Why it took me two years to record a single video
Every year, around February I'm running out of motivation. This lasts about 2 to 3 weeks. I don't know what causes this - maybe my New Year Resolutions are lagging.
At the end of these periods, I always end up with a life-changing to-do list.
When I look at it I realize, these are the same items as last year, and another year has passed.
Making a YouTube video is an item that I'm trying to cross out on my list for the past two years.
It's not that I completely procrastinated on it each year, my notebook is full of video ideas:
These notes are taken from
It's a brilliant video that features well-known creators from the industry. I don't know how many times I re-watched it, took notes, prepared my ideas, then started working on them.
I kept all my Audio and Screen Recordings, some of them are from 2019.
But I never released anything.
I often heard myself saying:
Sure, someone's going to watch that. I mean, come on, it's in the documentation. What's the point of recording it?
I'm not reading
README files anymore, I'm devouring them.
After being in the industry for more than 10 years, I realize that not much has changed.
Sure, there is better tooling it's much easier to get started with almost anything. But I notice the similarities between a
pom.xml from Maven when I did Java back in 2011 and between
After all these years, when I look at new tech, I soon start to recognize some patterns.
This is why recording videos on basic topics never made sense to me, but I ignored an important point:
And here goes my first mental block:
I dismissed my ideas because I validated them against a one-person audience: me.
Concepts that are basic for someone who spent a decade in the industry could be life-changing for people who just want to get started.
Finding the best idea
I recorded my first video about contributing to an open-source project.
This is an idea that doesn't appear anywhere in my notebook, I never wrote any script or even bullet points for it.
It was a Saturday morning and I had to make a PR for an open-source library and it hit me:
I should record this.
There goes the video planning, scripting, and all that stuff. I guess it's more doing and less planning for me.
So my second mental block was: iterating too much on ideas. Trying to find the perfect topic, instead of recording something that has some value.
You can't iterate if you never ship.
Does it worth the effort to do all the screen recording, the audio, get the code examples right. Fail first, then fail a second and a third time? A day of work just so that I can say at the end of the day: yeah, it was a lame idea anyway.
I don't have to do this.
There many other things that I could do right now that would make me feel better, or in my case until next year, February.
So my third mental block is:
Being comfortable. I convinced myself to not change anything so that I can complain about not making progress next year.
Funny, at some point this even made sense to me. If a problem appears rarely you might not want to deal with it immediately or at all.
But there's a huge catch:
This change compounds. It's not only that entering YouTube is not going to haunt me next year. It already caused a bunch of other things right now that I'm happy about.
It's in the freeCodeCamp video, it's part of every YouTube tutorial. It makes sense on an audio-visual medium:
The first real blocker: Get a decent microphone.
Of course, I explained to myself, why a microphone wouldn't help me.
You might have already heard about GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). As the name implies, it's about collecting stuff. When purchasing a piece of gear is the prerequisite for a specific activity:
Once I have that fitness watch, I'll start exercising
We all know how this ends. I was telling myself:
The reason why you think you need a microphone is that you have GAS instead of good ideas. You wouldn't record anything even with a quality mic.
So I gathered all my strength and bought a microphone.
There are two knobs on the Rode NT-USB mic that I purchased. With the top knob, you can set the feedback to the max. This means you'll hear back yourself, from the microphone, over your headphones. I'm not gonna lie, I was listening to my voice for about 10 minutes.
Is it a happy end, did I record that video? I almost didn't.
I was already familiar with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) from my failed years in video production. At least I didn't have to learn that from the beginning.
I set up my microphone, found a non-distracting background, and started recording.
I recorded the whole thing in one turn. Some sentences I said twice or even three times and I wanted to cut those in iMovie.
I quickly realized: iMovie can't handle
.mkv videos - that was the format that OBS created.
Hooray, I thought! One more reason to not mess with this, I can't even edit my videos. It's finally time to do something else! After some fight with myself, I thought, not this time!
I found DaVinci Resolve on the App Store that could import and edit my recording. The app is fantastic, I'm going to use it for my next video as well.
I spent an hour editing a 10-minute long video but I knew I'm close to getting rid of a task that's on my to-do list for 2 years.
I could've edited a bit longer, I should have tweaked the audio, but the thing is:
it's doesn't matter if this video is perfect or not:
- it's already a huge win for me because I did something I both dreamed about and also avoided
- as my friend put it: think of your YouTube videos as small oil wells. Each of them produces views over time, some more, some less. The overall performance of the channel is what matters.
If I end up creating more content on my channel I'll always proudly look back at this first video.
The moment when I defeated the constant wishing and not doing.
You can watch my first YouTube video here:
I'm new to all this so every bit of information helps.
What should I do differently, what you enjoyed/found annoying so please leave a comment below or reach out to me on Twitter.
Thank you 🙌