My blog! I have not forgotten about you.
As always, things seem to be going in a whirlwind, but I have always been a writer and I’m convinced that I will always be, so despite all the YouTubing and film school, reading and writing are my first loves. Yes! I’ve even gotten back into reading. For leisure. Regularly.
But let’s backtrack. YouTube? I’m very very far away from having any kind of traction, but slowly, it’s growing thanks to my perhaps obnoxious and constant self-promotion on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
I’ll be honest, it’s only been 4 days (at the time of writing this) and all this promoting is exhausting. Added on top of that is the rush and scramble of going back to class and getting back on schedule after a 5-week faculty strike.
Unlike the rest of my recent social media activity however, the main purpose of this post isn’t to self-promote.
If I’m serious about being a YouTuber (and I am, I’ve been putting it off and finding excuses for far too long), it isn’t easy, and it takes commitment to persistent quality content from the very beginning. It’s a business after all, and you need to get the word out beyond friends and family.
That being said, just because you know it’ll be hard, doesn’t make it any easier. I know all this self-promotion is necessary, but I wasn’t a very heavy social media user to begin with (barely use Twitter, only been on IG for a year, and what’s Snapchat? Kidding, not that behind. But I don’t have it).
The repetition and scriptedness of it all, again, is necessary, but also makes me uncomfortable. Like, follow, share, subscribe. Watch, click, please, thanks. Post, promote, check analytics, modify, strategize. Wash, rinse, repeat. I’m not used to drawing so much attention to myself. But I guess I’d better.
In the spare 5-weeks of time that I’d been granted, I got a new notebook. If you’re like me, you have about 10 of them, each with a different purpose and you get a new one for a new thing before you’re even half-way through any of the others.
On that notebook, it reads, “The Best is Yet to Come.” A platitude that happens to hold a lot of meaning for me. A promise to get me through long, dry, seasons of waiting.
In my tweens when all I could think about was the day I died, the Best is yet to come. In my teens when I had no idea what career path would open up for me, the Best is yet to come. In my twenties when job security isn’t really a thing in my field, the Best is yet to come. When I’m waiting out this season of singleness, the Best is yet to come.
Except, that’s the thing. I shouldn’t be waiting out the season of singleness. It’s a gift, and an opportunity. When (or if) that season comes to an end, and I meet that guy, and enter a whole new world and level of learning and growth and sanctification and struggle — don’t I want to be able to say that I didn’t waste my single years? That I didn’t waste all the amazing free time, the freedom to go do things with or without another human.
In a Matt Chandler video where he calls out singles on idleness, he points out that while ladies pine after their man, imaginary or not, sitting there, waiting, day after day after day — there’s work to be done. There’s a harvest for the reaping. Young junior and senior high teenage girls think the older ones are so cool (even when we’re really not). And we know it’s true because we were teens a few years ago too.
Leverage that. Leverage that? Yes. And that’s why I started the YouTube channel, and why I didn’t go for it until now.
Until now, my attempts at YouTube channels really had been for self-promotion: put up my work, get attention online — and even though I want that, like I said earlier, too much attention is uncomfortable. Reaching out socially is draining at the thought of it. The motivation to continue and sustain such an endeavour just wasn’t there.
But as people keep telling me, it doesn’t sound like it, but it’s much easier long-term to do things for others than to do for yourself. Kind of like shopping — choosing a gift for a loved one is much more fun than sorting through the chaotic, mismatched sale rack at the back of Winners for a decent new top for work.
I have a junior high sister, and she’s my biggest fan. If my videos do nothing for anyone, but can make her smile and bring her a bit of encouragement when I’m away for so long; if they can make her eyes light up with that childlike wonder long after she starts growing out of it; if she can feel empowered as a bright young woman stepping into the strange realm of adolescence, the channel will have fulfilled its purpose. And if God can use my videos to do that for others her age, or anyone, really, all the glory is His.
It’s a well-known, perhaps overused theme/mission verse, but it’s nonetheless an important one to keep me grounded in my reasons for doing this, but it’s also an encouragement for others.
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. (1 Tim 4:12)
The younger generation has its flaws and drive their parents insane. For different reasons and in different contexts, we are sometimes seen as oversensitive, dependent and incapable. Whether those things are true or not, all the time or not, “I feel you, bro. I’ve been there.” And I know in those times when I needed to be told that the Best is yet to come, that I’ll want to stick around for what’s coming around the corner, a little bit of empowerment went a long way. Just a little bit of adventure every day to get me to the next.
So yes, it’s hard doing this, it’s hard getting started, it’s exhausting, it’s a battlefield, and if my audience gets bigger, all of it will only be amplified. But this was never supposed to be the easy path. This was never supposed to be born of selfish ambition. This was never supposed to be about self-promotion, and pretending people care about what I do every now and then. This is a mission, to show people how to see life as though we enjoyed it more often, because if we did, maybe we would.
Speaking of which, sorry-not-sorry plug time. If this “mission or cause” is something that interests you, Kindly like, follow, share, subscribe 🙂 Audience building starts with YOU!
So to keep this up and help push myself through the hard parts, I’ve set up a few “Ground Rules” for myself at the front of my notebook, and I’d like to be kept accountable to them. Elisa, Esther, Dorothy, Mary, Angel — 🙂 love yous.
- So whether you eat or drink, or WHATEVER you do, do ALL for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Phil 2:13). Remember for whom and why you do this.
- And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today… The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent (Exodus 14:13-14). The Lord has already done the work. Work from rest, not for it.
- …Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that” (James 5:14-15). Don’t move without Him. He doesn’t need you, He’s inviting you into His work. Get over yourself.
- Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Give thanks no matter what, have fun no matter what.
I don’t know what the future holds, I don’t know where this road or my filmmaking career will take me, but whatever it is, I look forward to it, because the Best is yet to come.