why VEDS? a brief history

august 19 2020

Matt Guion, a.k.a. bandgeek8408, was one of the first YouTube creators I subscribed to. Matt is most known for his Books vs. Movies reviews, which I began watching around 2011/2012. There is so much that I owe Matt, so many favourite things: The Book Thief, The Time Traveler's Wife, The Fantasticks, and Godspell, to name a few. Not to mention how he shaped my interest in media criticism. Furthered my engagment with Nerdfighteria. Broadened my understanding of musical theatre...

I would be a different person without Matt.

And Matt would do this thing each fall: Vlog Every Day in September, or VEDS. He wasn't the first, but he was the first I knew of. For more on the origins of VEDS, see Matt's video below:

I watched, year after year. New folks would join, others would drop off. But I never considered participating myself. Then, in 2017, Tessa (funnygirlthatbelle) decided she would, recording all her videos on her phone and posting them on tumblr. Aha! These unpolished, candid cell phone videos suddenly made VEDS seem accessible. She returned in 2018, this time joining the rest of the gang on YouTube. Tessa made it clear: I didn't need to be invited into the club; I could just start.

So, in 2019, after dithering for a few days in late August, I made the decision on the first of September that I would participate in VEDS that year. I walked to the park, filmed an introduction, and embarked on this new adventure.

In September of 2019, I had just quit my part-time job at the library, where I worked as a Page for years and volunteered before that. I had graduated in the spring with a degree in Communication Studies and accepted a full-time job as a Communications Specialist at a non-profit. It was my first full-time job. I started on September 5.

What better way to kick off this new phase of adulthood than to vlog every day for a month?

I am not a person who finishes things. I gleefully leap from one half-finished project to the next and back again, tinkering and circling and slowly building my skills without having anything to show for it. For someone like me, VEDS was a gift. Not just because it established a clear goal and deadline, but because there was a community of people participating together, supporting one another.

I enjoyed the challenge of coming up with new video ideas. I think I have the dubious honour of "most varied" uploads, including: vlogs, songs, prose poems, ASMR, and excerpts from my instagram story. I cannot faithfully say that I watched every single one of my fellow VEDSies' videos. I can, however, faithfully say that I watched a lot of videos and regularly responded, whether in the comments or my own uploads. Getting to know these folks helped me to feel grounded at a time when my life was undergoing some big changes. VEDS felt familiar, even though it was my first year.

So. Why vlog every day in September? Lots of reasons. To create something every day. To connect with a welcoming community. To preserve the memories of that time in my life.

And mostly because...it's fun.