So the ‘on three’ premise works really well so long as my mum and I are in the house around the same time. And because we rarely are, blogs have been coming out sporadically. The Virgo Rising in me wants more consistency and order, so I’m hoping to fill in the gaps with an ‘On 3…’ style review of other things in my life that I love – which may, as a result, inspire you to go out and enjoy them too.
And seeing as I spend about 80% of my (free) time on Youtube, it made sense to talk about someone I’ve been following for (just shy of) three years.
So where was I three years ago? Well…
I’d recently quit my job, my flat and decided to study MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University: aged 25. I’d gone from social butterfly in my teens, to emotional recluse in my early twenties. I didn’t go out, I avoided parties and I spent a lot of time reading, avoiding people/exercising and stress (mainly because I was suffering from anxiety and stress from work and didn’t know it yet) – and escaping via Youtube.
It had become my means of communication; ‘Have you seen this…’ ‘Did you know this about…’ etc. And that’s not to say that because I was watching A LOT of Youtube that the Youtubers varied much at all. It was a lot of young, pretty people doing young and pretty things. Their homes were beautiful, their lives aspirational. And I stayed at home, which was essentially a Shed with no heating, save for the electric radiator, and watched Youtube videos and read my books.
When I did find a new Youtuber I liked, I binged every video they’d ever made. Still do – so please recommend some videos for me in the comments!
And after discovering Helen Anderz via JaackMaate (first, a review challenge video where she talked about wet spaghetti, and then a shopping for twenty quid challenge) I’d finally found a Youtuber who didn’t make me want to sit and binge their content (although I did!) but actually get up and TRY the things she was doing.
If she decluttered her wardrobe, I decluttered mine. If she cleaned her house, I’d watch that video whilst cleaning the shed. The clothes she bought were fun, punk, alternative and colourful. Not the soft, dainty fabrics I’d been sold by other Youtubers – and avoided because I’d DEFINITELY get some kind of red sauce down the front and never be able to wear it again. She was an empowering voice, and entertaining rather than preachy. Humble. Kind. And for the first time ever, I didn’t watch someone’s content wishing I was them, but I just kinda wanted to hang out with this person.
Last year, Anderson hosted a workshop with Creative Access. Essentially on ‘How to be a Youtuber.’ It was something I’d toyed with before, but my editing skills are piss-poor and I get camera shy – a shock for all those who know me! I thought, if anyone could teach me how to nail it, it would be Helen Anderson. I’d been blogging for years by this point, but had to delete my previous blog due to explicit content, which doesn’t gel well with a teaching career. But I was still giving advice and ghostwriting for companies who had their own blogs.
Most of the advice given to me mirrored the advice Helen Anderson gave her audience, which boosted my confidence and played no small part in my eventual jump into the deep end that is self-employment in a creative industry. If you want to read more about what I learned from that workshop the link is HERE.
I’d like to say that, as I met Helen, I was cool, calm and collected. A total professional. But she was so nice and inviting that I kinda just blurted what I was thinking before I thought about it.
I started with, “I love your content. I watch your stuff all the time.” And whilst that should have been enough, I then compared her flatshare dynamic to the one I’d moved into (now out of the shed and into an actual house), but saying “You’re just like my friend Lina, and I’m like Josie”.
I’m cringing thinking back to it, but I doubt it’s much of a blip on her radar now. To her credit, Helen was still lovely – even if it was obvious to everyone that I’d made her a little uncomfortable. I can only apologise! And hope that the next time I meet my heroes, I won’t be such a creep.
I’ll put some links below of my favourite Anderson videos, but the TLDR is:
Helen is a fun, engaging, informative and insightful voice. She encourages everyone to be more comfortable with themselves and champions the individual. Her content is 10/10 in my opinion, and though it’s been three years (nearly) her content has never failed to adapt and change to suit her own tastes, and therefore I can’t see myself getting bored of it any time soon!