Going Back Behind the Curtain

I’ve decided to turn off the camera for a bit. Doing videos day in and day out wears on me after a while. There’s a level of excitement and enthusiasm that I have to bring to create video content worth watching that I just don’t always feel. Right now I’m dealing with bad seasonal allergies and the meds to cope which put me in a hell of a mental state. I can work just fine, but trying to force myself to talk into a camera is simply not something I’m feeling the motivation for.

Video content creation is a funny thing… Some days I can talk into a camera for hours on end and it feels effortless, but other days I can’t find the energy to make it through a few sentences.

Beyond the short term decision to turn off the camera while I deal with the allergies I’m also going to focus on writing over video production for most of the rest of the summer. I’ve been thinking about the written word vs. video for some time now and there are a number of reasons that I’d like to focus on writing rather than video for a few months.

Tired of my own voice…

Truth be told I’ve grown tired of my own voice. I’m not a huge talker in the real world. I say my bit when I have something to add to a conversation, but in general I’m a quiet person. I find it mildly ironic that the way I have come to fame is by doing something that I’m so naturally disinclined to.

I’ve found over the years that normally talking into the camera doesn’t bother me. It’s a skill I’ve grown accustomed to, and frankly it’s an easy enough way to make money. It’s funny though…. Every once in a while I just get to the point where my brain simply has had enough. It goes into rebellion and I get a sick feeling in my stomach at the thought of doing another video. The feeling is akin to eating too much sugar, or meat at a single sitting. The body makes it very clear that it wants no more of this for the time being.


While dealing with the ramifications of my Youtube addiction I’ve come to the conclusion that my life has become a bit too lonely. The reason I ended up becoming so attached to Youtube and it’s toxic culture is that it had slowly replaced real life human interaction. Video creation by design is a lonely endeavor much of the time. You need a secluded, quiet place in order to produce content. Once you have that it becomes easiest to simply do your research and preparation from that room. Add in how easy it is to find information and products online now and you end up with a life lived in a dark, quiet box.

I hadn’t realized how isolated I had become because in the beginning I had been attending so many Meetups and events. Over the years though it’s become easier and cheaper to simply watch seminars and presentations online. Why take a week of my time and a few thousand dollars to attend a conference when I can learn the same material from the comfort of home? Add in how easy it is to email people now and what had been healthy interpersonal interaction has become a few sentences in an email or two.

A lesson I have been learning is that it is easier and cheaper to become ever more efficient, and all you have to do is sell a bit of your humanity.

It may not sound like much, but with writing I can do things like go to the local cafe and spend a few hours. As an aspie I don’t need deep meaningful relationships, but having a few people around and chatting with the barista does me a world of good.


Sadly security is something that video content creators have to think about. With how I do video content it’s pretty easy to tell whether I’m at home or out on the road. The rest of the year looks to be pretty interesting and I don’t want to have to overly worry about things like the security of my house. Writing provides a level of privacy that video does not. In writing you can’t see whether I’m happy, suffering from allergies, away from home, etc. All you get is the text that is written.

Additionally with text I don’t have to drag expensive gear out into the field. It’s all to easy to lose a camera, or piece of audio equipment while open the road.

Wanting to fully flesh out ideas…

Over almost nine years of talking into the camera an answering people’s questions I think I’ve come up with more than a few points, and lessons learned that I’d like to fully flesh out. The way that I do videos brings a level of humanity to my points, but many times it also creates a large degree of imprecision. With writing I can go back and change a sentence or two to focus in on a point that I’m trying to make. Or change the wording of something to make it clearer. With video you basically have what you have. I can’t go back a month later and stitch in a better metaphor or turn of phrase.

Create something with more permanence…

Video is a temporary form of communication. Even with YouTube and other platforms providing free services the fact is that video will only last as long as there are ways to decode the files. How much video content has been left to rot on Betamax and Laser Discs? Theoretically the videos have not been lost, but if there is no way to watch the content does it matter? With text I can simply print out my work and it can be archived in a format anyone can consume so long as they can read English.

Create something with more revenue streams…

I’ve been thinking about the idea of eBook publishing for a few years. It’s an easy way to add a revenue stream and provide a product my followers would find valuable. My thought is that once I build up enough of my content in writing I can then take 20 or so posts, and then edit them into book form. I can spend a few days turning 20 posts about modern advertising into an eBook on the subject. This provides a more focused experience for readers, and gives me another way to make a few bucks off of content that I’ve already created.


These are my thoughts on the subject for the moment. I’ve been doing videos pretty consistently for almost 9 years. I don’t really want to say too much one way or the other about videos in the future, but for right now I need a break. Maybe it will be a short break, possibly it will be a long break. It may even be an end. I can’t really say as far as videos go.

I will keep publishing text based content for Failed Normal. In general it will be one to two posts per day. I hope this works for folks, but can understand if you unsubscribe. As with all businesses it’s not about whether you can do something once or twice, but rather can you do it thousands of times. It’s not about a day or a week, it’s about years of repetition. For me I need to take a step back. I want to keep sharing my thoughts and ideas, but need a tad bit more privacy than video allows.


  1. Hope you feel better soon. Take all the time you need, lately I’ve been reevaluating some of my own technology habits and even set a personal goal for the week to get back to writing blog posts which I’ve been neglecting since I got back from a vacation back in March.

  2. In my view life means basicly: you wake up in the morning and look at your options and pick the one that looks best and then go for it…

    If more writing is the best option for you then go for it…..

    I will stick around…..

    All the best,


  3. I Wish you feel better soon,Take all your time ,you become in somehow our window for digital world and listening to you becomes like reading newspaper with cup of coffee
    Thanks a lot

  4. First of all, hope you get better, allergies don’t kill but they are f*** annoying I know for my own experience.

    2nd of course we, your viewers, learn to like the “Eli Experience”, is easier to digest content in video format, but I think we also are here for your way of viewing things so if we had to read instead of watching I don’t think is a drama, or at least not for me.

    3rd and the reason why I’m comment, would be possible to install a plugin to give us the hability to know what have we already seen? I don’t consume your content in a chronological way so it would be easier for me to keep track what I have already saw.

    Thank you in advance,
    Video or text keep the good work.

    • … I highly doubt I won’t do videos again. Right now I’m just tired of hearing myself, and I genuinely want to get many of my thoughts down in writing. One of the biggest drawbacks of being a new media professional is the requirement for constant output. People who write books will talk of months or even a year of writers block on a particular work. I LITERALLY can’t go much more than a week without putting something out or I start losing people.

      I feel like over the years I’ve come up with some rather solid and useful things to say, but they are wrapped in hours upon hours of video content and impossible to search for and find. By spending some time put them into writing I can create a searchable library that’s to the point.

  5. Even though I prefer the videos, I’ve sort of missed the blog posts, so this is fine with me. Maybe audio versions of the blog posts could be a way to keep the people that’s not interested in paying for “just” text?

  6. I follow Eli for a couple of years now and there are a lot of decissions in the one or other direction.
    Ending with creating videos, was one of this two? years ago.
    This decissions have changes – some reverted, some evolved – as time went by. So we will see, where it goes, this time …. 😉

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