There comes a time when you realise that a hobby is either slowly dwindling into just something that you used to do, or that it's grown into a passion.
Earlier this year, after much persuasion from friends, I decided to start making YouTube videos. It quickly became a passion and I wrote about it on this very blog.
So, why, I hear you cry, am I writing about it again?!
Because, my dear readers, the passion has - rather incredibly - grown.
I've become a full-on YouTuber. It's bordering on becoming my number one obsession.
Every week, I find myself looking forward to my day off work, so I can whip out my pad and pen, make some scribbled notes reminding me of what I want to do, then position myself squarely in front of the camera and press "record."
If you, or someone you know has become a YouTuber, you'll probably recognise some of my latest afflictions:
- I've joined several YouTube groups on Facebook, just so I can talk about riveting things such as lighting, upload schedules and channel growth. All of which would probably have bored me to tears, six months ago, whereas now, I could happily talk "shop" for hours (and bore everyone else around me...).
- I find myself shrieking at random moments - in the shower, during my lunch break at work, or even when I'm drifting off to sleep - because I've suddenly had an idea for a video.
- I almost cried actual tears of joy recently, because I passed my initial goal of 50 subscribers.
- I become irrationally annoyed by other people's lack of basic editing skills (even though mine are still very much a work-in-progress, so in some ways, this is a hypocritical gripe). If someone uploads a video and doesn't edit out any "ums" or pointlessly long pauses etc, I find myself internally seething. When I watch a video that features long periods of total silence, where it would have been really easy to include some copyright free music to maintain an entertaining vibe, I find myself externally seething, just for added emphasis.
- I won't leave the house without my camera, in case I decide to make a vlog (even though vlogging in the traditional sense is not exactly what I do).
- Watching Dan and Phil videos is no longer just fun. It's homework. They're my biggest YouTube inspirations and I aim to be just as funny and entertaining in my videos as they are in theirs. So, when I sit down to watch them, I'm not just passively viewing. I'm studying.
"Wow." Okay, so I'm studying Phil in a different way... *wibble*
- I have lost all sense of vanity. When I started my channel (or rather, when I started regularly uploading videos earlier this year), I was worried about looking stupid on camera. Now, I think nothing of lying in the bath with a towel wrapped around my legs, pretending to be Ariel from The Little Mermaid. If it's funny, I'll do it. I don't care what I look or sound like. It's exceptionally liberating.
- I actually put effort into making thumbnails, now. I care about whether they're bold and bright enough to entice viewers to click "play."
- My Christmas list for this year is heavily YouTube-focused. I want a tripod. I want lighting. I feel like I'm suddenly taking this very seriously...
- I am extraordinarily protective of my channel and the videos I upload. I welcome constructive criticism that helps me improve, but if someone is just going to be mean about it without justification, I WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR MY REACTION. You may as well be insulting my baby. That I, er, don't have.
My YouTube channel has become an extension of me. It's more important than a hobby. It's like my writing; a part of who I am.
I was going to end this by pondering whether there's a YouTube Addicts Anonymous group I could join, but you know what?
I don't want to be cured.
Maybe I'll make a video about that...