So I’ve got three YouTube Buddies, and we’ll leave their names out of it for now. Because honestly I’m not sure what I’m going to say about them. 🙂
Actually, they’re Gene, Pete, and Nick. And we get together every Wednesday night to gab about all things YouTube. And it seems that each of us is having our own existential crisis about our channels. Which makes me wonder if this is the norm or not. Anyway, between those three we have two guys who simply want to branch out in a new direction (but don’t quite know what that direction is). And the third is going through something that I’m feeling as well. He has been making the same style of video for a long time now, and it works for his channel. But he wants it to feel like something else, and isn’t quite sure how to make that happen. Enter one of my issues.
I created two videos while in Louisiana the other week. Before I ventured up there, I had this perfect vision of what they would look like. And as you’re probably guessing, they didn’t. Close, but not quite. And here’s the thing … even though I can see what I want in my head, I struggled to turn it into reality. Perhaps because it was different and there is a learning curve. But the bigger issue I have is bridging that gap in my noggin. When I say I can clearly see the perfect video, I mean I can see it. But I just can’t seem to be able to figure out the mechanics of it quite yet. So as far as my buddy … I feel his pain. Wanting to hit the next level, but still searching for the door.
I’m also semi-like the other two in that my direction is changing, although I have made the decision as to where to go. Which brings its own problems. (And no, this isn’t a whine-fest. I’m trouble-shooting! LOL!). We’re going to Costa Rica and Panama as the first countries visited during the upcoming adventure. And naturally we watched a bunch of videos on those places. And I cringed. Not in my usual “how did they get thousands of views for that crap?” kind of cringe, but in knowing that I wasn’t going to do what they did. You see, they provided a travel brochure litany of influencer-worthy knowledge. And I have zero desire to be a travel guide.
I want to tell stories with places as a character. And I guess I have a fear that this going to be unpleasantly circular. As in, I need to be in a place to discover its story, but then will I have time to re-do what I just did in order to film it? Can I find stories before I get to a place? I think this is just nervous jitters, because it’s new. I just need to keep my eyes and ears peeled. For instance, Nikki got a text from the place we’re staying in Panama. They wanted her to know that they were 100% reliant on solar and reclaimed rainwater. Which is cool from an environmental point of view. But then it hit me … there’s a story. Sure, I can walk around the island and point out the plants and sloths, but the real story is how they’re managing to do it in an Earth-friendly way.
I have a double reason for wanting to be a storyteller. Actually, a triple. The second reason is that I want my audience to be more than just “I’m going here so tell me the things I want to see”. I want to entertain them. To bring the reasons why into their lives. Everybody else is doing the “Top 10” thing. I want to put my own spin on it. But the third reason is the big one. I won’t be able to travel full-time for very long, and I want this to be a career.
In order to make “Travel Videos”, you have to travel and keep the portfolio growing. Well, in a few years will I still be traveling? Can’t say right now. Hopefully, but who knows. Also … after a year or so we want to kit out a shuttle bus and wander around the Americas. Is that the same thing as what I’m doing now? Not quite, so will I piss off my subscribers? I figure if I focus primarily on stories about life and use the “how I got here and what this place is” as a character in those stories, there will be continuity.
So, to recap the recap, I still have much learning to do. Which I’m sure will always be the case, but it’s still scary to be on the as-yet-unlearned side. Can I actually create that perfect video I have in my brain? Can I come up with stories on the road and still help folks travel? I only know that I’m excited as hell about the possibility and I need to just remember to enjoy the learning process. As far as “The Boys”? Here’s to hoping they solve their puzzles as well. At least until their next existential crisis. 🙂