I’ve been vlogging for the last week or so and it is waaayyy out of my comfort zone (as most viewers can probably tell). But I’m going to keep going with the videos by implementing some of the stuff I’m learning below.

Vlogging (for me) is not for serious or complicated topics.

I wanted to try the John Green style vlogging where I talked about a serious topic that I truly care about. But when I tried this with my #HeForShe video, I wasn’t super happy with the results and ended up doing a follow-up blog post to explain my thinking further and to better articulate what I meant to say in that video.

It’s probably short-sighted to say vlogging is NOT for these topics, but I would say that I don’t have enough vlogging experience to communicate my more serious ideas well in this medium… at least not yet. I like having the ability to revise my statements and improve my level of detail, which blogging affords much more readily than vlogging.

Editing is the true time killer of vlogging.

Recording my videos has been a breeze, but editing them afterward is quite boring! I’m not that surprised since I feel the same way about my novels. My ideal process for vlogging is probably similar to my ideal for editing a book—letting someone else take a pass at my rough draft before I put the final polish on it, and giving that person collaboration credit.

Either way, I have to find a way to cut down on editing. I believe this could be handled by tweaking the format of my current vlogging style. I could also simply NOT edit, like what the guys on the Self-Publishing Podcast (and numerous other podcasts) do. I don’t find this so engaging when I watch my own videos back, but it doesn’t bother me in the slightest when I watch other people do it. Maybe it’s just not as compelling when it’s your own stuff?

The live component of the process is definitely fascinating as well, so that could be an option in the future; however, I would feel much more comfortable doing so if I had a co-host (or a rotating co-host) to play off of. On the other hand, there are technology challenges with having a co-host, and I do rather enjoy recording videos on my own schedule and having full control over what makes it into the final cut.

Also, I’m not going to do a video five days week, at least not until the editing stops being so burdensome. I’ve spent nearly 4 hours a day on vlogging for the past week and a half, and it’s not serving my fiction writing or Prose on Fire, which is probably more important in the long run! So that has to change, too.

Vlogging may be better with a topic.

I hate having a topic—always have, always will. My thoughts are too diverse to stick to one thing, and I like hearing myself talk, which makes it even harder to stay on topic.

But I think I want a more unified topic on my vlog, rather than the smattering of content I was planning. The problem with the smattering is that the topic then becomes “Monica and her thoughts.” And, especially for video, I don’t particularly want to be the topic. I’m not interested in celebrity at this point in my life—maybe if I was 22 again, but right now I’m interested in enjoying deep relationships with my inner circle and keeping everyone else at arm’s length.

One topic I’m considering (and will be testing over the coming weeks) is that of fantasy and sci-fi. I love these two genres and watch and read (and write) a lot in both of them, so it’s not going to be hard to come up with topics. And, because this episodic content is becoming much more evergreen thanks to streaming, I believe this topic is much more viable long-term than it was, say, five years ago? I need me some evergreen… because I hate creating something that has a shelf life.

Moving Forward

So far, this has been a pet project of mine, but my subscriber count is going up each time I post and I’m getting more views on each new video (plus a lot of people go back and start at the beginning, too). I definitely want to keep going and I’m curious what my audience would look like if I stuck to fantasy and sci-fi + recorded in a one-take, streaming fashion as opposed to doing the jump cuts.

If you want to follow my videos as I experiment and sort all of this out, you can basically watch my progress and evolution on my Youtube channel. Check out the videos here! »

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