October

October is one of my favorite months. Between some of the best weather of the year, warm fall drinks, and the incredible joy I take from every aspect of Halloween, it’s a cozy and wonderful time. So far in October I’ve visited a lot of family, but the rest of the month is devoted to… well, to a lot of work, of course.

My “blog every day in September” project was relatively successful, based on the goals I had for the month. I published a post, on average, about every other day in September. While this is far from “every day,” I knew from the beginning that was an unlikely goal. I was challenging myself with that extreme number after hardly writing at all for most of 2017 in order to kick myself into gear, and I’m happy with what I managed to produce. I also wrote about a lot more topics than I would usually cover, from discussions of art I had consumed, to commentary on news events, to musings about popular sayings. I’ll continue to write about these kinds of topics here on a roughly weekly basis (for now).

The September writing push also led to some more opportunities for me. Going forward I’m going to be a copywriter for the Internet Creators Guild—if you get their newsletter, you’ll soon be receiving my work in your inbox.

In October, I’m focusing more on video production. In the next week I’ll be publishing the first full video of my study abroad series, as well as the premiere of my revamped “In Defense of Disney” series. Both are more heavily scripted and edited than a lot of my previous videos, so I’m working hard to make sure they’re the quality I want them to be.

This month I’m also determined to caption all of my YouTube videos. It’s frankly inexcusable that they’ve gone un-captioned for so long, and this month I’m holding myself accountable for it.

Other stuff going on October (besides SPOOKY TIME) includes: preparing for a (modified) NaNoWriMo, research for a new podcast (oooh), preparing for the new season of Corner of the Sky, and hopefully making progress on the big question of What The Heck To Do After Graduation. Ah, knowledge of what one is doing and/or where one is living after May, that’s what dreams are made of.

Ten Years

Ten years ago today, prolific creator Tyler Oakley uploaded his first video to YouTube. Now he has an audience of nearly eight million people, who have supported a podcast, book, documentary, various charitable campaigns, and a national live tour. Today, Oakley reacted to a surprise video of his friends (mostly other prominent YouTubers) sharing their favorite memories and congratulating him on ten years.

When I watched this video, I was thinking about a simple truism: in order to reach the kind of longevity, you have to keep working. Furthermore, in order to reach success, you have to keep working for long enough to reach it. Those sentences don't mean anything, they're just repeating themselves—and yet somehow, they're a good reminder for all of us.

Regular articles for my September writing project come back tomorrow.

#BEDS

Summer was fun, but it's time to get back to life, and back to work. I'm continuing production of Mixed Feelings and Corner of the Sky, bringing back Solidly Mediocre, and developing some new shows for release in the spring. Videos are coming back this week, with some series that I'm excited about.

Finally, I'm planning some big changes right here. I'm pushing my blog to be less personal and more oriented towards political and cultural commentary. I'll probably also release personal essays, but they will not be my main focus. This is a new thing for me, so it might not work out at all, but we'll see! To kick this off, I'm doing a "blog every day in September" project, or "BEDS" (an acronym I was delighted to discover).

Also, this blog has a twitter account now, so that's fun.

Summer Podcasting

I uploaded Mixed Feelings episode 38 yesterday, which means that I've officially finished every summer episode of my podcasts in 2017.

I recorded shows at 2am to match with my cohost's schedule. I drove to my friend's mom and my mom's friend's house to get good enough internet to record panel shows. I recorded shows even when I was sick (if you thought my voice was a little strange on the Relay FM bonus episode, that's because I was ill and recorded it laying down on the floor).

I edited shows in Maine, California, Montreal, London, Bath, and Edinburgh; I edited on buses, trains, and planes. I uploaded them in dorm rooms, AirBnBs, and hostels. I uploaded one at Google in Mountain View.

Some episodes were late. Some episodes weren't very good. But the only episodes I missed were when my laptop was broken. I'm proud of my work this summer, and I'm excited to keep making bigger and better things this year.

November Goals

I avoided talking about my goals last month, because I failed all of my September goals, so instead I just decided to carry them over to October. I also made this tweet:

 

    So I guess I was successful?

    My actual goals for September/October:

    Keeping up with classes: I was doing okay at this until this week… That’s what happens after I go out twice for Halloweekend. Back to the grind this week!

    Finish I Am Malala: I am so, so close to finishing this. It’s basically done.

    Finish 1 creative writing piece: Yes, I have finished a first draft on one creative piece, plus I wrote two articles for an on-campus magazine this month.

    Exercise 4 times a week: I think I’m averaging more 3 times a week, but still, not too bad.

    Practice Chinese every day: hit or miss, but getting on average 4 times a week, I think. Always room for improvement.

    Continue making content/make more videos in October: I’m keeping up with my schedule for Solidly Mediocre, every other Wednesday, so that’s great. I put out two videos in September, which is okay but not fantastic. I made 3 videos in October, which is a little better. I wrote two blog posts in September and one in October, which I think is the bare minimum to continue saying I have a blog.

    But also, did you see this?! I have a new show coming!

    My roommate Gillian and I are launching a new show for Relay FM called “Mixed Feelings,” which launched episode 0 on the Members’ Only Feed last week. The first real episode is out very, very soon, which is so exciting and so stressful. I have been waiting MONTHS to announce this. Literally months. I almost exploded. But now it’s (almost) out!

    (The show is about news, politics, and pop culture, so good thing we started it immediately before election day.)

    Honestly though I’m so ready for a post-election life, and then there will be other news we can talk about and it’ll be fantastic.

    And that brings me to November Goals:

    I’m keeping the goals of exercise and practicing Chinese goals the same, just trying to work a little bit on both of them as much as I can.

    Last week I was shamed for not having read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, so the people who shamed me are lending me the book and I’m reading that this month.

    Modified NaNoWriMo: NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, is a challenge where people try to write a 50,000 page manuscript in the month of November. I definitely can’t commit to writing an entire new manuscript this month-- the last novel I wrote took me four years-- but I DO want to write more, so my tentative goal is to write 50,000 words. Just that, write 50,000 words. I’m counting blog posts, short stories, essays for school, video scripts, anything I write. I think in an average month the maximum I would write is about 10,000 words, so 50,000 is definitely a big step up.

    Finally, I’m going to caption my videos! I’ve wanted to caption them for months and have been working on this recently. My goal is by the end of November have them all captioned, and then have the captions ready for each video as I post them.

    It’s hard to set goals during school because there is always so much going on that it’s hard to slow down and work on anything besides the daily grind of assignments, but making these videos and making an effort to think about what else I want to be working towards is really helpful for me. I hope that this month I can keep up my goals, especially while trying to do NaNoWriMo and not fail out of school. We’ll see.

Thoughts on Vlogs

I filmed my first vlog last week. It was… Well, you can see how it was.

As you can definitely tell, I’m not very comfortable on camera. I think it ended up being unintentionally harsh to professional vloggers… I promise I don’t actually think there’s anything wrong with them. I just felt so awkward that I was wondering what makes a person enjoy being on camera. I had filmed a “first vlog” in my dorm room several weeks ago, but it turned out terrible because I was uncomfortable and kept my voice so low the camera didn’t pick it up very well (I was worried about people in the hall hearing me). At least this time, I actually got a video out!

Beyond my general awkwardness, here are my thoughts on my first vlog.

1. What’s up with audio recording? I originally captured external audio on my Yeti microphone, which I use to record podcasts. However, when I put my audio and visual files together, the sound was completely off the picture by the end. I genuinely do not understand this. How could they be recording them differently?! Unfortunately, I will just have to figure that out later. To spare myself the headache this time, I just used the audio from my iPhone.

2. The lighting turned out surprisingly well, especially considering that I was using an iPhone. I sat directly in front of my windows and the natural light looked fantastic on my phone.

3. I didn’t want to use my room as a background because I just don’t think it looks very good on camera. Instead, I taped a sheet to my ceiling fan to make a background in front of my windows. I’m not kidding…

In a few weeks, I move into my summer housing, and I’m determined to unpack and decorate with appropriate video backgrounds in mind.

4. I’m looking forward to recording more videos. This is a weird medium, and having my face out there is weird on a level I don’t even understand yet, but it’s one more way to put content out in the world. I’m the happiest when I’m creating more than consuming. I don’t know if making videos will ever go anywhere, but I’m excited to go through this journey for as long as it lasts.

 

Deadlines

I have a total of five half-written blog posts in my writing folder right now. That might explain why I haven’t posted a blog in the past six weeks.

People have different relationships with deadlines. Some get completely freaked out by the pressure, some can’t work without them. As my college career progresses, I’ve become one of those people who can’t work without deadlines. I also somehow have picked up on the habit of using every single hour available to me. I could have two days or two weeks to write a paper and I would still finish it the night before it’s due. I could have a year to write a paper and I would probably still finish it the night that it’s due. *thesis looms ominously in the distance*

The problem is that there is simply too much going on to prioritize anything that doesn’t have a due date staring me in the face. If I had one thing due in two weeks and no other assignments between now and then, I’d like the think that I could get it done early. However, when I have something due every other day over that two weeks… it’s really difficult to get any amount of substantial work done until two days before it’s due.

And now, we’re back to “I haven’t posted a blog in six weeks.” It also circles around to the point of this blog, which is my new schedule. This is my summer schedule, so it will probably be revised as time goes on and when school comes back, but here it is:

Sunday: Video

Every other Wednesday: Podcast

Thursday: Blog post

Saturday: Word Art

 

There it is. See you soon.

Welcome to Aspiring Robot.

This is a project that I started thinking about a year ago, started really planning almost four months ago, and am finally officially launching today.

I like to create things. Writing, art, videos, podcasts. Food, collages, songs, stories. No matter what it is, I just feel better about myself when I'm making something.

From now on I'll be regularly producing podcasts, videos, writing pieces (both fiction and non-fiction), and word art. While they will almost all be available on major distributors (podcast hosts, YouTube, and Tumblr), everything will also be centrally located on this website.

It's hard to say what I'm most excited about. I'm a regular consumer of podcasts and YouTube videos, so it's great to experience this world through the other side of the looking glass. I've also been a writer since I was six years old but never seriously pursued it, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it develops as I actually attempt to make my writing publicly available. And the word art... Well, that's just a lot of fun.

I hope you'll join me on this adventure, and get some enjoyment out of all my content experiments.

My name is Quinn Rose, and I aspire to be a robot.