Somehow, it's the middle of October and the weather is unseasonably warm. (Anybody else having recurring panic attacks about climate change? Haha. Ha. Ha.)
Since my last vlog update in mid-September, when I organized all my fiction bookshelves, life has been unusually hectic:
My client work schedule got very busy, and to that I added a little more socializing (slowly expaning those comfort zones and including more and more vaxxed friends!), many adventures in the kitchen, several adventures (apple picking! frolicking in parcs!), a lot of medical appointments, ballet, and a couple of personal projects not yet fit for public consumption.
All in all, it's a huge burst of activity that feels quite unusual, after more than 18 relatively ...sedate months of pandemoniom.
There are some updates to keep my Patrons/readers appraised, so let's get to it:
I started vlogging more or less monthly in March of this year and as of my September "bookshelves organizing" vlog, I'm done with regular vlogging for the time being. There are a few reasons for this:
- The logistical nightmare of filming: My partner and I both work from home in a tiny appartment that is less than 70 square metres in a noisy building, in a noisy part of the city. Between his meetings and work schedule, my work schedule, because I was relying on natural light and for the background noises to cooperate, I always ended up having very few workable days for filming and kept having to troubleshoot all sorts of technical issues. Paired with the fact that I hate working on weekends, this was becoming a particularly frustrating self-inflicted headache.
- Vlogging started eating into my writing time: despite how inconsistent my summer vlogging got this summer (especially considering I ended up filming several updates in August that never actually made it onto YouTube because of technical issues, and then work got in the way), I was often finding myself looking at my dwindling free time and feeling terribly dissatisfied because working on the blog meant sacrificing time the "free time" I usually reserve for writing.
- I haven't read any fiction in two months and my intuition tells me most people don't find history books nearly as fascinating as I do.
- I think on some level I was using the vlog back in the spring as a way to talk about books and fight against a horrifically stifling isolation and loneliness. Since early August, that feeling of isolation has slowly abated, as I'm suddenly meeting friends again and spending time around people, and finding ways to talk to people about books again.
Especially in the last couple videos, I believe based on my stats that very few people actually watched them. I had to really interrogate myself about my goals with the vlog. I had hoped for a bit more growth/engagement and I wasn't reaching my own expectations, either with my schedule or my reach (which were in fact related issues, as a more consistent upload schedule is critical to get viewers). Even so, doing things in public online that end up being just for me has never really been an issue — after all, the vast majority of the posts on this here blog have only ever been read by a tiny handful of people, at my insistent prompting!
After a few weeks of thinking, I've decided to shelve the idea of regular vlogs. I think I will revisit the idea of vlogging in the future, when I eventually move out of this appartment. I really loved learning about the art form of filmmaking. I also found it particularly satisfying to film my tea making.
All in all: I have no regrets. I plan on refunding my Patreon patrons for the month of October, and closing my Patreon.
That said, after an in-depth conversation with my friend Goatbunny about that darn freelancer life last week (and our mutual disdain of Patreon) I've decided that I'm going to start asking for my readers of the blog for their financial support a little more actively.
I am creating a ton of "content" on my blog, I really try to make sure I've got interesting French stuff on my French blog too — and I plan on keeping it that way. I also really don't want to start putting all of my stuff behind paywalls. But, and I feel weird saying this, I need a little bit more support.
I've spent the better part of the past week updating the technology behind the blog to facilitate this. I've got everything set up with Ghost and Stripe now so that if you click here, you can see that you can either subscribe to my blogs for free (and have the option to receive each full blog post in a newsletter format), or support this blog with a 2 CAD monthly donation or a 20 CAD annual donation. Because Stripe only takes a tiny sliver of each donation, I feel comfortable setting such a low monthly/annual minimum. If something about this blog has been helpful or has moved you, I hope you'll consider throwing something in the tip jar.
I'm going to be brainstorming rewards for subscribers, I'll keep you posted on those — and if you have any suggestions, I'm all ears! For now, do go check out the new Support page if this interests you!
Anyways, this post is getting beastly long so let's wrap up: I have a few more blog posts planned to hopefully get out in the next fortnight. Most importantly, what do you think about these changes? If you watched the vlog, what did you think? And, in the months ahead, is there a topic you'd like me to tackle on this here blog?
Mull those thoughts over, take care of each other, and namarië.