“What’s your biggest accomplishment?” is a question I absolutely hate. My successes at school and work never seem worthy enough, and most of my accomplishments are day-to-day.
VEDA, on the other hand, is my most recent accomplishment. VEDA stands for Vlog Every Day in April, and is a popular project in the small/medium vlogging community on YouTube.
Creating 30 video blogs in 30 days is no easy task. It is time-consuming and exhausting, especially since the vloggers in this community don’t use YouTube as a main source of income and thus are also subject to the demands of school and work.
I consider VEDA 2013 an overwhelming success. It was my senior year of high school and I had next to no pressing obligations. Some days I spent less than two hours at school. My extremely open schedule meant I could spend hours each day drafting video scripts, filming, editing, and–most importantly–interacting with other VEDA vloggers via comments, video responses, and both scheduled and spontaneous Google+ hangouts.
In 2013, I made high-quality, content-driven vlogs that discussed important topics like introversion vs. extroversion, bilingual education, the dangers of idolization, and the relationship between senses and memory. Through my commitment to community interaction, I also became good friends with some of my fellow VEDA vloggers and even stayed with one of them over Thanksgiving break.
My approach to VEDA 2014 was significantly more laid-back. Now in college, VEDA coincides with the end-of-year final project/paper/exam rush. Living with a roommate means I have to arrange my filming schedule around her class schedule (hypothetically I could film with her in the room, but let’s be real). I didn’t script a single video, and many of them have only one or two cuts in them to reduce my editing time. Because of this, they’re a lot more casual and conversational.
I still managed to cover important topics, though. I made videos about linguistics, parasocial relationships, sugar daddies, and self-expression. But I did make a much larger number of “cop-out” videos where I direct my viewers to a blog post instead of talking about an actual topic or film my friends doing whatever they’re up to at the time. I cheated my way a bit more through this year’s VEDA, that’s for sure.
A different approach yields different results. While VEDA 2013 made me fall in love with the YouTube community, VEDA 2014 helped to rekindle a passion that had been lost for months. VEDA 2013 definitely wins in terms of making actual friendship connections, although this year I had just as many thought-provoking conversations in the comments as in the past. Both years were successful in terms of promoting creativity: having to make a video on a new topic every day means I had to look at the world differently. I actively scoped out new ideas in order to talk about them later. A comment by a friend or teacher that ordinarily would be fleeting would become the source of inspiration for my VEDA video that day. I saw the world with a more excited eye, and I never let my creativity take a break.
I am extraordinarily proud of what I’ve created, the connections I’ve made, and the perspective I’ve developed because of VEDA. While finishing this project may not be my biggest accomplishment in life, it is a challenge that I took on and completed successfully, and that’s certainly worth celebrating.