International (Geeky) Women’s Day 2018

The first time I ever heard about this thing called “International Women’s Day” I was working on the Kearl Lake facility outside of Fort McMurray, Alberta. I was alerted to its existence when I was invited by a random HR person I didn’t know to come up to the main control room and have a piece of cake, which was inscribed with the number of women who were working on the site in various roles. At the time, I’ll be honest, it seemed like one of the stupidest concepts I’d ever heard. For one thing, the number of women working on the site at that time compared to the number of men was not all that impressive. I can’t recall the exact numbers, but it was something like 1000 women compared to 7000 men, and a chunk of those women didn’t even actually work on the site (they were in offices, off site, doing things like booking flights). For another thing, it just seemed like an odd thing to be celebrating to me. Yay to Kearl for hiring a bunch of women who’d applied to the jobs and earned them because they were the most suited for the available positions at the time? Go team?

That was more than six years ago, meaning I was still in my twenties, and I may have been more than a little jaded and self-righteous, I’ll admit it. I was the only women on my technical commissioning team of several hundred and I’d never personally experienced any issues, so I may have been a little biased against the plight of women who had. Ignorance is bliss, and all that.

These days I’m no longer outright “this is dumb” in my opinions, but I’m still a little wary about special days that celebrate a specific group of people. In my opinion it’s one thing to use special days in order to bring awareness to serious world issues, but there’s something about singling out specific denominations that never sits well with me. It just seems a little…anti-equality, I guess. I figure, personally, how can we truly fight for equality among all people when we keep purposely bringing attention to the fact that we’re different?

Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know, but if I’m being totally honest, those are my feelings about it. Not to mention, let’s be honest: when you create a day to celebrate a certain group, inevitably there will be members of that group who use it as a way to act like an ass and get away with it. No matter how many women are out there who have good reasons to celebrate this day, there will always be the few (who are always the loudest) who use it as a way to bash men, act high-and-mighty, and start a bunch of crap in the name of “feminism”. That’s why I made this tweet first thing this morning when I realized what day it is:

“It’s , so let’s take a moment to think about how we can make the world a better place, not only by refusing to PUT UP with shit, but also by not STARTING shit. We can all – men AND women – be better people, so let’s keep that in mind. ^_~

Fair enough? I personally thought so. 🙂

And now, because I don’t want this post to be too overly serious…

I went on to celebrate International Women’s Day the way only a total geek with an enormous attachment to fictional characters can do. I asked my Basement Geeks to share a picture or gif of a female character they love, and then I took pics of some of my toys and shared four female characters I grew up idolizing for their brains, beauty, ability to kick ass, and ability to have major crazy fun.


Sailor Mercury was one of the first characters I can remember truly wanting to be like. She was a superhero who was also sweet, pretty, and exceptionally intelligent, and her intelligence was often a driving point in the show that helped save the team. As a total nerd who got teased for doing so well in school, I absolutely loved Ami Mizuno for this reason. To me, she proved that the “nerd” could be the hero too, and that focusing on the more mental side of things didn’t mean you had to sacrifice in other areas of life.

The Pink Power Ranger struck a chord with me not only because she was also a superhero with an awesome costume and a goddamn Pterodactyl mech, but also because she was a “popular” girl who wasn’t a total bitch. I loved that Kimberly Ann Hart was fun and friendly even though she was also the kind of girl who would be the lead cheerleader and get all the boys. I didn’t see much of that combination in real life, but even seeing it on the small screen gave me hope that there were actually girls like that out there, and that maybe I could even be one of them.

Batman the Animated Series was an enormous part of my childhood, and I always loved Harley Quinn to death. She might not be the world’s best role model, given a laundry list of issues including, you know…being a completely psychotic villain. But I loved her for how fun she was. She was loud and confident and seemed able to have a blast no matter what was going on around her, which was pretty much the exact opposite of shy, quiet, self-depreciating me when I was young.

And then, of course, there was Princess Leia, the first lady of the Star Wars universe, played by the amazingly wonderful late Carrie Fisher. Watching A New Hope for the first time, I found myself faced with one of the most amazing female characters I’d ever seen at that point in my life. She was the leader of a rebellion, risking her life to change the whole galaxy. She saved the male characters as often as they saved her, and she did so while looking amazing and popping off one-liners like a pro. Plus she was a goddamn princess. I fell in love with her from the moment she stood up to Darth Vader in the opening scenes of the original trilogy.

For the record, I didn’t have a figure I could take a pic of for my all-time most idolized character, who is Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I grew up with Buffy, and to this day I still adore how her character is powerful, yet vulnerable, talented, yet flawed, is able to save the world, but also makes horrible mistakes. She made me laugh like a fool, she made me bawl my eyes out like a total baby. I cheered for her, feared for her, and felt her losses like a knife in my own heart. She’s one of the most genuinely human characters I’ve ever known, relatable at the same time as being untouchable, and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever grow out of wanting to be just like her.

So now I pass the question off to you. Let’s take this day and make ourselves smile with it. Which female characters did you look up to as a child? Which ones do you still look up to? Which ones changed your life? Which ones do you think you’ll never be able to let go of? Share with me, and remember that whether you’re a woman, a man, or any denomination on this planet Earth, we can all be better people and make the world a better place if we’re willing to. 


Dream Log – February 19th 2018 – Family Exploits & High School Headstrong


What are your feelings about dreams? Are they meaningful or complete nonsense? Are they our brains trying to work through the compiled information of the day, or just random firing synapses shooting back a series of random garbled information back at us?

I personally have always subscribed to the idea that dreams are our subconscious trying to piece together a narrative based on recently gathered information, nearly-forgotten memories, deep-seated concerns, and other such things that we don’t much think about on a conscious level, but are always in the back of our minds trying to find a way to come out. The result may not always make any kind of sense that we can discern logically, but I suspect that if we’re able to look at our dreams in a subjective, unbiased kind of way, we can glean little tidbits about our mental states, fears and worries, deep-seated desires, or even just things we’ve forgotten about.

And, if nothing else, they can be pretty damn interesting sometimes.

With all that said, I thought I’d start keeping a dream log on here, whenever I have a dream that sparks my interest enough to still be remembered by the time I make it to my laptop. For years I’ve had extraordinarily detailed and vivid dreams, so I’ll try not to get overly detailed, or else these logs will be novelettes in and of themselves. ^_~

So without further ado, let’s move into the nighttime nonsense of February 19, 2018.

I had two dreams last night, and the first started off fairly mundane, with what seemed to be some kind of a family golf tournament on a large course that we had exclusively to ourselves. My parents were there, as well as my husband and step-father, and a smattering of aunts, uncles, and cousins. We were playing in two groups, but seemed to be staying very close together, and though the “golf tournament” part seemed obvious during the dream, upon later reflection I realize that at no point throughout the dream did anyone actually golf.

We instead were having some kind of a picnic in the middle of the course, complete with tables. We had a huge variety of food and were all eating away, except my father, who was simply sitting and staring into the distance, not talking to anyone. After some prodding I worked out that he wanted fries, which was something we didn’t have with us, and that was the only thing he wanted. It was rather petulant, but in the dream I was perfectly cheery about it and offered to walk all the way back to the club house to chop up some potatoes and throw them in the Actifry.

There’s a bit of a chunk missing from my memory here, but I recall that on the way back to the club house I noticed a lot of people coming and going, some of them relatives, many holding things like presents and flowers and the like, and I remember it occurred to me, in a vague kind of way, that one of my cousins was getting married here later.

So at some point I was finished with the potatoes and had them in the Actifry, and the plan was to take it back to the picnic to cook them (where the power was going to come from, I’m not sure). My father had somehow appeared at the club house with me, and was being very pokey and slow, which was really starting to annoy me, although I was still smiling and being very cheery about the whole thing. When we finally left the building, it was to find wedding preparations in full swing, with people walking around in formal gear, and my aunt and uncle welcoming guests to a podium with a guest book to sign. My father didn’t even seem to notice all the excitement, but I had a moment of dread, realizing that we’d all somehow forgotten that the wedding was happening today. In our casual clothes, carrying an Actifry, I lead my dad up to the guest book, and we smiled and chatted with my aunt and uncle while signing it, before simply walking past the entire setup and heading straight back to our picnic.

Instead of the picnic, however, we somehow ended up at a hotel. The majority of the family was staying in one large room that was like a mansion’s living room, while my husband and I and one other couple were staying in a very small one-bed room just next door down the hall.

A great number of random things seemed to start happening at once at this point. For one thing, I plugged in the Actifry and started it cooking, even though at this point it was nearly midnight. My uncle seemed to think that it would set off the fire alarms, but I assured him it wouldn’t. Meanwhile there was a balcony that connected the large room and the small one, and some of the smaller children went outside to play on it, but I ran over and called them back with clear panic, because there was no railing and I was sure they’d fall. At this point we were on the 30th floor, so falling would have been a death sentence, though I seemed to be the only one who realized this.

The number of people present seemed to double, making a very crowded room, and though it was the middle of the night there seemed to be constantly people coming and going from their rooms out in the hall. In the little room with my husband we were also keeping our two cats, and every time someone opened the door they would both take off down the hall, sometimes into the stairwell. We kept chasing them over and over again, getting more and more angry by the second, and every time I picked up the little one she would dig all four sets of claws into my arm, though I didn’t seem to notice at all.

For whatever reason, none of us were able to sleep. Bit by bit everyone drifted off for little naps, but no one got more than an hour or two. At the same time, the sun never rose, although I remember somehow knowing that a full day had passed and we were now into the second night at the hotel. Everyone was exhausted and there was a lot of emotion happening. I remember one guy – who isn’t a family member in real life, but in the dream he was the husband of a cousin – getting extremely emotional about something, crying and everything, and I was trying to comfort him. Simultaneously a few more kids tried to go out to play on the balcony and I ran off to scream at them to get inside.

A lot of what was happening at this point was very garbled and I can’t remember the timeline, but I know that at some point fire trucks started howling toward the hotel. My uncle blamed my Actifry, but it soon came to pass that the playground next door was on fire, although I never actually saw any flames. Simultaneously all the older adults left to go out to the hotel’s rear yard area, where the wedding party from the previous day was apparently still happening. There also seemed to be some construction going on in our hallway, making it twice as frustrating to try to catch the cats every time they escaped, and for whatever reason the hotel seemed to be on some kind of lock-down, so we weren’t allowed out.

The one other thing I remember is that at one point I was taking a shower, and for whatever reason this particular moment occurred on the first floor. I was right at ground level, and the shower had the ridiculous design of a full length window, so anyone walking by could see me in all my glory. That didn’t seem to bother me at all, at first, until a couple of construction guys wandered by and one snapped a picture with his cell, showed it to his mate, and they both ran off. After that I was enraged, although when my husband and the guy from earlier came in to see what I was shouting about, I made no attempt to cover myself up. All I did was write down the name on the side of the construction truck with the intention of calling to complain.

There was another dream as well, last night, with this one occurring back in high school. I often have dreams of returning to school, but this one was very different. Usually I have panicky dreams about realizing I’ve somehow missed all my math classes and am going to fail, but there was no panic in this dream at all. I felt like a confident, semi-popular girl in school, perfectly happy. The first half of the dream is a bit hazy, but I remember a witch of a woman who was like some kind of glorified hall monitor, and she was dolling out punishments for the most ridiculous things. One thing I can remember is a boy had a tack stuck to his shoe, and she gave him detention for it for some ungodly reason. There was also some odd thing about pants that I can’t quite recall…someone did something to their pants and needed a new pair, and it ended up in this chain of “this guy gives this guy a pair, but then needs a pair himself, so goes looking to this other guy for a pair” and so on and so forth.

There was something about a school game, but I can’t remember what the sport was. Half of me wants to say basketball and the other half wants to say hockey. The important part is that during the game messengers were going around handing out little love notes and the like, the way you might do in school on Valentine’s Day. I got one such package, and it was filled with enamel pins of things I love, like Sailor Moon, Power Rangers, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Though it had no note or anything, I somehow knew exactly who had sent it and went to confront him by basically tackling him and announcing him to be my boyfriend.

There was a bit in which my new boyfriend, my best friend, and I went back to my childhood home as though I still lived there, although we were hanging out in the bedroom I had as a child rather than the basement room I had as a teen. My parents kept poking their heads in the room, expecting to catch us doing things we shouldn’t be, but they never did.

There’s a bit of a garble, but then I was in a large, office-like room with my mother, who, it transpired, was actually the principal of the school. I wove a dramatic tale about the hall monitor woman from earlier, telling about all the different punishments she’d unfairly doled out to students doing absolutely nothing wrong. One particular story had something to do with a rollerblader grinding on a particular pole, and though I can’t remember the exact details, there was a whole story about how he was on some kind of school team and there were dozens of witnesses who would agree he’d been doing a legal move on proper equipment. Why rollerbladers? I have no idea.

In the end, my principal mother made the decision that no more punishments were to be given out without her agreement, and I became a school hero. I was running around the building looking for my boyfriend and best friend so I could tell them the whole story, and all along the way I was getting high fives and claps on the back from students who appreciated what I’d done. I remember feeling extremely elated, like I’d done something truly amazing and saved the school in the process. I was desperate to tell the story to everyone I met, and at one point I actually passed the monitor lady and received one hell of a scowl.

I don’t remember much more than that, aside from walking home with my friend, but I remember feeling that the world was going to be a much brighter place from here on out.

So those were my two dreams from last night, give or take a few dozen minor details. Any thoughts? Ideas? Concerns? Feel free to share in the comment section below, and also feel free to tell me what you think of dreams in general, what you think their purpose might be, and fell free to share some of your own! Cheers!

What Do the Olympics Mean to You?


As we speak, the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea, have been underway for a couple of days. Are you watching? I certainly have been!

The Olympics – whether they’re of the summer or winter variety – mean something different to everyone. Some don’t care for them at all, but for others they’re everything. For many they’re a mild diversion, while others become obsessed with them while they’re happening.

Myself, I’m somewhere in the middle, leaning a little closer to the “obsessed” side. I’ve personally always enjoyed the Olympics ever since I was a small child, specifically the winter ones, which I’ve always felt have more interesting events. I’ve always found it a bit funny, actually, because I’ve never been athletic in the slightest, and at points between Olympic events I have little to no interest in spectating sports either. I watch NHL hockey when the Leafs are playing, and on rare occasion I’ll be in the mood to watch the Superbowl or some highly-anticipated world event, but that’s the extent of my desire to shit and watch sports. However, the Winter Olympics? Sign me the hell up! I love watching the skaters, the skiers, and the bobsleighers. I get ridiculously riled up while watching Canada’s men’s and women’s hockey teams, and I get almost disturbingly invested in curling. Though I may not be as obsessed as some other spectators, I spend each Winter Olympics doing my best to catch as many events as possible, marveling at the acts of athleticism that I could never fathom accomplishing myself.

Oddly enough, I’m not a particularly patriotic person – I believe Canada is a wonderful place to live, but I wouldn’t consider myself to have an invested level of intense pride, or anything. However, during these events I get so worked up, wanting to see Canadian athletes take as many medals as possible. My eyes end up glued to the TV or computer screen as I struggle to recall the rules and intricacies of events I only ever watch twice a decade. I cheer like a maniac when Canada wins a medal, and I feel genuine, empathetic upset whenever an athlete – any athlete – makes a mistake and realizes they’ve lost their chance to bring honor back to their country.

There’s just something about these sports, at this time of year, being watched by the entire world, that is so exciting, so emotional, so connected, and so awe-inspiring. Perhaps even a little humbling, as I realize that some of these athletes who have just been declared the best in the world have only been alive half as long as I have. That is pure insanity to me,and yeah, okay, maybe I am a little proud, because even if I don’t know them personally, some of these amazing people come from my neck of the woods, and you can’t help but feel that that makes it more special and amazing, somehow.

So for the next 15 days or so I’ll be sticking pretty close to my laptop, watching live when I can and catching up on results when I can’t, celebrating and commiserating with my country as required, and crossing my fingers just a little that we take home more medals than the US. ^_~

Are you watching the 2018 Winter Olympics? Why or why not? What are your favorite sports? How is your country doing so far? Feel free to share!

Thoughts and Advice from a 2-Year YouTube “Veteran”

“Tracey’s Basement”, my YouTube channel, has turned 2 years old! Technically it’s more than a year older than that, but for that first chunk of time it was just a fairly awkward me sitting in front of a camera in my guest room, trying to talk loud enough for the camera to hear without my family being able to listen to me from elsewhere in the house. Two years ago is when it was officially re-branded as “Tracey’s Basement”, after my husband helped me set up some shelves and lighting in our basement, in front of our collectibles. What followed was the slow development of something like an actual “show”, complete with nicer thumbnails, opening and closing bumpers, and eventually even co-stars, as Jason began to join me for most videos, with Adrianna jumping in every now and then when there was something “cute” to do.

Aren’t we frikkin’ adorable? 😀

Now, as we’re celebrating this milestone, I thought I would take the opportunity to write a post full of thoughts and advice for the upcoming YouTuber, because goodness knows I’ve had questions asked, and I’ve certainly learned a thing or two worth sharing.

1. Right out of the gates: When starting a YouTube channel, think good and hard about what you want to do with it, and subsequently, what you want it to be called.

One annoying thing about YouTube is that you create your account with a Google account, and the username and email address you choose for that account dictates what your username and email account for the lifespan of that channel. When I first set up my channel I used the Google account that I already had for my Android phone, which meant that I was using username “ToreshiTobinable” and an email address that was similar. At the time it didn’t seem to matter, but when the channel eventually became “Tracey’s Basement” and Jason and I started to treat it a little more professionally, it definitely didn’t look right anymore. Unfortunately, it couldn’t be changed, so now we’re stuck with it forever unless we want to start the entire channel over from scratch. Take that into account when considering what you want your channel to be for, because if you choose a goofy name now and then decide that you want to become a business later, you’re going to find yourself with a tough decision to make.

2. In those newborn stages, just forget about special equipment. Get creative instead.

It’s easy to think that if you want to make excellent videos, you have to have all kinds of cool equipment, and if you’re starting a genuine business that might be true, but for the average person, you’re really not going to want to spend money needlessly. The fact of the matter is that there’s just as much chance that you’ll end up deciding you don’t like it as there is that you’ll have a blast and want to do it forever. You really won’t know until you’ve been doing it for a while, and thus it’s pretty foolish to go spending a bunch of money on special cameras and lighting and so-on right away. Instead, think about what you have available to you and get creative. A lot of people start out recording on their phones which, honestly, have some pretty great video quality; you just have to figure out a way to set it up so that it’s steady (protip: little phone tripods can be picked up at places like Walmart for $20 or less). Lighting is a big issue for a lot of people, but can be circumvented by filming in a well-lit room at the right time of day – or you can go the route Jason and I went and pick up a few cheap clamp lights at a hardware store that you can stick right where you need them. Every YouTuber has their little tips and tricks, so if you’re having trouble thinking of any on your own, YouTube it! I guarantee you’ll find tons of results.

3. Figure out your niche and do your best to stick to it.

“Tracey’s Basement” is a “geek culture” channel, specializing in subscription service unboxings and toy/collectible reviews. The overwhelming majority of our videos are Jason and I talking about collectibles and toys, but because we’ve branded ourselves as “geek culture” no one would be surprised if we suddenly started doing movie or game reviews, or started up a “Let’s Play” playlist on the channel. That said, if you’ve set yourself up as an “unboxing” channel, and then start doing videos commentating on sporting events, your audience is going to find themselves extremely split. People who may have found you for the unboxings might leave you because they have no interest in the sports, or vice versa. That’s not necessarily to say that you can’t have multiple interests melded together on one channel, but you have to brand yourself in a way that makes sense if you want people to both find you and stick with you. Alternately, don’t be too rigid with your decision, because that can trap you in an inescapable whirlpool. I know several fellow “geek” channels who focus almost all of their attention on Funko Pops, and while that’s absolutely their prerogative, if the Funko Pop bubble popped (ha ha) tomorrow, they’d effectively have no audience left and have to start over from scratch.

4. Learn about and put effort into the finer details of uploading a video.

A lot of people expect to simply upload a video and have it magically be found, but you have to understand that there are hundreds of thousands of hours of content being uploaded to YouTube on a regular basis, so the chances that anyone is just going to stumble across your random video is extremely slim. To give yourself a better chance, learn about the finer details of setting up a video, such as the title, description, tags, and thumbnail. Tags, specifically, are what will help people come across your video, because they’re like search term hooks. For instance, if your video is about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you should have tags like “teenage mutant ninja turtles”, “ninja turtles”, “tmnt”, and so on. Additionally, in order to get the best bang for your buck with tags, run your own searches on YouTube to see what kinds of things come up. If you start typing “Teen-” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” pops up automatically, that means that it’s something that people are searching regularly, so you know it’s a good tag to use.

5. Try to be at least a little bit professional.

I’m absolutely not trying to sound like a mean girl here, but you’d be amazed at how many videos I pass by because of the level of professionalism that’s lacking in the YouTuber. That’s not to say that you have to be in a suit and tie, enunciating every word while standing at full attention with a perfect smile on your face and never moving your eyes away from the camera. What I mean is, just think a little about the face you’re putting forward. I’ve seen so many videos in which people will be talking and then just take a huge, wet coughing fit, or sneeze and run their sleeve along their nose, and then just continue talking as if nothing ever happened. It’s completely off-putting, because it makes the watcher think that they’re not good enough for you to have basic manners in your video. I, more than anyone, understand that sometimes “blooper” moments happen, but that’s where editing comes in. If you’re the kind of person who is constantly making mistakes, or has long awkward pauses, or sprays snot everywhere expectantly, take the initiative to learn a simple editing software. Pretty much every phone, tablet, and laptop comes with some kind of basic software that is incredibly easy to learn, so I’m not asking for the moon with this one. Just do what you have to do in order to put your best foot forward.

6. BUT, also have fun and be yourself.

Almost as off-putting as someone who sneezes directly at their camera mid-video, is someone who is completely and utterly false in every way. This is situational, of course, as there are plenty of YouTubers out there who are purposely playing a character for their “show”, but if your channel boils down to you speaking to an audience, just be yourself and own that. It can be tempting to try to portray a persona that you think people will like and gain you attention, but trust me when I say that this road does not lead anywhere enjoyable. Sooner or later, wearing that mask all the time will begin to drag you down. As anyone with problems such as depression and anxiety and they’ll tell you flat out: putting up a false persona is incredibly exhausting. Do it for too long and before you know it you’ll find yourself avoiding videos, loathing your viewers, and maybe even flat-out quitting. I say this from experience, because it very nearly happened to Jason and I. Since speaking to a good friend about it and realizing what our problem was, we’ve made a valiant effort to have fun, be ourselves, and not worry about what other people think, and it has made the channel fun again. Remember: if you’re not enjoying it, it’s not worth doing.

7. And speaking of “not worrying about what other people think”, you’d better grow some rhino skin.

Everyone knows the old joke about toxicity in YouTube comment sections, but most people don’t consider that it’s something that will happen to them once they start getting views. So I’m telling you right now, without the tiniest shadow of doubt: YOU. WILL. GET. ASSHOLES. It might not happen right away, but it WILL happen sooner or later, so prepare yourself for it. If you’re the kind of person who breaks down at the slightest confrontation, you may want to consider turning off commenting, or else just moving on with the idea of a YouTube channel right now. If you’re the confrontational type, understand that once you get into it with these types of people, you’re dedicating yourself to dealing with them forever, because the second you give them any kind of attention, they’ll stick to you like glue. The best thing you can do, honestly, is ignore them completely, or delete and report their comments if you really don’t like having them sitting there on your videos. Either way, just be prepared, because it will definitely happen. I’ve had people question my ability to be a parent, threaten to write bad reviews on my books if I didn’t do the types of videos they like, and harass me over the inclusion of my husband because “things were so much better when it was just you” (can you say, “Creepy”?) I have YouTuber friends who have received everything from hate-filled rants to literal death threats. Your individual experience might not be that drastic, but you have to be ready for the worst, because there are an unlimited number of morons out there, and every one of them seems to gravitate toward random YouTube videos to get their kicks.

8. For the love of puppies…don’t expect to make any money.

SO many people think that all “successful” YouTubers are rolling in that sweet, sweet Adsense revenue. I’m here to tell you that that assumption is laughable at best. Yes, we all know that there are YouTubers who are making major bank from their channels, but they are the exception, not the rule. They are the lucky ones who managed to hook on to something that people gravitated to. However, the majority of us aren’t nearly that lucky. Ad revenue earnings are based on a algorithm that takes into account views, watch time, and engagement (likes, comments, etc.). And all of this is multiplied by a ratio that YouTube assigns to you based on your subscriber level, retention time, and other factors. Basically, YouTube assigns you a number that boils down to “we’ll give you this much money for every so many views”, and that number isn’t nearly as high as you might imagine. YouTubers with millions of subscribers who get multiple-millions of views per video are absolutely making excellent money, but a few thousand subscribers? Good luck affording a nice meal per month. I’m not trying to be discouraging; just honest. I’ve spoken to people who think that having 4000 subscribers on my channel must mean that I’m earning a living from it, but in reality I’m making something like $25 per MONTH from that ad revenue. Even someone with a hundred thousand subscribers isn’t big enough to be making more than a minimum wage check. Adsense simply doesn’t pay out that much. So if you’re looking at YouTube because you’ve got some idea about becoming an overnight sensation and making a ton of money, reconsider.

9. Don’t get discouraged.

I’ve pointed out quite a few possibly discouraging things, and honestly, with all the changes that have been happening with YouTube lately (the adpocalypse, the Logan Paul events, and so on and so forth) I’m only really scratching the surface of how difficult it can be to get a foothold in YouTube. That said, I also want to impress upon newbies that if YouTube is something you really, genuinely want to do, don’t get discouraged. It can be hard when you put in a ton of effort only to get a handful of views, but there are always new things to try and more advice to find if you’re willing to go looking for it. Plenty of YouTubers  are more than happy to share what they’ve learned, and there are countless videos, articles, and more online to help you figure out what you’re doing wrong, what to focus on when you’re doing it right, and what to try to get yourself more visible. If you really, really want this, it’s all about putting in the effort to figure out what needs to be done. Get out there and figure it out!

10. LOVE it, or leave it. YouTube should be a PART of your life, not your ENTIRE life.

There are many big YouTubers out there who actually have created a business from YouTube and now make a living from their channels, and even they would – for the most part – tell newbies that you can’t let your channel consume you. There can be an insane amount of work required to build a quality YouTube channel, and the bigger you get the more work is going to be required, but never, ever, let it take over your entire life. That’s how you end up hating everything about it. Life always has to come first. Have an emergency and need to take off for a while? Your true followers will understand and will wait for you. Having a complete mental breakdown or fatigue so intense you can barley keep your eyes open? Take off; even if your subscribers are upset, you aren’t going to do them any good by completely falling apart in front of their eyes. Whatever your personal situation, if you push yourself too hard because you feel like you have to do videos, that you have to provide entertainment for your subscribers, you’re going to hate both the channel and yourself, and it’s all going to go downhill from there. In those times, take it from me, and remember that you likely started this whole thing for fun, to join a community, or to stretch your creative muscles. In the end, you owe your subscribers nothing, especially if it’s at the expense of your physical or mental health. If you feel like you should quit, in order to keep the rest of your life together, do it. Trust your gut. If it’s not quite that severe a situation, but you’ve found yourself in a place in which you feel smothered by your channel, step back, take a breath, and figure out what you have to do to make it better. If you’re not LOVING your channel, something needs to change, one way or the other, and you should always choose the change that is best for you.

So those are my thoughts, opinions, and advice. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my points? If you’re a YouTuber yourself, do you have any thoughts of your own? If you’ve been thinking about becoming a YouTuber, do you have any other questions? Feel free to share in the comment section below. Cheers!