A Hundred Ways This is Uncomfortable

film_countdown_05Don’t panic, I’m not actually going to list all 100 (or so).

Depending on how well you know me, it may seem a little odd that doing this vlog project is something that’s outside of my comfort zone.

Maybe you’ve seen me “hold court” among a group of friends or strangers, going on, at length (sometimes too much length) about any number of topics.

Maybe you’ve been at a wedding I’ve officiated.

Maybe you’ve known me long enough to have seen me on stage long, long ago in a play.

Maybe you’ve read my frank and direct (though often a bit purple) writing in my various blogs.

Being gregarious, open, and not afraid to step into the spotlight, how the heck is a vlog something I’m uncomfortable about?

Simple: I get through all that other stuff because it doesn’t leave me talking to myself.

Seriously, that’s a big part of it. Like most people, I don’t care much for how my voice sounds when it gets played back to me. As a trained public speaker, I can hear all the imperfections and hesitations and subtle stumbles. As someone who values silence as much as I do, hearing myself run on and on and on without any other voices interjecting is… disconcerting.

I’ve also questioned my own mental health enough over the years to worry just a wee bit when I find myself talking out loud and there’s no one else around. Since the current, default, vlog setup is just me, a camera, and a microphone, that’s all I’ll be doing.

I’ll also have no idea how things are being received until after they’re out there and beyond my control.

This is kind of a big deal. When I’m interacting directly with people, I can change up a lot of things based on their reactions. If the topic I’m on is falling dead, I can switch to a new one. If I’ve lost the interest of the audience, I can kick things up in my presentation, adding a little more flair. (With writing, I can always go back and edit… but mostly, I just spend a bunch of time going back over it before I put it out there, making small changes here and there… that’s really not something one can do easily with a daily vlog setup, at least not when it’s just a hobby.)

I don’t care much for looking at myself, either.

It took me a really, really long time to accept that I have, at least, an average appearance. There’s a lot that goes into that bit of personal psychology, but it is what it is. There is precisely one usable mirror in my apartment. It’s in the bathroom, over the sink. I avoid it as much as possible.

Pictures of myself? Don’t much care for most of them… no matter how good others thing they are. Seriously, you’re not going to find a flood of selfies on any of my streams. You’re not going to find dozens of profile pictures of me. I’ve been using the same two profile pictures for… a really long time. (I should probably switch to a new one before the transition will be really jarring to people… hmmm…)

While editing this vlog, I’m going to have to look at and listen to myself… a lot. That’s going to be tricky to do without getting all sorts of self-critical. (Definitely tied to the perfection paralysis I’m fighting to overcome in general with this project.)

So that’s something else I’ll need from all y’all: Perspective.

There’s a really good chance that, at some point over the next hundred days, I’ll hit a wild negative spiral or three. I’ll be frustrated that things aren’t showing up on screen like they are in my head; I’ll be fed up with how I look and sound; I’ll simply be looking for excuses to just stop.

Having other people along for the ride–people I know and trust–will help me keep all that under control better. It’s not that I want a bunch of emphatic encouragement and saccharine sweet praise. I expect honest criticism from my friends (and you do deliver oh-so-well most of the time).

The good and the bad, presented honestly, is what keeps me from flying off the road in either direction.

It also let’s me know that I’m not just talking to myself.

Speaking of talking… click the big green button below here to submit topic suggestions and questions so I’m not totally boring you to death for five minutes a day.

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About Kier

I've been on the web since about 1994. I have a background in a lot of things, including a five year stint as a journalist and over a decade of helping people get their message out to the world.

I write on a number of subjects--everything from relationships to personal development to politics and every day life. I hope you get something worthwhile out of it.

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