Reflections on making weekly videos for the last six months

Hello friends. How are we? As ever, the neglect of this blog is highly regrettable, but I find putting energy into making videos far more fulfilling, and therefore, that remains my priority. Instead, you can be my mistress. I haven’t forgotten you, but I need a son and heir. But the lack of pressure means I can really be myself with you. Have I overextended the metaphor?

Almost certainly.

To continue with it: I’ve been married for six months! Which is to say, I have been making at least a video a week for the last six months! Yay! It’s astounding when I think about it, because the last six months have been incredibly incredibly difficult, especially the January—June period of this year. I went through an immense amount of family problems and related financial stress; I had a best friend ‘break up’ (Emma of Sarcastic Fish and I have spoken a lot about platonic break ups and how they’re often much harder than romantic ones) and also the worst of my depression. (I hate saying *my* depression; it’s very much not mine; it leaves nothing of me to even be able to own anything) Also I had university exams and I directed a play. It’s been a crazy time. And throughout it, making videos and learning languages have very much been my escapism.

I got a comment today, saying that they wanted to start making language videos, but didn’t know where to start. I’m not really sure it should be overthought; my first language video, entitled я говорю по-русски, is a terribly lit video, filmed on a web cam, without any edits, but was entirely designed for future me. In fact, all of my videos were until quite a while later, where I felt aware of people commenting on my mistakes.

It’s perhaps too easy to saying “don’t think; just do”, but I do believe just starting video making, and only keeping it up if you enjoy it is the best and most important thing to do. That’s why I’ve kept you as a mistress rather than taking two marriage partners; making videos and actually speaking is far more me.

YouTube is also a fickle platform; although I hit 100 subscribers in June, and then only three months later, the channel has grown tenfold to 1000 people who’ve clicked on that button, it’s not always reflected in views, comments, likes or Adsense. If making videos for the sole reason of having people watching them was my motivation, it would’ve been impossible for me to continue making them. Fun fact: I’ve been interested in video making for years. In fact, I’ve been uploading videos to YouTube on various accounts since 2011 or so — perhaps even 2010, and have been watching YouTube for even longer. I’ve been loving trying to improve both my editing skills but also how I come across on camera these last few months. Also the seemingly eternal online creator questions of how much do I share of myself? Which version of myself do I present?

The latter question might sound even a little creepy, but I think about the ‘Versions of Ophelia’ very often in real life. I am very aware of the impact that different people have on me. I’m a very extraverted person, but some people pull out almost sickening amounts of energy to the point that I imagine my energy is completely suffocating for other people, while others indulge my very, very cynical side and slightly evil sense of humour. I have a constant fear of actually being alone, and this combined with several manipulative relationships have led me to being someone who responds to people very acutely; so how exactly do I accommodate a YouTube audience? (even if it’s only of seventy people in some videos; the numbers aren’t really the question)

I guess that’s what I’m trying to work out. I’m trying to remember the cautionary tales of the likes of Lucy Moon or Dodie Clark when it comes to oversharing. I want to genuinely create, somehow, a supportive language learning community — I mean, one already exists, but I want to help it have a proper foothold in a “physical” space on the internet. I don’t know.

I started this off with saying not to overthink things.

I need to sleep.

This is a mess.

Goodnight, my mistress


Summer Language Goals — 3 month update

Let’s not faff around:

I have succeeded in:

  • Daily languages and daily videos in June
  • French:
    • refreshing grammar
    • read novels (Bonjour Tristesse and I read half of Candide and half of La Maîtresse de Brecht, so I think the plural counts)
    • trying out memrise (hated it)
  • Russian:
    • completing beginner babbel
    • getting into other resources (mainly the Russian Tutor book, Russlan 1 and 2 and a couple of others)
    • my handwriting did improve a bit
  • Swedish
    • my Teach Yourself books have been well used and I’ve refreshed my duolingo
  • Spanish
    • I did complete the Language Hacking Book and about half of Complete Teach Yourself Spanish, as well as taking bi-weekly lessons throughout June, and having a lot of speaking practice over the rest of the summer
  • Italian
    • … I started ladder Spanish and Italian, especially on duo lingo and in my notes, and that turned out to be the most productive thing for both languages
  • German
    • I did the majority of the Language Hacking Book, and have a reasonable grasp of the language, and I think I could pick it back up fairly easily if I wanted to (now is just not the time)
  • Arabic
    • YEEEEEEEEEES. (I’ll write a separate update post)


While I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to, especially with Spanish, Italian, German and Swedish, I set myself a lot of goals.

Most importantly, this has been such a lovely summer, and I am incredibly happy at the end of it.