YAY OR NAY? I NEED OPINIONS

I’m thinking about making a YouTube channel.

Thoughts?

I messed around with my laptop camera and boy do I have to get comfortable with seeing my face. I only catch it in the reflection and sometimes that’s even too much. No, I’m not searching for compliments here, but when you spend the majority of your life NOT seeing yourself and then you go through videos where you’re like shit, is that what other people have to look at?—it’s weighing.

The reason I’m thinking about making a YouTube channel is for additional exposure. Every author has got to have an edge or something that sets them apart. I realize a good amount of authors are on there, but maybe in addition to writing about writing, I can talk about writing and you can see just how much my eye twitches when I get overwhelmed or anxious or how chill it is when I’m actually chill (which is not a lot recently since I’m still job-hunting and that is a SOUL SUCKING experience. Especially when you’re going at it with a degree in Creative Writing which qualifies you to do shit, apparently.)

So. YouTube.

Yes, I have been told (on numerous occasions by numerous people) that I should pursue comedy or do stand up or have my own show. I’m not lying and I’m not being arrogant. These are true statements that I’ve shrugged off because I am *ridiculously* camera shy and, you know, isn’t everyone kind of funny? At least a little? (I take it back. There are some people who are the OPPOSITE of funny. I kind of feel bad for them and their boring lives. But they get to be accountants and lawyers and make bank so I don’t feel too bad.)

So… if everyone is at least a *little* funny, what makes me think someone would want to watch my channel? Especially if Joe Schmoe in the next cubicle is cracking jokes left and right?

I’m struggling here, guys. I need some advice.

…but I did put one VIDEO up. Just one. I’m not even sure I’ll keep it. That’s where you come in. Give me a Yay or a Nay (or money. I’ll also take money) so I know what to do.

  <—– me looking sexy sans makeup

Lastly: thank you to those who headed over to my Patreon page. You guys ROCK! After this post, I’m working on one for over there—anything besides looking for more jobs. Enough of my soul has been sucked out today. Time to get creative again.

Something in my eye

My eye is twitching again.

I’m going to blame it on the panic/anxiety/depression of looking for a job and realizing I’M NOT QUALIFIED FOR ANYTHING. Sorry that I’m not fluent in Spanish or Portuguese or Russian and no, I’m not efficient in EVERY computer skill as well as having twenty years experience, the ability to travel, work mandatory OT, or have arbitrary licenses. Geez. I’m 32 and have worked in an office for the last ten years doing random office things. But since I like writing (and no, I don’t want to be a teacher) I have to find some way to make ends meet while hoping my shaky car doesn’t break down on me.

There goes my eye again.

I look around at my friends who are (pretty much all) proficient in their fields and think ‘what the hell is wrong with me?’ Where did I go wrong? I was a good student, went to college and even got into the top end of my program (I studied under the department head)—so, what the hell am I doing? How did I end up here?

I’m *really* surprised I’m not an addict or have a substance abuse problem because that just seems to come with the artist mindset/lifestyle anyway. Add in the depressing job situation and I should be scratching myself from withdrawals. I don’t know. I keep thinking I made a wrong turn somewhere but can’t figure out where. Or how. Sometimes, I wish I was meant to be a nurse or a teacher or some obvious occupation because then I wouldn’t so unsure of myself. Does that make sense? Anyway, at least Batman and I are popular enough to attend several weddings where there are open bars 😊 We went to one on St. Patty’s day and it was a blast!

Let’s switch to that because it’s less depressing and I remembered to take some pictures this time:

Beautiful ceremony area before it starts!

Groomsmen hanging out before it starts (Batman is second from the right)

Welcome sign is ETCHED GLASS! How cool?!?!

….and a close up

Picture before we get sloppy off the open bar. I mean, *ahem* before we partake in refreshments.

Great thing to do in lieu of favors (Titan is their Corgi)

The happy couple’s first dance 🙂

Oh, and, after spending about half an hour trying to get the Patreon widget to work, I decided not to bother again until MY EYE STOPS TWITCHING. If you’re interested in becoming one of my patrons or even just viewing my page, you can check it out HERE <—

Please tell me if that doesn’t work!  Thanks 🙂

And a good day to you all!

I’M ON PATREON

Who did it? I did it! Who did it? I did it!

***happy dance***

Obviously, the terror of messing this up and failing miserably is still a constant in the background, but I’ve hushed that stupid voice because she’s annoying and brings nothing positive to the table. Besides, she never thought I’d make it and look where I am—on Patreon. Being an artist with (possibly/hopefully) patrons to support my creative endeavors and stuff. Woop!

So, here’s what’s going to happen: I’m still going to run this blog but some of the more in-depth things or behind-the-scene things that I probably wouldn’t have put on here anyway, I’m going to be posting over there. It’s part of the “reward” of being a patron. It’s going to be cool because this space will be dedicated to general things about my life and writing whereas Patreon will be specifically dedicated to a more in-depth look at what I’m doing (book releasing-wise) with marketing, first drafts, extra POV scenes, Q &A and more. So, here, you’ll be chilling with cool Caitlin and there you’ll be chilling with crazy-artist Caitlin. (Believe me – they are different.)

Enough of the happy dancing and talking about it: please head over to my page and consider signing up for a reward. 😊 Remember, I’m not winking at you in the video (or am I?). It’s just that my eye lid flutters a lot.

Thanks for all the support! You guys rock!!

Getting there, baby

I’m doing it.

I’m making a Patreon page. You’ll probably see the official I’VE MADE A PATREON post later this week when I’ve actually pushed the launch button, so, be on the lookout for that. 😉 Or not. There’s really no way for me to know. But I DID spend the better part of yesterday playing with my webcam to make my welcome video and whoa—are my eyes expressive. I never realized that I blink so much. I always knew I had a slight twitch so please, if you do head over to my page and watch the video, just know I’m not winking at you. It’s just my weird DNA mixed with anxiety and walla!—you have my oddball facial expressions.

I’ve been busy lately. And a good busy, I guess. I’m kind of looking for jobs, but I’m spending the majority of my time planning to promote Better Than This. For all/any of you creative types out there, I’m using Picmonkey which allows me to custom-make my own teasers/advertisements and whatnots. I *super* suggest checking it out even if you’re looking to host a party because they have templates for Facebook events and different things like that. But for all my authors (and I guess anyone with their own business), I snazzied up my fb author page by checking out this article. It lists marketing tools for people who hate marketing and I found it extremely useful, especially the part where I borrowed a template to make my shiny new cover photo for my author page. (Because I’m dumb, it took me a moment to realize the template was in a powerpoint and I ended up figuring out what/how my Google drive worked. So, lots of learning things.)

I’m dying to show you some of the teasers and advertising pieces I’ve put together, but I’m saving them for my Patreon page because, as promised, all new content will appear there first. But I DID post the below fake concert adds on my fb page with a poll to find out which you like better. Feel free to leave a comment here or cast your vote there. I’m honestly torn and could use some opinions and who’s better than yours? 😉

We’ll call this # 1

… and #2

Let’s see… what else…. oh! I did go to a wedding last Friday which was awesome. Because I forgot my phone in the car, I snagged some of Batman’s pics:

Real pretty, right? And the food was good too!

How’s life been treating you? Any advice on marketing/advertising? Which fake concert ad do you like better?

Seriously Last Week: What the Hell?

Last week was shitty.

I think it’s safe to assume everyone agrees. My one CT friend lost power and had down wires across her yard leaving her, her hubby, and their three little ones stranded in the dark cold. Then, my poor sister had a biopsy two days after her birthday. What a way to celebrate—am I right?

ME. After getting my car back from the shop, I broke down with a flat tire a little over a mile from my house and walked back with a GIANT stack of toilet paper and the McDondalds I treated myself to because I accepted a job. (Don’t get too excited.) Once I got home all sweaty from my MILE WALK, I proceeded to have an argumentative conversation with someone from the church about where I’d left my car and how I needed to move it. Batman was trying to get to me since I’m apparently not a modern woman and don’t know how to change a tire (I know, I know. Believe me, I KNOW) but had I moved the car, I would’ve damaged the rim and who’s got money for both? (Not me). But parents were coming to pick their kids up from the church after-school program and I was told I’d have “200 screaming parents” since I broke down at the wrong place at the wrong time. My apologies. The next time I have a terrifying and horrible experience, I’ll be sure to accommodate everyone else first.

*Please* ignore the immense amount of dirt and grime. Still haven’t taken it to the carwash.

SHREDDED

Yeah. I thought I’d hit something. Or some Direwolf had rammed into me. But it was a four-inch nail I’d run over that absolutely shredded my tire. We got the car moved and everything was fine (although I never saw these “200 screaming parents” and I only got two bites into my Quarter Pounder. So, super emotional and starving) ☹

The job. I’m not sure how to explain exactly what happened since this has never happened to me. I accepted a job at a fabulous, positive-energy place that just… wasn’t a good fit. Ever go through something that seems like it should be perfect, but it isn’t, and you just can’t place your finger on why not? That’s what this job was for me. It was great—but for someone else. I felt like I was a square peg being shoved into a circle that I wanted to fit in—that I hoped I could—but knew I wouldn’t. I left Thursday feeling so on the fence about the whole thing and even became a little nauseated over it (course, I blamed it on the Blueberry Pancake Captain Crunch at the time) but come Friday it just hit me. NOPE. Not for me. Two days in and I’m back to being unemployed.

I’m not sure what it was about last week but I’m *really* happy it’s over. I am praying—PRAYING—this upcoming week will be better. At least I’m back to having tons of creative time while I look for something else.

What about you? How was your last week? Any good news?

GIVE ME GOOD NEWS.

What Happens When You Pay Attention IWSG

Friday morning I had a Saturday post all mentally scribbled about the woes of car-ownership because I finally picked up my car from the shop only to have it stall out on me on the way home. I turned it off and back on again and it was fine. Then, on my way out to see a bestie who now resides in CT and was down for a wedding, the Check Engine light came on and I spent the 45-minute trip out to see her praying that the shaking car wouldn’t stall on me since I forgot to renew my AAA.

Thank God it didn’t stall and everything was fine (and my bestie and I had a lovely time—thanks for asking). Car still shakes but maybe it’s just as hyped up on caffeine as I am. You know what they say about cars and their owners 😉 I came home all ready to write and strategize and market and Patreon-brainstorm but even the mid-afternoon iced coffee didn’t help and I ended up watching Friends on the couch with Appa, which is somehow exactly what I needed. (I think I overworked my brain or something because I sat and stared at the computer for almost half an hour before I decided my muse or energy troll or whatever fuels the creativity box was out on its own coffee break and I was starting to go cross-eyed..)

I guess this post should really begin with Saturday’s event which included the Jax Book Festival! Last Tuesday, while working *cough checking fb cough* I found that we were having our very own book festival (sort of) right here in downtown Jacksonville. The headliner caught my eye because I actually read Everything Everything (although I wasn’t a huge fan) but the chance to hear an acclaimed author speak was just too much to pass up. So, in lieu of having our scheduled garage sale, it took Batman very little convincing** to have him drop me off at the Public Library so I could listen to Nicola Yoon talk about her journey of writing the bestseller and all the inns and outs of writing/publishing.

What I learned about the shy author is that she’d been in finance for fifteen years, and it wasn’t until the birth of her daughter that she realized she wasn’t following the advice she would give her baby girl: follow your dreams. It took having a child to realize she wasn’t living the life she wanted and decided to change that. Afterward, she woke up early to write from 4-6 before her day job (I think – she has a soft voice and didn’t speak directly into the microphone) and from there she wrote Everything Everything.

It was great listening and learning and I even asked my own question amidst the auditorium of people which is HUGE for me since I have a ridiculous amount of stage fright/anxiety when it comes to public speaking/being the center of attention. She’d talked about the writing process and I asked about the number of drafts she went through (6) because I’m always slightly weary that I’m not going through the ‘right’ amount of drafts. But I was surrounded by a lot of writers and it was awesome to see that they struggled with the same issues and had the same burning questions as me.

Managed to remember to snag a photo!

I couldn’t *not* take a pic when I’m so obviously fan-girling over here.

On the way out, one last pic to capture the event!

Besides the speakers, the halls were *lined* with tables of authors (both traditionally and self-published) and all kinds of cool swag and stuff. I even won a keychain from Tracie Roberts It was awesome to see my fellow authors strutting their stuff because I know this is what I need to be doing. Once the swag is obtained and I have *some* clue how to get a table of my own there, I think I could rock it. A few Zanax beforehand and why not? I can do this. Know why? BECAUSE I GOT THIS. Do I have any clue how I have this? No. But still, I got this.

What about you? Ever been to a book festival like this? Ever listened to an author speak and identified with the struggle? What’d you think?

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

** Want to know why I love Batman? Because when I asked if we could switch the date for the garage sale and he asked why and I told him about the book festival, he looked at me and said ‘baby, if it helps with your writing, then it’s not even a question.’

Let the swooning begin 🙂