Wandering Slowly into YouTube

My Wandering PathI’ve been taking photographs since I was 11 years old. Over the past 39 years, I’ve felt comfortable behind the camera, but I’ve never overcome my discomfort of being in front of it. I’ve seen other authors bite the bullet and create videos on a regular basis and post them to YouTube. It helps get their names and books out there.

They don’t always talk about writing or their books. They create a following with interesting videos on a variety of topics.

I had shared a few videos in the past, but I want to do more. I’ve convinced myself the only way to do that is to gain experience making videos – because I like a challenge and my world isn’t crazy enough.

My first step was to watch videos by different people to see how they went about creating content. There are a wide-range of styles and subjects on YouTube, so it is easy to find something to pique your interest.

When I began practising with my phone to shoot videos, the first issue I noticed was the audio. I saw YouTubers often had a mic clipped to their shirt, so I did a little investigating.

This venture might fall flat on its face, so I didn’t want to invest a lot of money until I knew I’d continue making videos. After hearing others discuss mics, I decided upon the Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone – yeah, a mouthful – for the lapel sold on Amazon. It came with an adapter to use with Apple products, which was a necessity because I use a second-hand iPhone. One of the videos I watched stressed this point.

The cost of the mic was $16.99 plus $4.08 for shipping. If I had ordered other items and spent more than $35, I would have gotten free shipping.

Marr Headstone Milford CemeteryI used this mic to make multiple practice videos, then I put it to work to create A Tour of the Milford Cemetery, Hants Co., Nova Scotia. You won’t see my face in the video – I’m not that brave yet – but you will hear my voice. I realised from this video, I must work on speaking smoothly and avoid unnecessarily stressing certain words and syllables. I don’t think this is how I normally speak; I did it specially for the video because who doesn’t want to sound uncomfortable in their own language?

From my limited experience, the mic was excellent. Still, it wasn’t perfect when the wind blew. If the wind was mild, the mic didn’t pick it up, so my voice came through clear. I tested it today in 33 km/h winds with gusts of 60 km/h. Needless to say, the mic picked up the wind and created a lot of noise.

Although I will avoid strong winds while shooting video, there may be times when I won’t be able to.

Mic Wind BreakerI referred back to YouTube for tips. Several YouTubers use a ‘puff of hair’. Some called it a fuzzy cat while others called it a fuzzy bunny. It turns out, there’s one specifically for my mic.

The Fur Microphone Windscreen for the lapel Lavalier Mic cost only $3.72 on Amazon. Shipping was free! I ordered it today. I’ll let you know how it works after I give it a test run.

My journey on YouTube is uncertain. I’m uncertain I’ll enjoy making videos or committing the time it takes to edit them. I’m uncertain what content I’ll focus on. At the moment, I’ll visit cemeteries (to appease my genealogy addiction), cenotaphs (to honour those who served), historical places (for research for my fantasy novels) and beaches (because I love the water).

My YouTube channel is called My Wandering Path because I love to wander. I live by the philosophy all those who wander are not lost.

It will be interesting to see where this wandering path takes me. I am aiming for a year in an RV travelling across Canada, but that won’t take place until all my children have graduated high school.

Several days after I uploaded my video to YouTube, I realised I had forgotten to promote one of my books at the end of it. I’ll correct that in my next video.

Do you have a YouTube channel that directly or indirectly promotes your books? If so, share the link below. Do you have any great tips to share with an amateur?

*Prices mentioned in this post are Canadian dollars.

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15 thoughts on “Wandering Slowly into YouTube

  1. Wow, nice job Diane. And thanks for the tips on the mic. I too want to start doing videos and don’t have a great handle on it yet so I’m eager to take tips from you. 🙂 I purchased a headset last year in hopes to start then, but I haven’t yet. What would be wrong with using the recorder built in to the phone?

    • Thanks, Debby. The reason I use the mic plugged into the phone is because it keeps the sound of my voice at the same level and reduces outside noise. Without the mic, the level of my voice depends upon how close the phone is to my mouth. If I’m raising and lowering the phone for shots, my the loudness of my voice will fade.

      My ‘fuzzy bunny’ to cover the mic hasn’t arrived yet, but that will go over the mic and reduce the wind noise.

      I had the mic for months before I posted my first video. It’s intimidating, so I understand your delay in starting. For me, it was all new territory, so I was somewhat reluctant to put myself out there.

      However, now I’m determined to learn as I go, make mistakes and see where this takes me. I’m certain when I look back at the videos I’m making right now, I’ll cringe because I’m an amateur. But I can’t get better unless I stumble forward and keep making them.

      My advice is to just do it. Just like when I published my first book.

  2. I do a fair bit of scripted public speaking in lodge, and one of the tricks I’ve learned is that I do much better when I practice while pacing. When walking and speaking you quickly learn how to measure your sentences as well as your breathing for it to seem natural.

    Looking forward to seeing more from your YouTube channel.

    • Thanks, Peter. After reading a few headstones, I realised I should read it first to see what was written, then record me reading it. In many cases, I had to move my head to have the light reflect off the letters before I could read them. I will practise the walking and talking and see if that helps me. My goal was to speak slowly as I’m known for speaking quickly when giving presentations.

  3. Very interesting! Likely it will be a while before I venture down this path–still have plenty to do developing the sites and, most importantly, doing the writing. 🙂

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