For this post and video, I’m doing the small Youtuber tag, which I decided to do after seeing Annie Elainey’s video. I don’t know if she originally created the tag but that’s where I found it. Her Youtube channel is well worth checking out as well, she’s a brilliant disability campaigner and blogger.
Anyway, on with my answers to the tag, I hope you enjoy!
1. What inspired you to start making videos?
When I knew I would be moving to London, I knew I’d have to get involved on social media to make connections and find information. So I started signing up to Twitter and following different London-based accounts on there, and I looked for similar things on Facebook and Youtube too, finding channels like Londonist and Tom Scott for instance.
But I also started looking for my eye conditions out of curiosity, to see if anyone had made videos about that kind of thing. And more people had than I expected. I didn’t realise there was such a huge vlogging and blogging community out there, so it was fascinating to me. And I felt it was something I could have a go at getting involved with. So I made a few very tentative steps to start with.
I first made a video for Scope’s End The Awkward campaign, about interacting with disabled people. It was basically an experiment on my part, but it did seem to go down well. Scope liked it and other people liked it, so that was good.
I didn’t make another video for a year after that. But I then started making a few more videos, and gradually eased myself into it. And I also started doing this blog on the side. I do find the blog easier, because I can think about what I’m writing. And I can then use some of those posts to help me make videos, as I’ve got a basic script there. I don’t recite the posts word for word, but it gives me all the bullet points I need when talking. So it links together nicely, although I do now also make videos and then blog posts now too, I’m getting used to doing it both ways.
So that’s how it started. And I’ve also been posting videos of my wanderings around London more recently, plus I’ve posted old holiday videos as well. So it’s a bit of a mixture, finding my way along all the time. But it seems to be working out alright.
2. How long have you been on Youtube, and have you had other channels?
I’ve been on Youtube for 2 years with this channel. I only made 1 video 2 years ago, but since a year ago I’ve made and posted over 100 videos. Only about 15 of which have been about actual disability. A lot of it’s been just travelling type videos really. But it’s soon added up, when you keep posting things it’s surprising.
Before that I did have a personal channel of my own that I had my holiday travel videos on that I’d filmed when I was younger. But as I was starting a new channel anyway, I figured I’d just move everything over to it, so it’s all in one place and I can give it a fresh new look and new name. I could have my travel videos on another channel, perhaps, but I like the fact that this one channel shows the variety of interests I have, and I have playlists for the different aspects of it if people want to narrow their choices down.
3. Where do you see yourself and your Youtube channel in 5 years?
I don’t know. I’ve only just moved to London, so anything’s possible in the next 5 years. I have no clue what’s coming up. And that’s part of the fun of it.
Where I lived before, it was lovely, but there wasn’t a lot going on particularly. You just keep on doing the same thing year in, year out, there wasn’t a lot of variety there. But here in London there’s always something new going on, always something new to try, always new people to meet and see. So anything’s possible.
As for the Youtube channel, I’ll keep updating it as I go along. If circumstances change and I don’t have time to do it, then so be it. But for the time being, I’ll keep it active and see where it takes me. So I’m happy as things are right now, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds.
4. What message are you trying to get across with your videos?
Just that I have a disability, and it’s not stopped me from achieving things. It’s not stopped me from getting a good education, getting a job, getting out and about, etc. I’m happy, I’m enjoying life, I’ve got friends, and I’ve got a career, so it’s all good. And there’s no reason why my disability should stop me doing that. There are ways around it.
If it also encourages other people to get out there and try things, and realise that they can do things too if they have a disability, then that’s great. And if it helps people who aren’t disabled to better understand people who are, that’s a great bonus as well. That’s also something I’d like to achieve, if those sort of people watch my videos.
So it’s just a positive kind of message really – that you can do anything you put your mind to if you really want to.
5. Do people from school or work find your channel?
A few people know about it. I haven’t really publicised it among the people I already know, because they already know me, so there’s not been any major reason to. I’ve done it more for the benefit of other people really, people that I don’t know. But I’m flattered if people I know watch it and enjoy it as well, there’s nothing wrong with that.
When I started the channel I kept it quiet anyway, because I didn’t know if my blog or my channel would be successful. For all I knew I could have shut it down after a couple of months because it just wasn’t interesting me. But I have kept it up, and I know a few people have found it since. A few people have also found my blog, Instagram and Twitter pages too. But nobody’s asked about it. If people who do know me are reading this though, then free to say hi, this isn’t a deep dark secret!
6. What does your username mean?
For Well Eye Never, I stole that naming convention from Fashioneyesta, because she put the word ‘eye’ in the middle of the word ‘fashionista’. So I tried to think of something with ‘eye’ in it, which took a while, as a few of the names I tried seemed to be used by others when I Googled them.
So I don’t know where Well Eye Never came from, but when it came to mind, it just struck me as suitable. After all, I will never have well eyes, they’ll never be good, they’ll never get better. And I’m hoping that by people watching some of my videos, they might say something like “Well I never, I didn’t know that.”
So it’s that kind of thinking behind it. I’m sure there’s better names out there, but I’ve stuck with this one, it seems to have worked out nicely, and I’m happy with it being my identity online now. I’ve embraced it a lot more now than I did initially.
7. Favourite “small” Youtuber?
I don’t know if she really qualifies as small now because she’s got over 3,000 subscribers. But certainly my inspiration for doing this was Fashioneyesta, aka Emily Davison. You can also find her on her blog, Facebook, Instagram and Audioboom.
She’s just incredible. She’s been through a lot in her own life and she’s overcome many obstacles, and has shown way more than I do that you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it. And she does this by spreading such positive and informative messages. She doesn’t just help disabled people either, she educates people who aren’t disabled about interacting with disabled people. Plus she does a lot on beauty and fashion as well, she always looks amazing. And she’s a great writer and photographer. So she’s just brilliant. 🙂
But there are many other small Youtubers out there as well of course, in particular the huge community of disabled bloggers and campaigners out there. It is quite a revelation when you find it for the first time. So it’s well worth digging around and finding these things out. Type in your own eye condition or disability, whatever it may be, and you might be surprised at what videos and channels come up. It’s great that there’s so many people out there all making their voices heard these days.
And that’s it. Please feel free to do the tag as well, I tag every Youtuber reading this. Thank you to Annie Elainey for alerting me to it as well, and thank you to whoever created it in the first place if it wasn’t her. Thanks for reading!