“Many people will confide their secret sorrows to you, but the final mark of intimacy is when they share their secret joys with you.”
–Oswald Chambers (1874-1917), author of “My Utmost for His Highest”

I spotted the above cactus while scurrying to 7 am Mass this morning.

By the time I emerged from church it was already kind of incredibly hot!


I am going to use these hot summer days to learn something, or a few things, new.

After I posted the other day about my YouTube channel, for example, I thought, Oh maybe I should actually learn what a YouTube channel, and is for, and how you make it look nice.

This all brought up deep resistance. I think I should know how to do things or learn things or feel my way on my own (pride). I’m not interested in probably 97% of what’s on YouTube (pride). I’m afraid I’ll get first overwhelmed, then obsessed (based on experience, a very real fear).

I like to forge my own path.

Okay, fine. But there’s a very thin line between forging your own way and sloth. There’s another thin line between not wanting to sell out and not wanting to risk failure and rejection. I would way rather sit on the sidelines judging the “marketers” while feeling smugly proud of my own relative obscurity. There’s a kind of dishonesty at the core that, lately, has been making for a certain degree of discomfort.

So yesterday I went on YouTube and searched “how to make a good youtube channel.” What came up were all these videos of earnest, engaging, enthusiastic, young men wearing backwards baseball caps who were just incredibly helpful!

They were all like, “You have to be adding something of value to people’s lives. You’re taking up people’s time and energy: what are you giving or offering them?” How great is that?

The next thing they all said was, “Find a niche. Figure out one fairly narrow thing upon which you want to focus. No-one, unfortunately, is interested in the meanderings of your daily life. You can’t be all things to all people.”

Also great: so sensible, though I never would have thought of it myself (obviously). And that you can’t be all things to all people applies across the board to all of life.

Then they went on to offer all these other bits of wisdom that I, too, have picked up in the course of my earthly pilgrimage, though in my case it’s taken about 40 extra years. They talked about wanting their first video to be so perfect, and being so crippled by fear, that they put off making it for months (I took the opposite tack, but the underlying fear is actually the same). They talked about being patient, about being willing to put in tons of work, about starting small, about not being obsessed with the numbers, about being yourself and not trying to copy or imitate anyone else.

I learned what a thumbnail is, and a tag.

But mostly I learned how much I have to learn, and about the depth of my arrogance.

But all the YouTubers also said you have to make a ton of mistakes, so no harm done. But I am going to put some real work into learning to make a decent video, and I’m also checking out the possibility of a podcast, and my thought is to narrow my focus to The Vocation of the Artist–which is a very roomy subject and basically would allow me to have long conversations with all my dearest friends.

So thanks for bearing with me as I continue to Connect All Us Exiles!

Because I can hardly imagine a greater secret joy than that.

9 Replies to “SECRET JOYS”

  1. Heather: How wonderful to have your voice and video added to the YouTube world. I am a novice YouTuber myself (I offer my Catholic deacon’s musings at Handing On the Faith). Yes, we have to be willing to produce those bad videos at the beginning. I am doing my share of those.

    As for you, yes, go for it. Your camera presence is already mighty fine.

    Also, question for you–tell me–but from your description of the earnest young men with backward baseball caps, I am guessing you happened upon an outfit called “Think Media.” Did I guess that correctly? They’ve been helpful to me.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Good for you, Deacon Richard! I just subscribed to Handing on the Faith! And yup, you are exactly right: Think Media. I see now they have a massive number of tutorials and I may call upon you if I get stuck. Let’s “Skill Up!” 🤢

      1. I’d be delighted to be called upon!

        1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

          Thank you, good to know!

  2. Love the Chambers quote and yes I did receive the email on art stuff – thank you.

  3. Eileen O'Connor says: Reply

    Heather, I “make” my students (who are teachers anywhere from kindergarten to higher ed to corporate) create their own YouTube channels. They are all very nervous at first. They are shy in front of the camera. They don’t know what to say. But they realize soon that have a focus area – what they are teaching. They blossom. Shared video is an important media that is being used today, copiously. It is important in this world that we have media that promote key life messages. Yes, even those young men with inverted baseball hats and the young girls making cosmetic and fashion tutorials deserve to have a chance to learn from your wisdom. They are usually generous with their sharing and helping. (And, you can turn off likes and dislikes, number of hits, and the like, if you don’t want to get it a rat-race.) There is something called screen casting where you actually use the video to show the things on your computer screen that you are explaining / demonstrating, and you can have yourself being shown through a tiny video window. You could display religious art, museums, places, people, etc. – all the neat things you share in your blogs today – with you speaking to their purpose, meaning, and the like. That way you aren’t just a talking head. A very creative and open-ended media. I would be delighted if I could enjoy more of your life-learned, God-given perspectives – and YOU – at the same time. You can keep growing the techie part over time (lots more can be explored), and have fun with it too. (Sorry this is long, but I’m a teacher.)

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Wonderful, Eileen, and thanks for your email as well. I see what you mean by screen casting–very cool. I don’t have any trouble getting in front of a camera but I have a huge learning curve with every aspect–also have a lovely man who has pledged to help get a podcast up and running. Anyway, I have my work cut out for me. And I’m going to start before I’m ready, as one tutorial guy drills in, and start making videos BEFORE I become an expert. Your encouragement means a lot.

  4. Twinkle Dad says: Reply

    U Go Girl! I’m all in for the Heather King Live immersive audio/video experience. 😏👍✨

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Ha watch out, Bill, or I’ll make you come on my show! Thank you for the support!!


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