Four More YouTube Channels I Watch When I Should Be Writing

Tastes. Sometimes something we love sticks with us for our entire life, and sometimes it was a fleeting favorite for a month or two. That’s how I feel about whose content I choose to watch on YouTube.

YouTube is a beast of a platform, in case you didn’t already know that. I don’t even want to think of how many content creators use it, and how many of them consistently, constantly vie for our attentions.

In the last YouTube related blog post I put up on this site, I mentioned how proud I was for no longer watching television. Well…I recently “inherited” my parent’s old television. It’s now wall mounted over my bookshelves. I am, however, proudly keeping to the “tv is only for the weekends” rule I imposed on myself. I have yet to impose a “YouTube only on *insert day here*” limit. Maybe I should do that…

Let’s circle back to that changing tastes topic of discussion. I looked back on my previous two YouTube posts: What I Watch When I’m Not Writing from August 2020, and January 2021’s addition, Six YouTube Channels I Watch When I Should Be Writing. I’d like to amend here who I no longer watch from those posts: Jessica Braun, Binging with Babish, Time Team, and nyangsoop. That doesn’t mean at all you can’t still give them a try. Those channels have been replaced with the following:

The History Channel

LIFE AFTER PEOPLE and HOW THE EARTH WAS MADE. Let’s just say that these videos have given me WAY TOO MANY ideAS for my new work-in-progress! Seriously. If you’re ever stumped for something in your own WIP, try watching something from The History Channel.

What’s actually amazing about it is they’ve got full episodes up. Some shows they’ve only got clips, or something informational about them. But, with LIFE AFTER PEOPLE and HOW THE EARTH WAS MADE, they’re completely full. And, if you’ve got an ad-blocker installed on your device, viewing them is such a joy!


Tara Michelle

I found Tara’s videos last year through her “living in LA” vlogs (though she doesn’t actually call them that. Sometimes it’s hard to relate (me, a 35 yr old living in Pittsburgh. her, a 26 yr old who recently moved from LA back to Toronto), so I don’t always watch each and every blog. Especially since she doesn’t always disclose when a video’s been sponsored by a company.

However, it’s been quite interesting watching how she’s adjusted to life back in Canada, and now she’s working on remodeling her own place (jealous). She’s definitely much more adjusted and down to earth than many younger YouTubers, which I think is what keeps me watching. I appreciate how she appreciates those who are interested in her journey.


Imamu room

Imamu and her family are from Japan who now reside in Canada. (Yes, another Canadian content creator! Score Two for the Canadians). I really like watching her cooking videos. Her recipes swing between traditional Japanese cuisine and East meets West.

I don’t know why, but I’ve always taken a long time when it comes to preparing ingredients for my own meals. I really appreciate Imamu’s gusto when cooking. She’s not afraid to get “down and dirty” when it comes to preparation and multitasking in the kitchen. I hope to, one day, be as confident as she is!


Rachel & Jun’s Adventures

Honestly? I go back and forth with this channel (group of channels). I found them several years ago while I still loved learning about Japanese culture, j-pop, and traditions. I think my interest in such things died down around the same time I stopped investing so much time into Korean pop music. I know, I know. Two different countries. Two different peoples. But there is a direct correlation to my college days with both of them. Sometimes I still watch them. Sometimes I don’t.

Jun’s Kitchen is still an immensely popular channel, though he doesn’t post as frequently as, say, Binging with Babish. However, several videos of his have gone viral. Currently, Jun and his wife, Texan-born Rachel, are in the midst of building their own house. So I am thoroughly enjoying that content. If you like cats, learning about the intricacies of navigating a multi-cultural relationship, and traveling around Japan (during non-COVID times), then I definitely suggest giving Rachel & Jun’s Adventures a try!


To borrow some advice from my last post as well: I suppose another reason I wanted to share these channels is to remind you that you don’t always need to be writing. It’s perfectly okay, normal, and natural to take a break. In fact, breaks are necessary for your mental health.

Don’t be afraid to indulge in a favorite YouTube channel from time to time. They’re a great stress relievers and help free up those neurons so they can help you plan out your next great scene.

Also, it’s okay if you no longer are interested in content from certain channels. Especially if said individuals do or say something you don’t agree with. Chances are, they don’t even know who you are. But, as they say, old habits die hard.

Like procrastination.

Leigh = procrastinator for life (?)

So go. Watch something you love, but don’t forget your passion!


Six YouTube Channels I Watch When I Should Be Writing

April: 2020. I unplugged my television. Hopefully for the last time. I was tired of commercials, tired of the news, and tired of politics. Not only that, but I never had a smart tv, or good internet. So buying one just to watch YouTube or stream seemed pointless.

I’m four months shy of one year without television. Not only did I banish my television to the basement, but I cancelled Netflix and removed the app from my phone, and cancelled both CBS All Access and Disney+. Don’t ask me what that green guy’s oh-so-mysterious name’s supposed to be from that one Star Wars show. Don’t know, don’t care.

As a result, what began as a one month experiment to see if I could do it has resulted in a much happier existence. I really do suggest you give it a try.

However, every once in a while I crave some mindless entertainment. While I’ve read down my TBR book pile and bought even more than I can handle in a year, I needed to add back in a healthy mix of other kinds of media.

As such, ere’s what I watch when I’m not writing.

Or trying to write.

Or practicing deep procrastination from writing!

This post is an update to last August’s blog post, What I Watch When I’m Not Writing.

Aaron and Claire

Don’t worry if you don’t speak Korean! Aaron and Claire have you covered! Aaron’s mission: to make Korean cuisine easily accessible at home, even if you aren’t in Korea. Claire’s mission: to taste test everything Aaron makes.

I’d gladly swap places with Claire!

So if you’re looking for something different, and some different recipes to try, might I suggest these two? They’re refreshingly active on both YouTube and Instagram, so hop on over and have a watch!

emkfit

I mostly included this one to remind myself to actually follow one of her routines. And someday soon. I first heard of emkfit from the lifestyle channel, Jessica Braun.

I’ve been meaning to find something to do at home, and something that’s low impact for my knees. What I appreciate about this channel is she offers options to save your knees, which I really like. Maybe I’ll start on Monday? 🤔

Time Team

Feeling the need to learn something new? I always do! Last summer, right before my birthday, I became addicted to watching reruns (are they even considered “reruns” if you can find their videos on YouTube?) of the long-running, but long-since-ended BBC television show, Time Team.

If you’re into quirk, geology, archaeology, ancient and more recent history, then I suggest you watch a few episodes of Time Team. They’ve recently begun uploading past episodes to the new channel, Time Team Classics. Their digs also cover a whole lot of ground, searching for anything ranging from Neolithic to Roman to World War II Great Britain.

planD플랜디

I absolutely love how calming her videos are. She hails from South Korea, cooks mostly Korean recipes, sews, and loves cafes.

Have I mentioned I love how soothing her filming style is? When lockdown started last year, that’s when I found her. It’s a refreshing change from the fast-paced American style vlogs.

냥숲nyangsoop

This channel is similar to the above but with more earthy tones and an adorable cat named Taco. She gardens, cooks and tries to live off the land as naturally as she can. She cooks a few more Western style dishes, but she’s just as calming and posts only once a week.

Peter Monn

Need a little, or a lot, of whimsy? Personality? Look no further than Peter Monn. He’s got six channels, including ones about books, but I prefer his drama channel. Where else am I supposed to “get the tea” if I don’t watch the Kardashians or Real Housewives?

Now Peter’s had a lot of channel, as well as personal, growth over the past few years. We’re all learning, right? But I live his honesty and willingness to speak his mind. And the fact that he watches the language he uses as well. If you like knowing about drama that’s all about the YouTube community, then give Peter a watch.


I suppose another reason I wanted to share these channels is to remind you that you don’t always need to be writing. It’s perfectly okay, normal, and natural to take a break. In fact, breaks are necessary for your mental health.

Don’t be afraid to indulge in a favorite YouTube channel from time to time. They’re a great stress relievers and help free up those neurons so they can help you plan out your next great scene.


What I Watch When I’m Not Writing.

The answer: very little, in fact. Way back in April, at the very beginning of all things pandemic and everyone else was binging their entire Netflix list, I conducted a month long experiment and unplugged my television. For science. Five months later it’s still unplugged, and I haven’t seen a single political ad this whole year. The result: a much happier existence. I really do suggest you give it a try.

However, every once in a while I crave some mindless entertainment. While I’ve read down my TBR book pile and bought even more than I can handle in a year, I needed to add back in a healthy mix of other kinds of media. As such, here’s what I watch when I’m not writing. Or trying to write. Or practicing deep procrastination from writing!

YouTube

For a long while I unsubscribed from all the channels I was watching the past two years. Some of them no longer posted content, and others no longer piqued my interest. Last night I whittled down the my current list from over fifteen to six. Here they are.

Kittisaurus

Kittisaurus and her ten (yes, ten) cats brings me so much joy. A YouTuber out of South Korea, Claire, Lulu, Momo, TT, DD, LaLa, CoCo, ChuChu, Nana, Toto and DoDo will most certainly brighten up your day. However, Claire recently got back ownership of her original channel, CreamHeroes. While I’m really happy she was able to accomplish that, I’m still nervous to resub. (If you know anything about YouTube politics, you get what I mean). So here’s a couple videos from her Kittisaurus channel for you to enjoy.

Don’t worry if you don’t speak Korean! She’s got such a large, international fan base that she’s been working on her English skills.

Royalty Soaps

I love Katie’s soaps. Having watched her channel grow over the past several years, it’s now incredibly difficult placing orders on her soap release days. But that’s a fantastic problem to have – for Katie! She’s a small business based out of Texas and basically her whole family’s involved in the process. (Process. Cold processed soap. See what I did there? hehe). While I prefer low-top soaps over the ones with high piles of “soap frosting,” I bought a high top grapefruit soap earlier this year and was sad when it was gone. If you prefer using bars of soap over liquid, consider supporting Katie’s Royalty Soaps. If you can’t seem to get your hands on her bars, look into Ophelia’s Soapery.

Binging With Babish

I found this channel a month ago. I don’t even know why I started watching it. All I know is I’ll never make a good 95% of the recipes he recreates from television shows and film. Of the five percent left, I *may* actually attempt an alcohol free version of the cheese fondue video below. I bought one of those electric fondue pots last year, and I own several old school fondue cookbooks from the 1970s. Oooh – I may just have to for my birthday coming up next month!

Kimono Mom

Kimono Mom’s the most recent channel I’ve subscribed to within the last few weeks. Moe cooks Japanese cuisine with her adorable daughter, Sutan. I’ve always wanted to try making more types of food, and I love this channel’s simplicity. In fact, I’m going to try making tonkatsu later this week. The closest Asian market that I know of here in Pittsburgh is about twenty minutes away on a good driving day. I don’t know if they’re currently open for business, but I’m going to try looking for ingredients to make dashi, and that coveted Japanese mayo!

Tonkatsu reminds me of the German dish schnitzle, which is also a breaded cutlet.

Jessica Braun

I’ve watched Jessica Braun for years. And I do mean years. From the floor of her bedroom to her wedding to the birth of her adorable Gigi, it’s been a privilege to watch her little family grow. If you like all things Disney, her husband’s a travel agent and they often vlog their trips (when there’s not a pandemic going on, of course). If you like a more down-to-earth YouTube channel experience, give Jessica Braun’s channel a try.

Alexandria Ryan

Alex’s channel is one of those channels I unsub from only to come back a month later. I don’t know why I just don’t let the link sit in my subs list. To quote Alex, “Anywho…” This channel’s specialty lies in subscription box unboxings. If you ever think about getting one, she may have a review of it already. Boxes aren’t as big as they once were, but I could be wrong. The only box I purchase is FabFitFun. That’s mostly because of their options and quality, add-on specials, and ease of cancellation.

Netflix

I have a rule of thumb with Netflix – never have more than five shows in your Watch Later list. Right before I unplugged my TV, I pushed my way through a list twenty titles deep. By the end, instead of entertained, I was disappointed in myself for some of the choices I make in life. Okay, let’s not get philosophical here. Here’s what’s currently on my Watch Later list:

Star Trek

Some people binge watch FRIENDS. Others The Office, and still others Seinfeld. Then there’s the generation that adores shows like Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, and the newest version of Sabrina. Whatever your favorite genre may be, mine will always, always be Star Trek.

This month’s series is Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I’ve yet to dip my toes into Discovery or Picard, as its the classics I love. One of these days I really should see what all the talk’s about.

It takes me about a month to get through a Star Trek series, and I can’t watch them out of order. The only one I also can’t get into is The Original Series. I do, of course, understand its significance and place in pop culture history.

If you doubt my love for Trek, just read these blog posts of mine:

The Character Arcs in Star Trek Voyager
The Dream That Star Trek Gave Me
Five Disease Filled Star Trek Voyager Episodes
Five Favorite Childhood Books

Black

Another Netflix habit I have is rewatching old Korean dramas I absolutely adore. I normally don’t go for dramas with older cast members, as I prefer more light-hearted series. But Black’s dark nature rekindled my love for its genre (think Japan’s Ghost Hunt anime, Supernatural, and S. Korea’s Bring It On, Ghost [oml Taecyeon’s my weakness).

Last month I watched Oh My Ghost again. I really want to rewatch the Taiwanese and Japanese versions once more, but that’s a lot of TV. For now, I’ll stick with the Korean mystical thriller, Black.

Cast:
1. Song Seung-heon
2. Go Ara
3. El Lee
4. Jo Jae-yoon
5. Kim Dong-jun
6. Kim Won-hae
7. Choi Myung-bin
8. Lee Hyo-Je
9. Kim Hyeong-min
10. Kim Jae-young

Cursed

Cursed is one of those shows with such mixed reviews I hesitate to watch.

I’ve also been so busy as of late that I really need to set aside time to sit down and pay attention to something brand new. I think that’s why I enjoy having old shows on in the background, so I can still work without having to stop and watch.

Yes, this includes Korean dramas like Black.

I’m drawn to anything with swords. Think Lord of the Rings, Legend of the Seeker and that one episode of Firefly where Mal is challenged to a duel. Okay, looks like I’m giving Cursed a chance.

NiNoKuni

Every so often I’ll hop on the anime train. I can only handle it in small chunks. As a kid I loved Sailor Moon and watched Inuyasha during Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming. I also absolutely love Sword Art Online, Clannad, Mary and the Witch’s Flower and A Silent Voice.

This past week I finished A Whisker Away, Ouran High School Host Club (again), and Toradora. That’s a lot of television for someone who’s unplugged her actual tv!

NiNoKuni‘s a film along the same line as A.I.C.O. Incarnate, another post-apocalyptic Netflix original. The similar concept drew me to add it to my list, and I can’t wait to dive in.

I do appreciate how one kid in the poster kinda reminds me of Haku from Spirited Away:


So how’s that for an impromptu blog post? I suppose the other reason I wanted to share these titles is to remind you that you don’t always need to be writing. It’s perfectly okay, normal, natural to take a break. In fact, breaks are necessary for your mental health. Don’t be afraid to indulge in a favorite YouTube video or Netflix flick. They’re a great stress reliever and frees up those neurons so they can plan out your next great scene. Give yourself a break and do something freeing today.


Why Now is A Great Time to Start a Blog

Blogs are to the Internet as quills and ink are to writing. Blogs have been around for a long time, but with the introduction of new tools, plug-ins, and easier access to web hosts, they’re easier than ever before to build, maintain and analyze. Is that the only reason why I say now is the perfect time to start one? Absolutely not.

With many of us affected by current world events, more people than ever are searching for new content to divulge in. Blogs help us find like-minded hobbyists, or fellow fans of a favorite television show or musical group, and so on. Use this interesting time to connect with others and learn something new in the process. You don’t need to be an expert to start a blog.

There is a learning curve when it comes to building a great site, an audience, and a social platform. Don’t let the idea of learning something new dissuade you! And don’t worry – you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get started either. Are you feeling up to the challenge? Everyone has to start somewhere, so let’s take a look at five steps that can help you along your way.

Step 1: Search Out Other Blogs.
This is where the content creator proverbial rabbit hole begins. A specific topic search is the best way to find out what other creators are putting out. Do you knit, organize or read? How about cooking, drawing or baking? Is cross stitch your thing or do you adore fairy gardens?

While there’s quite a menagerie already lending voices to their respective communities, don’t be afraid to add your own! If, at this point you just want some new resources to glean from, then skip the rest of this article! What? What’s that? You still want to dip a toe in? Great!


It can be very easy, when creating online content, to copy or mimic someone else’s work. It’ll be tough, at first. Have patience. You’ll definitely find your own voice. That doesn’t mean you can’t be inspired by other creators. Give credit where credit is due and source your resources.


Step 2: Decide On Your Content.
What are you the most passionate about? What do you want to discuss or dive into the most? Lifestyle content is a growing, dare I say it, industry. There is, however, a Even more specialized content on platforms like YouTube is shifting to daily vlogs – or video blogs – in which viewers can see another way of life.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg; just an example of what you can do. Personally, I’ve never enjoyed being in front of a camera. I’m a writer, so the braod topic of writing was the most obvious route for me.


You will experience a lot of trial and error as you grow your platform. Don’t be discouraged if an idea doesn’t pan out. Example: I once tried maintaining a Korean pop music site. While I enjoy the genre, my passion for running the site quickly died. I still listen to kpop on a daily basis, but my true passion lies with writing.


Step 3: Pick Your Platform(s).
These days, many platforms are free-to-start to give users the chance to explore and decide if that host is right for them. The only host I use is WordPress, and I have a Premium Membership. It took a year of use to take the plunge, but I’m awfully glad I did. I just wish they had a plan between Premium and Business. I’d like to use plugins, but I don’t need eCommerce tools. That’s when user feedback becomes an important tool for the site host. Find one that works well with your ideas. There’s no harm in having multiple accounts. Remember: Don’t spread yourself too thin. Start slow and work your way from there.

Below are ten examples each of video and web site hosts for you to peruse.

Video Hosts

Web Hosts

*I’ve included parent companies in case you’d rather not be associated with them for any reason.
**If a parent company isn’t listed, that host is privately owned.

Unless you’ve gone to school or video editing and filmography, or you’re self-taught, you may want to begin with a web host blog instead of a vlog. I only mention that form for those who are better speaking words rather than writing them.

Okay. Have you chosen your host? Let’s move on to the next!


Feeling overwhelmed at the start of something new is natural
and completely normal.


Step 4: Utilize Social Media.
Admit it. You groaned reading this step. However, social media’s grown to become an integral part of daily life. Let’s face it – there isn’t a single social media site that’s clean as a whistle when it comes to reputation. You have to choose what’s right for you. I use Twitter on the daily; Facebook isn’t in my vocabulary; MySpace who?; Snapchat and TikTok? I’ve no idea how to use those.

Picking what social media to use can be more overwhelming than finding your home base platform. Of course, you don’t have to use it at all. But it’s much easier to connect and share your creativity with potential readers through shared links and tailored updates. If you found this blog, you probably did so through Twitter, or WordPress’ Reader.

The point of the matter is, you don’t need an account with every offering. In fact, having more than two or three typically cuts productivity and increases procrastination if not utilized properly. My perfect storm is Twitter and Pinterest, with minimal involvement on Instagram.


Social media can be an incredibly effective tool.
Don’t let it distract you from accomplishing your life goals.


Step 5: Learn to Use Graphics to Your Advantage.
Humanity is a very visually influenced species. Last year I stumbled upon the Yes, I’m a Designer website in search of ideas for my own creations. As with anything, protect your work, and be cautious in what sources you pull your graphics for posts from. (I’ll leave the subject of copyright up to the experts). Since 2012, I’ve created graphics for church, my own fan fictions (when I wrote them), and, eventually, this site.

I use BeFunky. It’s $6.99 a month (cheaper than a Netflix subscription), and includes large libraries of stock images, design elements, filters, and other design tools. If you want to go this route, here are some great web based graphic design programs you don’t even need a degree to use. Some are more advanced than others.

All these sites offer different skill levels from novice to advanced. As with anything, choose what course is right for you.


Well, now. After all that, are you still interested in blogging?

I’m not going to lie – keeping a blog is a lot of work. With creativity, persistence and a little luck, you can hone your little corner of the Internet into a cozy place you love.

Hapy blogging!


Five Booktube Channels I Recommend

To be completely candid here, I’ve been less excited about books lately than in years past. Inspiration comes in many forms, and some bookish inspiration was needed. So I headed to YouTube and looked for a few channels to get started.

As a long time viewer of beauty community drama (it’s my guilty pleasure), it’s only logical to assume that other YouTube communities aren’t immune to the “spilling the tea” phenom. I don’t know anyone save for two channels mentioned in this post, so that gave me an unbiased look into this new realm.

It’s funny; during my time on Twitter I’ve stayed out of as much writing drama as possible, save for a few opinions and problematic accounts. It’s impossible to ignore bad advice when it’s given. Below are six booktube and authortube channels I recommend (in no particular order).

Natalia Leigh

Sub Count: 10.4 k
Links: Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram | Website

From what I’ve seen so far, Natalia is a well grounded author who takes the time to look into what kind of writer and content creator she wants to be. My first video of hers was actually in reference to some Twitter drama that happened in early 2019, and I appreciate her kind of honesty. We may believe in different things, but writing is one of the things we’ve got in common. That transparency is why I recommend Natalia. It also doesn’t hurt that “Leigh’s” in her name as well!

bytheBrooke

Sub Count: 4.96 k
Links: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

New Adult author Brooke Passmore also hooked me with her honesty (you’ll find this to be a common thread with these channels). I’ll admit that my first video of hers also came on the heels of online writing drama (surprise surprise), but her demeanor is what kept me watching. As a thirty-four year old viewer of entertainment, I don’t need over-the-top personalities and crazy editing many 2019 content creators seemed so fond of. Simplicity is the best medicine, and, well, her background’s PURPLE! I love purple…

Peter Likes Books

Sub Count: 21.7 k
Links: Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

I’ve known about this channel for quite a while due to Peter’s beauty community drama channel. His honesty on subjects other than books is what convinced me to give his booktube a chance, and why I am thinking about beginning a history themed booktube channel myself. If you’re looking for someone to tell you like it is, I’d give Peter’s videos a shot! Variety is the spice of life, and Peter certainly lives up to that 🙂

Kate Cavanaugh

Sub Count: 29.8 k
Links: Twitter | Instagram | Website | Patreon

Kate’s channel was one of the first I stumbled upon in my quest to find booktubes, and the first video of hers I viewed was “I Tried Writing Like JK Rowling for Two Days.” While entertaining, it really drove the point home that every writer needs to find their own methodology. What’ll work for one individual may not for the next. Take a look at some of Kate’s videos below!

Sara Lubratt

Sub Count: 95
Links: none

In YouTube talk, a small channel like Sara’s would be called a “micro channel” as she only has 95 subs. Even with little over a dozen videos to her name, I can see returning to this channel time and time again. We all have to start somewhere, right? Sara’s story is just beginning. As far as I can tell, she has no other social media links to share. And that’s okay!


One of my goals for this post was to find a group book lovers and authors at varying stages in their careers and ages. While I don’t know yet if watching booktube will become part of my daily writing routine, it’s good to engage with other writers and opinions. That’s what makes the book community such a rich one, and it’s vain to think you don’t need anyone else to accomplish your own goals. So no matter your routine, beliefs or demographic, I hope you’ll explore the channels above with an open mind and who knows, maybe you’ll find a kindred spirit or two!

Happy writing/reading, friends!