Hello everyone! Today I decided to publish this unplanned article, as a huge "Thank You" to all the kind and supportive feedback I got from uploading my first tech tutorial on YouTube 2 days ago. And also, thanks to Tapas Adhikary for requesting this article.
It started from gaming. Yes, haha. Some of you may know that I play games as a hobby and recently started playing a game called Overwatch.
TLDR: I'm terrible at it and I wanted to document my progress by streaming on Twitch without showing my face. I'm seriously camera shy and super introverted.
And that's when a friend suggested VStreaming/VTubing. It means Virtual Streaming or Virtual Tubing. It works by rigging a 3D model to your own face with a webcam, so it can be your virtual avatar.
That's when I got an idea for this perfect compromise. Now I can share knowledge through a new medium like YouTube without showing my face but still with some kind of "face" for people to remember.
The tools and resources I used to set up VTubing are linked at the end of this article.
Just until recently, I would never have dreamt to release a public video on YouTube. So far, my YouTube account has been for personal records (i.e. hackathon demo videos). The thought to upload a video and share it with the public was just too overwhelming and scary to an introvert like me.
What motivates me to start in one word: readers.
Even though I'm usually good at self-motivation, I realized that sometimes we need a little push and encouragement from others to challenge ourselves beyond what we think we can do. And this is a great example for that statement.
My readers never fail to remind me that my writing helps them a lot. In return, I want to continue helping and supporting them in any way I can, especially by replying to every email.
However, I gradually find myself spending from 30 minutes a day to almost 1 hour a day replying emails to readers. Since I'm a believer that anything can be more efficient, I came up with 2 options:
- Publish an article that addresses these FAQs
- New challenge: have a video that answers these FAQs
Of course, if I had not discovered VTubing, I would go with option 1. And I've always done that. Most of the articles from my Blogging Series were written for that purpose.
But after publishing 365 Days of Hashnode: How I Overcome Imposter's Syndrome, not only did I received so much kind words, but also a small number of readers actually sent me emails asking if I do YouTube and if I don't, I should have one. And so, with this little motivation, I set up my webcam and hit 'Record'.
The How and The Struggles
Part 1: Recording
The recording part was the easiest part of this new challenge. I'm just talking to myself after all. But without a doubt, it was still a nerve-wrecking process.
I lowered my voice to hide my nervousness. If you have watched the video, please note that my natural voice is actually higher haha. I recorded over and over again because I was not happy with the outcome... But each time, I felt it was getting worse as I overthink too much and become more nervous in the process. Finally, I decided on the best version even though it was still lacking to me. My perfectionism is emerging again, oops...
Part 2: Uploading the video
To be honest, I didn't plan on uploading the video anytime soon. I recorded it 10 days ago and shared it with close friends. They were ecstatic about it and I thought,
"Okay, maybe someday I'll upload it and start YouTube. Someday..."
And that thought rests at the back of my mind for 10 days. On one side of my brain, I felt I should upload soon but on the other side, I'm afraid that this is not good enough, and so I could not upload.
As the days passed, I continuously give myself plenty of excuses to NOT upload. Like,
"It's still not good enough. Find time to record again until it's good."
"What if no one finds this helpful?
"What if it's disappointing to many people? What if I regret this?"
"You're not ready yet. Don't do it."
Slowly, more fear and self-doubt thoughts grew inside me. I thought maybe it's best I don't ever upload the video, or at least make it a private video. It was then I found this quote that helped me:
With this quote, I remembered why I recorded this in the first place. It's not about me, but it's for my readers. It's like another article, just a different format. If it's helpful to at least one person, then that's good enough. So I took a deep breath and click 'Upload'.
Part 3: Sharing the video
The struggle is not done yet. After overcoming part 2, I now have to tweet about uploading this video and ask for feedback. I had a 10-minute internal dilemma, wondering if this will really be a good decision. And after 10 minutes, I reassured myself that this is nothing scary and all a part of learning/growing within the community.
After so much struggles, the tweet was posted and an astounding number of people supported and leave kind feedback for my first ever video!
This is the start of a new challenge, and I've already learned a lot from this process. Here are some I'd like to share with you:
1. Self-doubt is not a lonely battle, and it can be overcome
Last year, I read "Mastery" by Robert Greene. In this book, he mentioned many respectful experts such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Charles Darwin all had experienced a lot of self-doubt of themselves. They never view themselves as masters, rather, they see themselves as mediocre and that they have never accomplished anything.
"Tell me if I ever did a thing." - Leonardo Da Vinci
Anyone can experience self-doubt so if you're ever struggling to start your blog or anything because of this, remember that you're not alone. To overcome this feeling, there's only one thing to do: just do it. And that's exactly what I did for this challenge.
"If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced." - Vincent Van Gogh
2. You are your harshest critic, learn self-compassion instead
Most of us want to accomplish something; we want to be successful. And in order to do that, we often hold ourselves to very high standards. Perhaps too high. This high standard is usually formed by your past experiences: Were your parents strict to you? Were you often compared to others? Are you bullied or criticized in your childhood?
At the end of the day, we can become our harshest critics. We see all the mistakes we made and become hard on ourselves when we don't live up to our own standards. Being critical of yourself can help you be motivated to do better, but it can also lead to fear and procrastination to pursue your goals.
So be mindful of the critic within you and learn to be kinder to yourself. I think this quote below summarizes it well. Image from quotefancy.com
3. Don't be a fortune-teller, be positive
Often times, we make assumptions about the outcome and that made us fearful to start something. Like this challenge, I had many "what if" questions and negative scenarios about starting, which led me to procrastinate and grow my self-doubt.
But we are not fortune-tellers, so we should not even try to predict the outcome or be consumed by negative scenarios that are painted from our worst imaginations. Don't overthink anything and just do it. You'll realize it's not as bad as you imagined.
What I did to finally reassure myself was thinking that it's okay if this one's no good. I'll just be better next time. Take a deep breath and have a positive mind. That's how you can overcome fortune-telling habits.
Image from smilingcolors.com
4. Surround yourself with good hearts
Continuously learning and growing yourself may be a personal challenge, but it doesn't mean you have to do it alone.
Thanks to some really special friends and good-hearted people around me, I really surprised myself this time - by doing something out of my comfort zone. So reach out and meet friends who will grow and overcome hurdles with you. It will be your greatest support and source of strength.
This picture is too cute! ❤️😭 True friendship!
I would like to conclude this article with a thank you to everyone who supported me in this entire process and brand new journey.
A shoutout to Megha Pathak, Sunrit Jana, Tapas Adhikary, Catalin Pit, Victor Ikechukwu, Tracy Nuwagaba, Usman Sabuwala, Olubisi Idris Ayinde, Geeky Chakri and Ricardo Mendoza for leaving kind words and feedback.
Let's see, I don't know how often I will continue making videos. Perhaps not as frequently as writing since I'm still just getting used to it but hopefully, I can bring more value to the community through videos too!
Thanks so much for reading this rather long article. If you haven't seen my first video, please do check it out here and feel free to provide any constructive feedback:
Also, if you're interested in VTubing, please see the Resources section below and don't hesitate to ask questions in the comments or to my email. Stay tuned for the next article and stay safe. Cheers!