So at the moment, I am trying to figure out how I can do everything in my life since Jack left the shop.
I realised yesterday, I can't.
I cant run a shop, online stores, 3 you tube channels, all the conventions i attend, writing books and enjoy any form of social life I have.
I have already stopped accepting new comic cons until I have more manageable staff.
I am debating moving my store to a more manageable rent space to remove the pressure there but there is also no point making business decisions until I know what is going on with the pilot I filmed for in London.
If I had a normal 9 to 5 job it wouldn't be so much of an issue but my shop comes home with me because it has to. I can not remember the last time I went to sleep before 3am because I'm doing so much work and STILL not getting it all done.
So I have finally admitted defeat and think I need to reduce my time spent on YouTube. Making sure up to 3 videos a day are filmed, edited, uploaded, tagged, scheduled with thumbnails adds up very quickly. It wont be forever, but for now. I thought I would ask you guys for advice and ideas first.
So here is what I have decided so far.
VLOGGING CHANNEL : Nothing changes, I get so much joy from doing my vlogs that even though I do not earn anything off them, it really doesnt matter, Its so easy to film and not too timely to edit compared to my main channel videos, plus I love the community that has built up with in that channel.
GAMING CHANNEL : So I brought the channel back with the intention of doing a video every day. It doesn't seem like too much work but honestly, at the moment, dedicating that much time to play, edit and upload is actually not possible (for now) but I can easily still do the channel with one or two videos a week and it's still great so no issue there.
MAIN CHANNEL : ????? --- This is where I struggle...
I used to do one video a week, like story times, and videos about me etc or my movie reviews etc. And, to me, that made sense because other youtubers do that.
Doing only one comic review a week doesn't make sense to me, which is why i did a video every day of the week. A video a day also made a clear brand and time schedule but it's just too much stress and pressure for me at the moment.
However this is where I am struggling at the moment. I don't know what to do with this channel right now. I don't know whether just to make the channel about me again for now and just upload once a week etc or if that would lose subscribers?
For some reason, the schedule HAS to make sense to me but I also wonder if i am putting far too much thought into this. URH.
What do you guys think and please be brutally honest. If I stopped the comic review for now, would you think my channel would be losing something too important? Is that the only reason you watch that channel? Would you be glad for more 'TorAthena' content? Do you have an answer for my schedule dilema?
We are always on the hunt for more comics to read and if you are like me, you will fall in love with a type of story. Personally for me I love 'what if' stories. No, not the Marvel series,although that is good. I am talking about comics that take the world we know and ask a simple question which completely turns what we know, upside down.
Sian van Breda
I lie there for hours willing my eyelids to get heavy and then I make lists in my head, shop online and watch pointless YouTube videos I have never cared to watch in my life. Between the hours of 2 - 6am is when all the magic usually happens. I get my most creative ideas, anything from what I can do in work, film or even write. However, I have this weird habit where I buy things I never need. Today it was travelling accessories and a travel word game missing instructions. Surely there is a disorder for this right? I will sometimes find myself catching up on ex boyfriends. Don't lie, we've all done it.
All my recent ex's have moved on and are currently in – what seems to be – loving relationships. I actually felt incredibly strong because seeing them happy, actually made me happy. I was not a good person to some people in my past and others I just knew we were incompatible but the bottom line is, I hurt people. I was never proud of it.
2016 – 2017 was the longest I have ever been single since I was 15. That's insane. However, I very rarely struggled with it. Yes, I went on some dates, even genuinely liked a guy or two but overall, I deleted dating apps, focused on myself and was completely happy to do so.
Sure, the biological clock would sometimes check in on me and ask if me I had this time to spare, but I also realised I couldn't rush the next person I get with. I had to treat the next person like he could be the one. I realised it made my standards become higher without me becoming shallow. I liked that.
What I guess I am trying to say is, I feel like I have always tried to grow as a person, but I actually feel like I have been able to do so whilst I have been single.
I'm not even entirely sure how that all really factors into the whole reason why I am even writing this. I guess it's because I am being honest. Speaking my mind, and this is a part of what is going on inside my head.
Today, during my fit of insomnia, I did my usual routine of mindlessly checking up on people. Friends, family, People Ive never met, Youtubers and last but not least, ex's.
My first ex, has moved in with his new girlfriend. I felt nothing but genuine happiness and moved on.
My second ex has been with his girlfriend for almost a year and although I was the reason we broke up, I was said with how it ended. However, I have always been happy he found someone. Yet today, I found out he had written a song 'for the love of his life' and my stomach dropped.
Now I have to be honest, I'm not entirely sure why this effected me so much. Was it because he had written me a beautiful song once? Was it because I was replaced. Maybe my ego truly believed I would always be the best. Honestly, Im not sure. But it stung like a mother f*cker.
I'm sitting here in the dark. Looking at my ex's. They have all found happiness. They were all good people. I here I am, sitting in the dark, looking at my ex's.
The reality has finally hit me that I enjoyed being single for long not because I was growing, but because I am afraid. All I want in life is to be the love of someone's life but I have absolutely no idea how to love.
I have never loved anybody. I have felt the butterflies dance around inside me. I have held my lips tightly shut as the words tried to fall out. I have felt it, sung it and declared it more times that I care to admit but if I truly loved them? Would I push them all away within 6 months? Hurt them and leave them.
I am sitting here shaking with fear at the realisation I am facing. I do not know how to be with someone. I do not know how to live the mundane every day normality and share that with someone. I get bored and restless in every aspect of my life, lovers included. Im 28 and I have never celebrated a year anniversary in my twenties.
I am not growing whilst being single. I am being safe. No one can hurt me, break me, ruin me. I tell every man 'I will leave you before you leave me' and I have never been wrong about it.
I just feel broken. I feel alone and it's all my fault. Or my parent's divorce, which ever makes me feel less guilty I suppose!
I guess this post has no lesson or conclusion right now, but I will take it positively if I can and see this post as the beginning of my journey to truly understand love.
I will be raising money for a very poorly 4 year old girl.
We will be having amazing guests, awesome prizes and much more!...
Much more can be found on the charity page I made!
A few months ago, a man called Douglas Shaw came to film my shop. He runs his own series on the BBC website called 'My Shop.' His purpose is to talk about unique shops and he loved the idea of talking about how social media saved my shop.
Months went by and honestly, I forgot a little bit about it. I have a terrible time of getting excited about anything these days until I know 100% it will happen. Then one night, someone commented on my youtube channel saying they had seen my video on the BBC website and they were inspired by it. I ran to the website, searched for my video and watched it with tears forming in my eyes. That was me, that was my life, my shop, my everything.
I was a little concerned at first when the video focused a lot of the cyber bullying part of YouTube as I have to admit the majority of comments are usually warm and supportive and I also didn't want to come across as weak or a victim. Throughout the video however, I saw that he also showed my retaliation through comedy and satire and I was back to loving the video 100%.
I am so grateful to be in this video. I am so blessed and lucky.
It is genuinely my favourite part of the day. Even better than food!
Honestly, the reason for that was because I wasn't sure I would even finish the book. I have started so many stories in my time and not one have them have ever been completely. I thought this story would be no different.
The story follows a 27 year old woman called Jessica, who had a traumatising event happen to her when she was 7. No one believed her, just the way they didn't believe that Billy Bob's travelling circus was haunted by a vengeful and sinister clown. When the the circus arrives in Jessica's town, she knows the rumours are true. She knows, because the clown is back and looking for her.
The story behind the story
Ilan got in touch with me one day stressed out and annoyed at some company requesting a poster for an upcoming project they were working on. They didn't think to give him any guidelines on what the clown looked like other than half his face must be burnt. Ilan came up with this terrifyingly grotesque creature to find out, that when they already approached him, they already had a model for the clown, which looked nothing like the clown Ilan had designed. After hours of working on a new image he was finally rejected as they chose to go for the artist who only charges in exposure. Emotionally battered and bruised he told me he made the image look like a book cover so it could simply go into his portfolio and make him feel a little better about the whole ordeal.
An idea popped into my head that I could make a little story for him. We could print two copies out and it would be the ultimate 'best friend token'. He created the cover, I created the story.
One thing led to another and Ilan in his excitement told more and more people, we spoke about it more and more and it organically turned into something that would become public and not just between us.
The deadline was pretty short in book writing terms I suppose, but god loves a trier. I have worked every single night (minus an evening or two) for two months solid writing the book so far, with almost a month of re-editing I am so unbelievably excited to announce it will be on sale from the 9th December 2016.
So yes, I may have written a story, but Ilan's imagination and talent was definitely my muse.
Personally I am just so amazed I finished a story. My first ever one. Something I have wanted to do my entire life, good or bad, this achievement means the most to me over how successful the book will be. However, if you do support the book, I cant thank you enough.
Check out Illans work : CLICK HERE
Buy the book : CLICK HERE
The past three days have been really foggy for me. Foggy being the best word. Im neither happy nor sad. Im numb and struggle to focus on absolutely anything, my concentration is shot, my memory has left me. I constantly go to do something and then forget almost instantly what I was meant to be doing. Im not the worst I've ever been, far from it, I can still function, I'm not crying for no reason but I know Im not OK.
I have wonderful beautiful friends and family who are always here to help me when I need and I know this is only an episode that won't define who I am. I just wanted you wonderful people to know whats going on at the moment, why my comic review won't be up this week and why I may not be as 'on it' with social media.
Im doing everything I know helps me at the point and I am thinking positive and wonderful thoughts, but I guess this message is just to vent my thoughts and feelings right now :) and to say, its OK to not have it all sorted and figured out 24/7
BUT - If you are struggling more than I am right now, know there is help, here are some helpful links that may help you get through your foggy days
The CALMzone https://www.thecalmzone.net
NHS Mental Health Helplines : http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/mental-health-helplines.aspx
Although I have been keeping everyone up to date via the Daily Vlogs on my second channel and on my Facebook, I understand that not everyone has the time to check out my videos every single day and keep up to date with every pocket of information I feed to you through 10 minute videos.
So here is a big post with everything to explain why Ive been so run down and busy! So shall we begin?
well first off! My staff quit.
This was kind of a blow to my - already busy - life. I had kind of fallen into a well oiled routine of having a Thursday off, which allowed me to read, review and edit my comic video on wednesday & Thursday, which then also allowed me to film and edit my Monday video and any other videos I needed to do. Not to mention make & photo jewellery in the daylight I miss out on every other day and also deep clean the house (which I never find time to do during the week)... so.... its not really a day off, but a necessary part in my life.
It doesn't sound like much, but during January and February, I need to spend every minute of my life working on my shop just so I can keep afloat with rent and bills. Its exhausting but rewarding work, so without this day off I don't have time to deep clean my house, research, film and edit videos, or even make new jewellery for the website.
Sunday used to be just a standard day off. I would naturally still work in the evening but I would at least try to live a normal, semi stress free day whilst the sun was up. Without this day off to try and recharge my batteries I have found my life becoming so overwhelmingly hectic and messy. My house is untidy, my videos are suffering, my jewellery is non existent and I've forgotten what most of my friends look like. My shop is looking better than ever but at the end of the day, its always been my priority and working 7 days a week will usually make anything look its best I suppose.
So after about a week of freaking out, I finally found a new guy. He's a keen gamer and shows the right type of personality any boss wants to see in their staff. The only problem is, I need to train new staff, so I'm still working 7 days a week at the moment but there is light at the end of the tunnel at least!
I've lost some friends because of my busy life lately
Recently due to a lot of assumptions, busy schedules and break down in sanity and communication, I've lost some friends the past month. It really hit me hard if I am being honest. The people I truly loved and admired just cut me out of their life without talking to me first. I cried for about 2 days over it, then eventually realised, that they couldn't have been who I thought they were, because they would have spoken to me first. Don't get me wrong, it's not all their fault but it certainly didn't need to end this way. It never gets easier losing people from your life, in fact I think it actually gets harder as you get older. I guess I just have to try even harder with the people still remaining. Thank you if you are one of them <3
I started filming 'Lets Plays'
My friend Andrew Robinson (Fangle Spangle) really helped lately in more ways than they will ever know. People seemed to be dropping out of my life lately and I started to worry if it was all my fault, maybe I wasn't a nice person, maybe I was in fact doing something wrong. Obviously, it's not all their fault we're no longer friends but I started to worry it was 100% me who was to blame.
Friends like Andrew and Anthony have recently shown me it can't be, because Anthony helped me get hold of a capture card as he constantly tries to support my channel and me in general. Andrew has also been helping me in the shop for the past 3 weeks by travelling all the way from Bolton to help me process all the stock I've been struggling to get through on my own. So many positives have come from this though, he makes me want to cry with how much I value his friendship, he's really helped my shop look amazing again but we've also made the most of it by having sleepovers on Wednesday nights and playing video games and filming them with the capture card!
These lets plays have been SO fun to film and have also been a massive life saver for me because I haven't had time to film Monday videos at all. so, PHEW!
My intention with the games is to use the footage for my stores website, to help show what the gameplay is like for that game, but also to help the website promote my youtube channel. I would really like to get enough followers to enjoy the videos so it eventually warrants its own gaming channel as I don't want to mess up my channel too much with loads of gaming footage.
Feeling positive about the future
So yeah, I just kind of wanted to explain in detail where I am at these days, I have been borderline depressed, run down, feeling lonely, let down and my skin has constantly been breaking out under stress but I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and the pay off for all the hard work my friends and I have been putting into my channel and my store (so thank you!)
March is going to be a new month and a fresh start, hopefully my staff member will be fully trained to allow my days off to return soon. Also, I am doing my first craft fair of the year on the 5th March in Manchester so I am looking forward to that. MCM Liverpool is on the 12th & 13th which I simply can not wait for and then, If I wasn't exhausted enough, on the 15th March I fly to Amsterdam with my mum for a couple of days. It will be the first time I have been abroad in 5 years and I can not wait!
so in conclusion
I have had some really s%*t things happen to me this month which turned my life a little upside down but some great things came from that too. But this blog isn't a pity party, it was just to try and explain to you guys why my channel hasn't been up to scratch lately! Hopefully it will get back on track in the following weeks. Thank you all for sticking around through all of this. You have no idea how much I notice it and appreciate it <3 Thank you so much <3
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