When I started my YouTube channel at the beginning of the lockdown, I had no idea where it will go. It was a platform for me to try out things – and ultimately find out if I want to create content again. After so many years without focused creativity, it was something I had to check. The urge got stronger and stronger over the last two or so years – but the virus was a starter. It forced me to take the time and it forced me to rethink some aspects of my life.
Or at least to finally get up and do something.
Here I am, five months later
I started into my lockdown aka self-isolation early in March after the first case of potential COVID occurred in such a fashion that it could have been a chain of contacts straight up to me. Working for a small company, I didn’t want to risk anything for my colleagues and so I left office on Monday morning “for a few days” until the test results of the person are clear.
Oh, so little did I know. Still working at home nearly half a later, everything has changed.
Overcoming the depression
I guess we all have to cope with several circumstances from inconvenient to frightening. Weird situations like the short supply of toilet paper at the beginning and absurd discussions about masks now. One thing for sure: it’s time to face that there will be no “back to normal”. Either there will be a cure, a vaccine, or not – this virus changed the world already. The lifestyle we considered to be “normal” over the last decades was changing anyhow. Now we are on fast forward. Sure, many of the changes are severe and far away from desirable. The economic impact is devastating. The idea, that a night out in club maybe just gone forever makes me shiver. The distance between people, especially to risk group members, the elderly, parents, and so on is saddening. Time is flying by, the time we could have spent together.
All of that made me depressed. The Corona-blues got real.
But I got over it.
Back to creativity
For me, creativity was always the way out of the blues. Creating gives me the feeling of having at least some control. And it helps to keep my shit together, as simple as that.
So I started to experiment as I did 40 years ago when I got my first camera and used black & white enlarger. As I wanted to get into photography and especially video again before, I had some relicts of manic Amazon shopping tours ready to be used.
Creativity always comes with cut fingers
With thirty years of experience in media production – what could possibly go wrong?
Well, what not? A long phase of trial and error followed several cuts in my fingers, lots of slurs I do not want to repeat to you, my esteemed audience.
Watching a YouTube tutorial “how to put up the perfect YouTube desk” is one thing.
Doing it is something completely different.
Every room is different, everybody got a different approach.
And different resources. Mine is limited, so that’s where creativity starts to get crucial.
I don’t want to bore you out of your mind with my several attempts to get the camera configuration, the light, and all the rest to match with the realities of available space and money. All I can advise you if you want to go down that path is to buy a big bag of camera and tripod screws before you buy anything else. You’ll need them.
There is no way to get around a proper setup, at least not for me
As desk building is not especially my fetish, I did of course lots of things in between. Went out shooting, made videos. Without any clear red line but with a very steep learning curve instead.
That was good fun. But it lacked something: structure.
I realized that I need structure and a motto for my channel, a bracket to keep things together.
Simply to build an audience. Which will ever subscribe to a channel without any concept?
Well, I would certainly not.
So with the iteration of my desk, I have now – it won’t be the last, be assured of that – of a sudden, I also got the inspiration for the motto and the purpose of my channel. Maybe it was the peace of mind, I don’t know.
The “why” is not important – the “how” is.
Pictures are forming on their own
Yesterday I sat down at my desk after several hours of fumbling, huffing, and puffing, searching for items to fix stuff and build a usable camera and light stand.
It was the first time I was really happy with cable management, the position of everything, the light, the sound. But I had no backdrop. Just a white wall, and as everybody – ok everybody on the YouTube guru channels – say, that that’s a bummer for every channel … well, I needed a backdrop. An eyecatcher. Something to give meaning and depth.
After considering the backs of Chaucer, Shakespeare and Goethe I decided to for something a bit more “me”. But who am I?
Well, a nerd over 50 with some weird aspects of her taste. Like 50ies and 60ies b-movie posters, the aesthetics of pulp covers and early science fiction magazines.
So, I asked Uncle Google for inspiration and Uncle delivered.
I played around, Illustrator here and Photoshop there.
The picture of what I want to deliver to the masses started to form in my mind as the graphic on the screen started to form and clarified more and more.
My motto: Revelations of an aging nerd
Yes, I am over 50. And the fact that I got a rough idea of why people age doesn’t prevent me from doing so. Some may say, I’m generation X. Well, whatever. I still know how to spin a cassette tape with a pencil to save batteries for the Walkman. And I’m full of disgust for people who make memes from that, pretending they’re somehow superior over kids how never had to do it. Honestly, it was a pain in the ass. I would have given happily my left leg for an MP3 player in 1980.
I’m still curious, maybe even more than ever. I praise every day for the marvels of the level of communication and availability of knowledge we have today.
Even with Facebook. And Telegram.
I assume that there are many people like me out there. Having grown up with Tron and Cyberpunk. Tanned in the cathode rays of CRT-monitors. Formed by endless attempts to log into AOL and CompuServe. We have seen the birth of the yuppies from the side, the rise of the Palms, the coming and going of so many technologies and gadgets. But we are still here, we outlived Blackberry and Nokia and even survived the compact disk.
And now we’re going back to the moon, we shot a photo of a black hole, we watched the icy planes of Pluto and we will have a drone flying on Mars.
Elon Musk manages to build a factory in Germany in a year. Somebody who can do that – for my non-German readers: that’s a real big thing! – will colonize Mars, Europa, or the belt.
So I guess I’m not alone with my life somewhere between Corona, aging, and my childish enthusiasm for all these things to come.
And that is what I want to share with you, my esteemed audience: the fun of getting older in times like these. Ok, and the downsides. But forget about them, it’s, after all, a great time to live in. Just say Paracetamol
Have a great time, stay safe – and consider visiting me on YouTube. It is work in progress, I know, but so is everything else on this planet.