Monday, November 9, 2015

Things I've learned about myself from YouTube

I've been meaning to post this for awhile, but things in the real world have gotten out of hand for awhile and things are just now getting back to normal.  It's amazing how doing several jobs at the same time can wear you out.

In addition to my business review of starting a YouTube channel, I've done a personal review as well.  I've wanted to see how this new venture has been affecting me, good and bad.  There's been some surprising things I've learned about myself in the process.  Let me share them with you (in no particular order).

1) I sigh a lot.

It seems I sigh a lot while I'm recording.  I'm not really aware of it, but I hear it when I do the editing.  I've been trying to consciously think about NOT doing it but that makes me self conscious about other things and then I start fumbling my words.  I have adjusted my gain on the mic and maybe my sighing won't get picked up as often as it has in the past.

2) I say "dude" "guy" "all right" "seriously" and "no no no" a lot.

Sometimes when I listen to myself while I'm editing I think I'm in an old '90s stoner movie because I say "dude" and "guy" and "seriously" a lot.  I sometimes sound like I'm stoned too.  I don't know where I picked up this verbal ticks and even I find them annoying.  The problem is I don't know that I'm saying them until after I've said them.  I don't usually think about what I'm saying before I open my mouth.  These words just come out naturally.  I don't want to try and change them because I think that would make me sound pretentious.  I want to sound natural so I guess you'll be hearing a lot of "dude", "guy", "all right", "seriously" and "no no no" a lot.

3) I say "thank you" to AI characters (only sometimes sarcastically)

Like they really have a choice about helping me out.  They're programed to do specific things.  But sometimes I struggle with them not helping me out, so when they finally do, I thank them.  I guess thanking someone is a good things, right?  Unfortunately I also use "thank you" sarcastically too.  When someone (human or AI) does something not very helpful I thank them sarcastically.  That's just me.  I can't hold it back.  I sometimes get a smart mouth on me.  I use to control it better when I was in school because I didn't want to get in trouble, but I'm finding it slips out more often when playing video games.  Let the natural sarcastic asshole in me come out.  Sorry, I don't think there's anything I can do about this.

4) I make a weird clicking noise with my lips sometimes

I don't know how to explain this.  It's not a lip smacking, or teeth sucking noise, but it's not much different.  I usually do this when I first start talking, especially if I've been quiet for awhile.  I'm not even consciously aware I'm doing it at the time, but I hear it in the editing.  I've adjusted the gain on the mic so hopefully it won't pick it up as often.  Even though I'm not consciously aware that I'm doing it I think I haven't done it as much since I've become aware of it.

5) It's hard working two jobs.

Because I'm treating this like a second job I take everything I do seriously.  I started to keep track of time spent doing things and it's been eye opening.  To render, sync, save, edit, resave, compress and upload to YouTube a video that ends up roughly 30 minutes takes about 3 hours to do.  That means if I post a video five days a week it takes 15 hours just to edit and upload them.  That's not counting filming time.  I typically try to keep the filming to 45-50 minutes before ending the recording.  Some have gone longer.  Some shorter.  In the process of editing, I take that 45-50 minutes video and get it down to as close to 30 minutes as I can without losing continuity of the game.  So to make 5 videos in a week I need to film for 5-6 hours.  That's my Saturday in a nutshell.  Sunday is editing as much as I can.  The rest of the week is more editing or filming depending on what I need at the time. 

That means I spend about 20-30 hours a week on making content for my YouTube channel.  That's on top of my 40 hour a week job, laundry, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, real life crap, etc. that I've got to do.  At times it's exhausting.  I'm not getting paid to spend all that time doing this and I'm okay with that . . . for now.  I'm learning so much and it's so much fun to do.  Right now what I sacrifice if I need more time is sleep.  Which leads me to . . .

6) I'm sleeping a lot less since I started my channel.

I was typically getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night.  Even though that was enough sleep sometimes I woke up tired.  Now I'm up editing until 11:30pm or 12am before finally calling it a night and slipping in between the sheets for some shut eye since I have to get up at 6am for work.  Except I can't shut my brain off.  I miss writing and being creative and the editing process on my videos is filling that void in me.  Because of that my brain starts reeling when I edit.  I think of all the possibilities and my juices start to flow.  By the time I need to go to bed my brain is in full gear. 

I've tried everything I could think of to shut my brain off so I can get to sleep, but so far nothing has helped.  I'll lay in bed until 2:00 or 3:00am before my body is finally so exhausted my brain doesn't have a choice but to power down for the night.  This means that I'm only getting 3-4 hours of sleep a night.  You would think that I would be dragging myself around the next day at work.  But I'm not.  Oh sure, my ability to come up with the quick answer is a little bit slower, but I get there eventually.  Physically I feel fine.  Mentally I'm just a little bit slower than normal.  And all this lack of sleep hasn't caught up to me by the end of the week.  I usually only get an extra couple of hours of sleep (5-6 hrs) on the weekend from what I get during the week.  I don't know if this lack of sleep will eventually catch up to me and rear it's ugly 3-headed monster at me and pound me in to oblivious sleep like Rip Van Winkle, but so far it hasn't affected me and I feel fine.

7) I'm not as depressed as I once was.

Every now and then in my life a wave of darkness seems to come over me.  It usually comes when I start thinking that I'm not where I want to be in my career, my life or my relationships.  The darkness threatens to overwhelm me but it usually passes within a couple of days or a week or two.  I've learned to embrace the darkness instead of fighting it.  That seems to help it pass much quicker than it would otherwise.  Like a fleeing summer thunderstorm.  It comes in menacingly, dumps a bunch of rain all over you, but that moves out and leaves everything fresh and new behind in it's wake.

Ever since I starting my channel I haven't noticed those coming thunderstorms.  I don't know if that's I'm just too busy to think on those things that trigger the depression in me, or some other reason.  I do know that I'm very happy doing everything for my channel, even if I find it exhausting at times.  It's playing the games, the process of editing and making something and seeing that finished product out there in the world that I really enjoy.  I don't care that I'm not making any money off of YouTube.  Yet, that's all the stories you hear about is some YT celebrity striking it rich where reporters wonder why.  I don't care.  The process makes me happy and that's good enough for me.

Well, those things are just some of the stuff that I've learned about myself since starting my YouTube channel.  There's more I could tell you, but I've bored you enough so far.  It's been a fascinating experiment for me and I'm glad I'm doing it.  And I'll continue to do so for a long time, I hope.  If you're interested you can find my YouTube channel here: Pengwenn's YouTube channel.  I hope you have as much fun watching as I've had making the videos.  Enjoy!


Zenra Nukenin said...

What I discovered from watching your videos was that your voice sounds different from what I remember. Maybe it's a difference in your XBL mic? Maybe it's just been that long since I've talked to you? Whatever the reason, that's what stood out to me the most. Not in a bad way, mind you. Just different. In fact, you sounded younger than I remembered. That's good, right?

I can definitely relate to a few of the things you mentioned.

I also become oddly attached to NPC companions. Not just the ones you're supposed to develop an attachment to (like Yorda in Ico, or Ellie in The Last of Us), but even the random, infinite "Homies" in Saints Row. I feel like we've done so much to help each other that I hate to just kick them to the curb. Forming these small attachments to AI characters feels like a dirty little secret that deserves a help group, but I'm sure it's more prevalent than I realize. Probably even the overwhelming majority.

Since I became an adult (a few decades now) I've been averaging five hours of sleep a day myself; give or take an hour. Usually, I'll have one day every two or three weeks where I'll crash for around twelve hours (my version of your Rip Van Winkle scenario), or worse yet, I'll have a week every couple of months where I sleep around eight hours a day. There's so much to be done, I hate losing all of that productive time. I guess when you're doing things that you enjoy, it's easy to skip a little sleep.

What intrigued me the most about this post was your catchphrases. I'm REALLY going to have to watch some more of your videos now and listen for them. I don't really remember you repeating particular words too often (maybe "dude"), but I'm sure it's different when you're talking to another person as opposed to a game.

Pengwenn said...

It's weird making a video because I'm not really just talking to the game, but also to anyone that watches. At the moment the only one I have is the game so I talk to the NPCs. I think it sounds stupid but who else am I going to talk to? If you have a PS3 and we have games in common we could play together again . . . and that might make for an interesting video on my channel. With your permission of course.