you might be a new YouTuber** if...

... you find yourself constantly checking your email (especially the one you set up just for YouTube) for new comments. respond to comments as soon as you see them in your email.

... you obsessively check your subscriber numbers, and tell yourself it's ok if the number fluctuates up and down.

... you tell yourself to laugh if someone gives you a "thumbs down" on one of your videos because you've heard from other YouTubers that there are people out there who go around giving videos bad ratings just to be annoying and negative. wake up thinking about what new videos you could make and rehearse them in your head. make new videos just for the fun of it. realize that you used to complain about getting sucked into the YouTube time vortex, and now you see the irony that you're giving people more videos to get sucked into.'re slowly learning that you don't have to subscribe back to everyone who's subscribed to you, but you *do* subscribe to YouTubers you already know (especially the ones starting new channels of their own) because you want to be supportive and we're all in this together. try to watch all of your friends' videos because they watch yours.'re learning to be selective about which videos to put into the "watch later" list, and which ones to save in a new list just for friends' videos because you have a limited amount of time in your day, you already have subscriptions to channels with really great content, and you have videos of your own to make.

... you feel guilty that you're making and watching videos when you should be...
      -- working on the sequel to the novel you wrote 10 years ago.
      -- making that journal you promised your daughter 7 months ago.
      -- making that journal you promised your best friend 3 months ago.
      -- working on a journal for yourself that you've been thinking about ever since you learned what a junk journal was.
      -- doing any crafting for yourself at all. find yourself talking to your subscribers even when you're crafting alone. start your conversations with, "Welcome to my channel," and end them with, "Please be sure to like, comment, subscribe, and hit the notification bell."

... you're pretty sure that the friend who encouraged you to start a YouTube channel in the first place (and even helped you come up with channel names) is chuckling to herself because you asked her, "Why would I ever start a channel? What would I ever talk about?" and when she gave you really good answers to your arguments, you still said, "I'm pretty sure I'm not going to do this."

of course, this could just be me, because i do have a long history of obsessively checking my email for comments on my blog posts, checking Instagram for new comments on those posts, and more recently, checking Facebook more often than i should to see what people have said about my comments and posts in various groups i'm in.

or maybe there's someone else out there doing the same thing and wondering how the heck they got here.

i wonder if we just need to start a "Newbie YouTubers' support group." if we do, i'll make sure to check my emails regularly to help you get over your new obsession. if i make a video about it, please be sure to like, comment, subscribe and hit the notification bell.

**yes, i called myself a YouTuber, even though i don't fit the technical definition that i talked about in a previous post. but it's easier than saying YouTube content creator. :P


pain meds, rocks, and a new friend

it's time to tell the story of how i came to spend a day with my dear, new friend Gayle.

if you're in the world of junk journaling, you already know who Gayle Agostinelli is. if you've come from my writing blog, i need to give a brief introduction so this story will make sense. (and if you don't know what a junk journal is, here's a good definition on another blog.)

i hate to sound like a name-dropper, but in the junk journal world, people call Gayle the "Queen." she said she's been on YouTube for 3 years, and started doing junk journals about 2 1/2 years before that. she's up to 22,000 followers, and is one of the most informative, prolific, positive, and all-around fun YouTubers i've ever watched (and i've watched a lot of videos on many aspects of making a junk journal because i research things to death).

i didn't know who she was until i started looking into making junk journals (sometime in 2018), and when you look up videos on the subject, her name pops up a lot. i started watching, learned more about junk journals, and in July 2018, i joined a couple of junk journal Facebook groups.

fast forward to December of 2018. by then i'd joined a few more FB junk journal groups, and discovered that Gayle was in one of them. at the time, i was on pain meds while i recovered from a surgery, so my normal social filters weren't working. if they had been, i never would have looked up her Facebook profile and then used FB messenger to let her know that we both lived in Montana, and were about an hour and a half away from each other.

when my filters kicked in, i felt pretty weird about it, but Gayle was very sweet and said that once the weather was better, she wanted to get together to craft with me. i could hardly believe it, and really wasn't sure it would ever happen.

then one day it happened.

in April 2019, my husband had a meeting scheduled in the city where Gayle lives. i had an abnormally spontaneous idea that maybe i could go with him and spend some time with her while he was in his meeting. a week before he was supposed to go, i sent her another message (still feeling a little awkward) and she was thrilled with the idea that we would get to meet. i was jittery the whole week, and even more jittery on the morning she was going to pick me up from our hotel.

as soon as i met her, the jitters went away.

we said our hellos and she drove me to her house. we spent spent a couple of hours in her craft room (talking instead of crafting), and at the end, i did a quick video tour of her amazing space. After lunch, we went to an antique mall, where she gave me some pointers on how much to pay for certain items that can be used in a junk journal.

at one point, she found a book she really wanted, but wasn't sure she should buy because of the price. i told her to go for it. i'm now her official antique shopping enabler.

while i was trying to pay for my "finds" at the register, she offered to give me part of a set of books she'd already paid for. one of the books i wanted was also one that she wanted, so she suggested we do "rock, paper, scissors" to decide on who would get it.

on the first try, we both got the same thing. on the second try, we got the same thing again. by now, we were starting to giggle. on the third try, we got the same thing again and we were laughing so hard we couldn't stop.

it took a few minutes to get ourselves under control (???) and then we went for one more "rock, paper, scissors." she won and said, "you never know what you'll get on a blind date." that set us to laughing all over again.

it was very hard to say goodbye, but i know there will be many more days of antique store shopping and laughter with my new (old) friend. and she just lives "down the road" by Montana standards.

both Gayle and i are very thankful for those pain meds.

if you're interested...

here is the tour of Gayle's craftroom. 

here is Gayle's version of our day, along with some things i gave her, and her antique store haul. 

here are the things i got from the antique store, and from Gayle

and here is a flip-thru of the altered book she made from one of the books she won in our rock, paper, scissors battle


the 100 day challenge and YouTube

once again, i had very good intentions about blogging every few days for the 100 day project. but then i found YouTube.

ok, it's not like i hadn't heard of YouTube, or watched more videos than i can count on every subject from Marvel movies to junk journals. but i'd never uploaded any video content. i was just a watcher. now i'm a content creator.

(at first, i was going to say "YouTuber" but according to Wikipedia, "A YouTuber, also known as a YouTube personality, YouTube celebrity, or YouTube content creator, is a type of internet celebrity and videographer who has gained popularity from their videos on the video-sharing website YouTube." as of today, i have 118 subscribers, so i'm not one of those.)

that's certainly ok with me since i never expected to upload anything to YouTube, for any reason. in fact, when a new friend of mine suggested it, i kind of laughed to myself, and i asked her, "what would i ever post about?"

i probably asked myself the same thing when i put up my first blog post, back in 2005. at the time, i was starting to write my first novel, and i posted about that and other things. i called the blog "Life in the Midst of Writing." when i started writing about a lot of other things, i changed the name to "Beautiful Chaos." over the years, blogging kind of fell by the wayside and i didn't write about much at all.  14 years later, i started this blog as a way to get myself back into writing.

but then the YouTube thing came along. i found the idea scary and fascinating-- kind of like how i felt about blogging in the beginning, and certainly how i felt about writing. in all of those cases, you're putting yourself out there for everyone to see, and they can make comments. but at least with blogging and writing, i can edit to find just the right words. and no one has to hear my voice.

even with that kind of scare factor, the idea wouldn't go away, so, just for the heck of it, i made a practise video about my craft room and shared it in a private Facebook group. it was very short, but i had fun, and i got a lot of positive comments. then i started a new YoutTube channel, separate from my personal viewing channel. but i still didn't know what kind of videos i would post.

then i met a new friend in the crafting world that i'd followed for a year or so. we spent part of a day together (which is another story i'll tell), and since Gayle is  pretty popular, i asked if i could do a video tour of her craft room to post on my channel. then i put up the one about my craft room from Facebook. then Gayle made a video about the day we'd spent together, and a lot of people who watch her videos watched mine. now here i am with 118 subscribers and thinking up all kinds of videos i can do in the future.

as someone said to me, YouTube is like a second hobby. i sure can't argue with that. when i posted something in my Facebook group about getting distracted with doing videos during the 100 day challenge, someone said that creating content for YouTube is a creative outlet too, and that's really what the challenge is about.

i've been at it for less than two weeks, and i'm trying to learn how to manage that, run my house, eat, sleep, do my crafting, and not obsessively check my comments and subbie numbers. on the other hand, i'm  having a lot of fun, which is not something i expected. and i think it's helping to unlock the creative side of my brain that's been stuck for a long time, because today, i woke up thinking about all kinds of things i wanted to do, and one of those was working on the next draft of my new novel. 

and i almost forgot... here's a link to my channel-- Joyful Michelle


when i get the chance i will post more

but i got to spend a day with my awesome new friend, Gayle Agostinelli. here is a picture. (Gayle is on the left.)

here is a link to an impromptu video i took of her craft room. 

and here is a link to the video she posted about our day together.


starting a new blog and why i don't use capitals

hi. yes, i'm starting a new blog. to those of you who have followed me for a while on my other blog, beautiful chaos, you know that i've started a few other blogs and then they fizzled out. you probably noticed that even my posting on beautiful chaos has fizzled out. a lot of things made it fizzle. i'm going to keep it, because there are a lot of good posts there, but i feel the need, once again, to start over. this time i'll try to not let this blog go by the wayside.

why start a new one again?

--i need to get back to writing and i'm hoping this will wake up my brain.

--blogging is easier than doing videos on youtube because it's familiar and i'm not ready to put myself out there in video form (but that doesn't mean i'm not toying with the idea - i even set up a youtube channel. it just doesn't have any content yet.) -- update -- i'm really enjoying youtube and have posted 3 videos.

-- i committed to doing a variation of the 100 day project in one of my facebook groups, and this was the thing i wanted to do on a regular basis. it's a safe place to be accountable.

-- i need to do something that makes me happy (besides working on my new-found craft of junk journaling), and writing in any form makes me happy, plus it's mentally easier than working on my novel. :P

now, if you're new to reading my blog posts, let me explain why i don't use caps. when i was writing my very first draft of my very first novel (and as of this moment, my *only* novel), it was much easier on my fingers to not use caps for anything. when i started my blog back in 2005, i was in the habit of not using them, and i was also trying to stop being a grammar snob. now i write this way in my texts, emails, facebook posts and comments, etc, but so does everyone else. :)

ok, so that's it for now. i will try to post a few times a week. thanks for stopping by.

(if you're a facebook friend and want to leave a comment, but prefer to not use the comment form here, or you just don't want to fiddle around with using google, please feel free to send me a private FB message.)