September Surrender: Day 15
What I’m Letting Go: Can’t Lose the Magic
I have 99 YouTube tabs open right now. I counted. I just see a video I’m interested in, open in a new tab, and then keep on consuming the ones I already have open. I can have something as just background noise, or sit and marvel at the micro-filmmaking marvel I’ve discovered. We are lucky to be awash with content in this day and age because there’s something for everybody. Though at this stage, I’d much rather be creating than consuming. But I’m just not there yet.
Not all content is created equal, though. In fact, I think some of it just might be here to purposefully degrade what makes this kind of consumption so special. When I was a kid, The Little Mermaid was my entire life. I identified so much with Ariel because she was a gigantic nerd who was independent but then got her guy even when she didn’t have to say anything. Perfect for a shy little lady such as myself. It was to the point where one of my school assignments was to draw a picture of what you wanted to be when you grew up, and I wanted to be a mermaid. Yep, that’s a five-year-old’s mind for you.
It was only when I got older (and grew out of the Disney Princess mindset) did I realize what kind of time and care went into creating these Disney properties. There was hours and hours of research, bringing in an actress to create all of Ariel’s exaggerated facial expressions, being one of the first Disney films to use CGI. It was a filmmaking masterpiece along with a lot of other Disney Renaissance pieces. And look what they did. They remade it. Made it live action. Basically slapped it together. Wiped the entire soul out of it. And for what? Money? You’re not going to convince me these live-action Disney remakes were made for any reason other than being part of a money laundering scheme. But I’m just a conspiracy nut with no proof.
My “let go” is for everyone today. I’d like us to remember that more isn’t always better. Because, in my view, content isn’t worth anything if it’s simply put together with no real vision. Watch any behind-the-scenes footage from The Lion King and see what a passion project it was. You don’t get any sentiment like that when you view the 2019 remake. I’d love for us to remember how to put care into what we create, lest we let something foul and unnecessarily slip through the cracks. Not every idea translates well, and I get we can’t always create bangers every time we do so. But taking the time to craft and really putting in the effort will always shine first, even if not everyone is hot on your project.
By the way, we’re down to 96 tabs right now.
What I’ve Discovered: What More Can I Say?
I’ve written about my YouTube career before. I had a good time. I still make videos every so often, even if YouTube is actively suppressing my name in the search. That doesn’t matter to me, as I make my content just for me and whoever is still watching me out there on the airwaves. It’s a massive departure of what I used to do in the past, and what actually thrived on the platform.
I used to get tens of thousands of views on a video. It’d be nothing to see 11,000 views on any given thought I had, whether it was about a crappy band or a movie that sucked. That was a lot of views back in the day. I’m grateful for any views I get these days, but it used to be all about the numbers game. It was interesting how low effort all my videos were, as I’d just look into my laptop camera and talk. But it worked. I never needed to change the formula, even when I felt like it was necessary. However, even I knew when the tides were turning and my destiny as a “YouTuber” were not being fulfilled.
Ten years ago, I made this video, where I spoke about the nature of “ranting” and how I felt I was moving past all that. sure I was having fun, but what was even the point? I was just getting madder and madder at things I had no control over. Even to the point where I was saying these things shouldn’t even exist. Well, why shouldn’t they? It’s interesting to realize that just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean another person won’t see magic through a different lens. I feel that should be obvious, which is why I largely stopped ranting to begin with.
It’s nice getting older and maturing to find that while there will always be things that exist that annoy you and are rant-able, you never have to consume the thing. You can let it hang there and have no more cares about it. All you can hope is for people to consume it in the right way, and not let it become an all-encompassing obsession. And in order to be a YouTube, especially in this day and age, that’s exactly what it needs to become. There’s other things on my mind now. Though I’ll always find time for a scary game here and there.
What I Hope to Find: Word Pressed
Back when I was in grade school, I was absolutely obsessed with The Legend of Zelda. I’d play Ocarina of Time all day every day when I got home from school. There’s even a picture of me in my fifth grade yearbook where I’m holding up the strategy guide I’d bring in every day for months. This translated into a love of writing stories featuring the Zelda characters, which I documented here. Being such a popular creator gave me only a bit of a swelled head, but I was productive and consistent enough to make a significant enough impact.
I never really got too many critical comments. They were called “flames” back in those internet days. On the off chance I did get a “flame” comment, of course I’d be bummed, but the rest of the response was so positive, it really ended up not mattering. Besides, who doesn’t need a little constructive criticism here and there?
One day, my mom was on my computer to play one of my PC games when she saw a document on my desktop that was titled “i am sad.doc.” It was my latest chapter, which was hard to write, as I broke my wrist playing field hockey. My “i am sad” was the first few words of my author’s note, where I told the story about breaking my wrist. But my mom read on, not knowing what she was about to read. She told me later how funny she thought my writing was and how surprising it was to see, but she didn’t like the format I was writing in. Back then, I wrote it like a stage play instead of a traditional story, but it all seemed to work. It was a simple criticism, and I took it. I was just more happy my mom liked my writing.
I know the more I put my content out there, the more open it is to criticism. Not only do I hope to find the thing that puts me on the map, but I’d love the strength to actually take what people say and use it constructively. It’s near impossible to expect everyone to get exactly what you mean all the time. Perhaps the most successful kind of content is one with millions of interpretations. I hope I can one day be as prolific to offer something for everyone.