so i watched Mickeleh’s video called “Why We Tube” and it’s cool to see the reasons people have for making videos. and it’s something i’ve been thinking about on a personal level quite a lot recently so i wanted to respond to the video with why i make videos, and share them on youtube, in a blog post.
but as i was writing down my thoughts it was getting so muddled up that i wasn’t really sure what i was actually trying to say. trying to make points, i was thinking up contradictions to those points as fast as i was making them and everything got a bit scrambled.

and not just videos…i make comics and songs too for the same reason. when i try and actually grasp any sort of opinion or understand a feeling or thought i have, the reality of it overwhelms me and i’m bombarded with perspectives and counter perspectives and it’s so confusing…and trying to turn that into any sort of understanding feels like such an impossible task.
the only way i know how to deal with it is to fictionise it. Turning my thoughts and feelings into characters and narratives of ghosts and spiders and robots makes it so much easier to cope with and understand. And then delevoping that into a video or a comic or a song helps me to structure these thoughts and i can look at it objectively and get a much clearer understanding of what’s going on. Then i can relate that back to myself and everything is cool.

I mean, this isn’t a perfect system to rely on by any means. it can leave you frustrated because you can’t find a suitable metaphor, or, worse, you can totally over do it, and as you try to understand everything, you develop a compulsion to make things all the time and you’re not really thinking about what you’re doing…and then that manifests itself in your stuff as robot that is programmed to mindlessly create….and you realise that’s just a product of your compulsion and it’s not very healthy…and you end up making a comic about a manifestation of that thought (with tentacles) trying to stop you from drawing the robot…but then you realise you’ve just fictionalised yourself in this scenario and so you have the tentacled thought address that….
….and as you can see, the whole thing gets a lot more muddled than if you’d just tried dealing with the reality of the situation in the first place.

but usually that’s not actually much of a problem and it does help most of the time to do this.

i left a comment on Michael’s video saying that i had watched a video a few years back where Penny Rimbaud had said that “creating is giving” and i totally knew what that meant until about an hour ago when i tried explaining it in the earlier draft of this post.
i think what i interpreted from the quote when i first heard it was that if you made something that brings you personal comfort or wisdom, it’s kinda selfish to keep that for yourself and so you should put it out there so that others can maybe take something from it too. Equally, if something is troubling you and you express it, you should share it…a problem shared is a problem halved and all that.
also, that creation is a form of communication, and just by making something you’re giving insight into how you see the world (whether that’s to an audience, your future self or just the universe).

i can also see now though, that it could mean something else. it could be that creating is giving something that has nothing relating to the self. just like a birthday present or whatever. it’s putting out a thing to entertain a person who wants to recieve it.

and that’s lovely…but also where it all went wrong for me when i was writing this post originally.
because actually, lots of my videos and comics aren’t about understanding the world. lots of them just exist for fun. to entertain people. to entertain me. and that seems fine. that seems a good enough cause to do things…but for some reason i don’t want to admit that that’s what i do. i don’t want to admit that i like attention sometimes. i don’t want to admit that i like getting loads of comments and reblogs and e-mails occassionally. i don’t want to admit that i do get a little disappointed when a video or comic doesn’t get a lot of views or notes. and i’m not entirely sure why i don’t want to admit those things.
i think, like a lot of youtubers have been admitting lately, i’m just scared. scared of failure – that i’ll never be entertaining enough, and scared of success – that i’ll never be successful enough. i think if you admit to yourself that fame is your goal then you’re pretty much building yourself a road to unhappiness (or at least that’s what it looks like from my point of view right now). and really i just want to be happy where i am and doing what i’m doing now and not have to worry about all that other stuff.
and part of me, for some reason, says it’s supremely arrogant to be that guy who’s like “look at me! i wanna be famous! rate, comment and subscribe!
But that’s just stupid because that is an incredibly honest and genuine thing to do. and everyone i know who has that sort of attitude is incredibly humble and grateful for their following. and surely it’s a lot more self-centered and arrogant to say something like [hipster voice]”i make videos to understand myself and the universe and then impart my infinite wisdom to the masses.” don’t cha think??
and while we’re on the subject of hypocrisy – ‘creating is giving’ – i got a whole bunch of comics and videos and things that i don’t share with people. i don’t put them on youtube or tumblr…i don’t even watch some of them back myself. so i don’t know what’s going on!
i don’t know why i make anything.
fucked if i know why i tube!

and i don’t really wanna think about it…cause that causes this^!

the only thing i can say for certain on why i make these things, is cause a lot of my friends do. and i don’t get to see any of them as much as i would like. and, y’know, making videos is just a great excuse to keep in touch, and get together and spend an afternoon doing something fun with the people i love.*

*but even that doesn’t make sense cause i ANIMATE everything!!!!!

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5 Responses to overthoughts

  1. mickeleh says:

    Ed, I love the jumbled mixed-media honesty of this post. I’m going to read this many many times before I reply beyond this: whatever your reasons are for doing what you do, I’m just delighted that you’re doing it.

  2. E says:

    I sort of got the impression that you feel as though you aren’t honest enough with yourself and the people who watch your videos/read your comics/blog and all that- but this was incredibly honest, more honest than I could ever bring myself to be! (And at times you can be really conflicted about the things you post and what you’re doing).
    I know it’s really hard to do, like you said, but man you’re not doing as badly as you may think you are, and like you said, everyone can pretty much relate (granted on different levels). Plus, you end up thinking about things that you’d rather not (like imminent failure).
    I’m really happy you posted this, especially because I’ve been feeling the same way for a long, long while; it’s really nice to know you’re not alone in your fears and muddled thoughts, and it’s definitely better than getting some generic, hallmark advice.
    Even though it’s difficult to remember that, too.

  3. Sophie says:

    I hear ya bro! 🙂

  4. Badger Kong says:

    I’m surprised other Youtubers on WordPress haven’t shared their opinions on why they are on Youtube, like you have. It’s great to see that you’re so enthusiastic with what you do, and I think I’m going to try and break down my thoughts using characters too! I’ve responded to Mickeleh from a non-Youtuber perspective, so feel free to check my blog post out, and give me your opinions.

  5. Oh Ed. I read your post with so much understanding and I can relate to most of the things you describe. Unfortunately I don’t have any advice for you. But I’m not sure whether that’s not necessary or not, because it seems like you do the things that you’d like to do and that’s always a good way to start. Moreover you seem like a reflected person and that’s amazing, too, because you’ll always try to improve yourself. The most important thing is that you don’t let yourself down and the rest will add up (:

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