I can't anymore. (To see why I love her, check out her topic-based channel here, and her vlog channel here. She's also a master at co-parenting, and has a spectacular relationship with her ex, who is the father of her children. He vlogs too, so you can get the dad perspective here.)
  2. I was only recently diagnosed with PTSD, but I knew it was there a long time before I finally went to therapy and asked for help dealing with it. If you've been following me for long, you know that I grew up in a variety of abusive situations, and that those situations have (in part) led to me continuing to choose abusive situations in my adult life. Now I'm dealing with the consequences of the choices I've made - but in the meantime, my personal life is a mess, my mental health is a challenge to maintain, and ... well, that can be a little isolating too. So, another vlogger I love to watch is a girl who suffers from anxiety that's sometimes crippling. She talks about mental health and meditation, mindfulness, and her efforts to live a positive and happy life. She loves cats and makeup, travel and nature and laughing. And when I watch her vlogs, I find myself laughing too. Her smile is infectious, her excitement is downright joyful, and the way she and her boyfriend play together always makes me laugh. She reminds me to keep track of my own mindset, and inspires me to give myself the compassion I need sometimes. (Check out her topic-based channel here, but only if you're prepared to be immediately addicted to her utter cuteness. Then when you're ready to be hooked forever, go see how cute she is here, on her vlog channel. Her boyfriend has his own channel too, where he posts a mix of all sorts of things sporadically; that's here.)
  3. I also suffer from depression, as I've mentioned several times here before. Well, you know the old saying, "Laughter is the best medicine?" In my experience, it really is; sometimes you just need to kick back and laugh until you feel better. For that, I always turn to the same hilarious guy, who posts mostly topic-based videos, rants, and challenge-games. He never fails to make me laugh, and even his vlog channel is entertaining and funny. (Check him out on his main channel here, and his vlog channel here. For his older stuff, which is also utterly hilarious, click here.)
All that, to say this: Sometimes, watching all those vlogs makes me forget how utterly difficult it is to stand in front of a camera, staring at your own face in the screen, and talk to people who may not ever choose to listen. Now and then I'll think, "Man, that looks fun. I think I'll try it." And I'll download an app or pull up my phone camera or even go all out and dig out my for-real camera, and I'll film something. Then I'll watch it, gag a little at my own awkwardness, and decide (again) that vlogging isn't for me. But blogging? That's totally my jam, right? So, while I plan to continue my regular Saturday posts, and (as of right now) I'm going to keep Sunday completely off my blogging schedule, I'm planning some big things for this site in 2017 - beginning with my own blog-mostly version of the daily vlogs I love so much, largely inspired by the recent influx of content due to "vlogmas."

I'm changing it up in a couple of ways though, the first of which is purposely not beginning in December. For one, December is a month where everyone's newsfeed is already full of holiday busyness, and if you're a person who follows multiple channels and/or blogs, the last thing you have time for is someone else to jump on the bandwagon. For another thing, December is a busy time for me and I want to spend my holiday moments focused on my kids, without adding the stress of another daily thing to the top of the pile. But ...

January is always a great time to start something new, and this blog has been an amazing way for me to step out of my comfort zones and edge my focus in new directions. So I'm thinking during the month of January, I'm going to ATTEMPT daily blogging (except Sundays) - under the context that if it works out, I'll keep it up indefinitely. I've been prepping for this idea for a while, and since I'm a sucker for weekly-style posts and social media conversations, I've spent this week brainstorming post ideas and "weekly" topics that I can rotate through here on the blog, as well as creating a list of fun post ideas that may not fit a specific day but still align perfectly with who I am and what I like to write about.

I'll be honest; this has me genuinely excited. I feel like it's going to be lots of fun, and I'm really looking forward to building a larger community on this site - and I think it'll be a good way for me to connect with readers who have been disappointed in the way I've had to cancel most of my event plans for 2017. Think this way, you get more of my writing, my life, and my focus - and hopefully, through your comments and interaction, I'll get to know more of you better.

Let's start with this: Comment below and tell me what kinds of posts you'd like to see, or leave a question you'd like me to answer in a future post.

And until next time,
Happy Reading,
B.

42 comments:

  1. Honestly I'm just so proud of your journey. I also suffer from PTSD both cause my childhood and being a veteran. I read your blogs and get so much out of them most days. I dont' have kids so some of the kids one I don't but I still read them. I feel like I know you and we have never even met (though I'd love to). December is a hugely busy month for me as I work for UPS so I miss a lot since I'm just too busy to join. I'm glad you are waiting till January cause I'd hate to miss out.
    But I did think of a question just cause I'm curious favorite way to read a book (e version or print?) I love my Kindle app but I'm a print person and love my print books so much more.
    Merry Christmas to you and your girls

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment. Sometimes, a girl just really needs to wake up to some positive feedback. ❤ I'm so glad to know this blog is giving something to someone ... I love doing it because it lets me stay accessible to readers to who come here for my books, but it also means a lot to me to know that writing all of this is helpful to someone in more than just a book way. It started as an author blog, but I'm so much more than books as a person, and I love being able to acknowledge that my readers are more than books, too. That's one of the things I'm most looking forward to with the changes coming here in 2017.

      I'm not a veteran - my PTSD is a combination of life things, from when I was around 4 to as recently as this year ... I'm dealing, but it isn't easy and some days are harder than others. Thank you for your service - and for enduring despite your experiences. I wish you a Merry Christmas, too, and blessings going forward as we continue to get to know each other in January.

      My last point: your question was a great one and gave me a great post idea! It's going on my January schedule right now. ❤

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  2. Right!? So many vloggers make it look so easy. Then I try to talk in a camera and I'm like... my voice sounds weird. Why does my voice sound so weird?! AND WHY DO I LOOK LIKE THAT!? haha not for me either.

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    1. That's what gets me too. Nothing makes you insecure like literally watching yourself on-screen.

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  3. I had no idea reading your blog that you have had such an abusive past. I think you are very brave to bare your soul and share such painful memories and the struggles you are still having. Did you start the daily vlogs?

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    1. No, I really don't think I can do vlogging - it feels even more personal somehow than writing here. But I did blog daily in January of this year (2017) instead!

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  4. I am not sure what I would like to see more of. I really love all of your posts.

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  5. I enjoy watching youtube videos as well. They're really entertaining and you're going to learn a lot as well especially if you're watching something that discusses a topic that you're interested in.

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    1. That's my favorite thing about the vloggers I follow - there's always something valuable (to me) in it.

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  6. I think it's awesome that you're watching vlogs, they're always so fun and relaxing. At least, depending on what you're watching. I enjoy your posts and I'm not expecting you to post anything, just post whatever it is that you feel like posting.

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  7. Hi Brandi, I have never watched any vlogs, but I am glad you have found some that make you laugh and others that inspire you. I do however love reading blogs and completely agree with you that it's a great way to step out of one's comfort zone!

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    1. Thank you! I think that's the best part of blogging - the way it exercises your ability to step outside of your own safety zone for a while and reach out into the world.

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  8. I have always loved watching vlogs, but never ventured into doing my own. I feel so awkward talking to a camera, but I really think it is something you should just go for!

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    1. That's what I keep telling myself. "Screw it, I can DO this!" But then I watch myself back and I'm all, "Nah, vlogging is for THEM. BLOGGING is for ME." And then I delete the video, lol.

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  9. I personally don't think I could ever vlog. It's just not my thing. But if you want to do it, I say go for it! You've come so far in life.

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    1. Thank you! Maybe I'll have the guts to try it again eventually.

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  10. There are so many amazing stories out there, we all have our various crosses to bear. Kudos to you for doing so amazingly!

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  11. I'm sorry to read about your difficult experiences! I definitely prefer writing that speaking, so vlogging is not my cup of tea!:) Good luck!

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    1. Yeah I've been venturing into audio lately though, and have added podcasting to my Patreon site (patreon.com/authorbrandikennedy). That has been really fun to play around with - but I'm still not sure about video.

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  12. I haven't watched a vlog before but it seems a good way to spend some extra time because it is a twofer: blog information and a video. You can write a great script and act it out. A topic that would be interesting with your challenges would be meal time. I bet you have a lot of quick meals and that your dinner conversation is a lot of fun!! Good luck.

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    1. Oooh, those are great ideas for posts! Thank you!

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  13. Thanks for sharing, many are not so brave. You are an awesome writer and youtube is a great outlet!!

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  14. Vlogs can be very encouraging sometimes. I can find some really neat things that I've never thought of before. I really like watching makeup vlogs. I hope your depression gets better! Warmer weather tends to help some. Good luck in your vlogging ventures!

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  15. I'm excited that you're embracing vlogging. I haven't been brave enough to try it but after seeing so many do it, I'd love to one day.

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    1. Me too - I don't know that I ever will though.

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  16. I love watching vloggers!! They have so much fun behind the camera. Me, I would LOVE to do it, but I am so shy behind the camera.

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    1. That's my problem too - I want to do it and I think it would be lots of fun, but every time I sit in front of a camera, I just get all weird and awkward.

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  17. First I was afraid for you. Then, I was proud of you. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Oh my gosh, thank you for that. It means more than you might think.

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  18. Oh man, I feel you. I can't see myself ever vlogging - just watching myself on camera makes me uncomfortable haha. I don't know how all these people do it! But best of luck to you in your vlogging journey!

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    1. Thank you. I'm not sure I'll ever really get into vlogging though, much as I might want to.

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    1. Haha, that's what people keep telling me.

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  20. We love your blog. I am disappointed when you aren't in a share thread. Some people are meant for vlogging, others not. We try to do it sometimes, but it is a bit of a struggle. We prefer blogging ourselves.

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    1. Aw, thank you for your sweet comment! I'm glad to know that what I'm saying is resonating with someone.

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  21. I tried to start a vlog but couldn't get off on the right foot. So instead I Facebook live. A lot. A lot more than I probably should haha. But I LOVE doing it just to be real and it's nice to hear that the realness is inspiring!

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