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Friday, November 29, 2013

"Streamlining" basilmentos! (so that I don't die from exhaustion)

Hey everyone.

A few nights ago, I had a bit of a breakdown. Between hours of homework, lack of sleep, hundreds of fan emails, and countless comments- asking "whens ur next vid?" "where r u?" "why don't u post anymore?", I found myself in tears. I realized that I had spread myself too thin. Not only was I trying to get good grades, participate in theatre, and maintain a social life, I simultaneously running 2 youtube accounts, 2 blogs, 2 google + profiles, a flickr, an instagram, a facebook page, and a fan email. The messages and comments were piling up, many of them asking why I wasn't posting any videos. 

I felt sick.

Never, ever in my life have I worked so hard. This year has been a struggle unlike anything I have ever experienced before. I don't mean to sound upset- I am actually loving life right now. However, I am doing school work for an average of 11 hours a day. I need to sleep too. And eat. And shower.

All around me, at school, I hear kids talking about how busy they are this year. It makes sense- we are all taking the SATs, researching for college, overloading ourselves with advanced placement courses and after school activities, but sometimes, I wonder. I am loading my schedule with the same rigor as the other students (in fact, I am taking 2 extra classes this year!!), but I also have to maintain my youtube! Most high-schoolers think this year is hard, but for me, honestly, I think it may be even worse! 

Im not saying that other people don't work hard. They definitely do! However, most of my friends have something I don't: free time.  They watch TV shows, go shopping on the weekends, and hang out with friends on Saturday night. Apparently, this is what normal teenagers do, but honestly, I can't relate. 

That is the frustrating thing about my hobby. Being a youtuber is hard, because you have to schedule things on your own terms. For most other hobbies (take sports, for example), after practice and finishing homework, you are done for the day and can relax. With basilmentos, there is always something I should be doing. Even if I finish all my homework for the day (unlikely), there is always a video I should be filming or editing, or a blog I should be updating, a photo I should post... I can never truly relax. 

I still love my dolls, making videos, and the AG community; I just find it frustrating that after doing 5 hours of homework, I log on to youtube to find comments asking: "why dont u make vids anymore?", "r u leaving agtube?", "u should post more often". I know I should be flattered that people miss me, but honestly, those comments make me sad. Really sad. I would love to post more, I would love to update my blog more, I would love to film all day and night and never have to worry about school again, but I can't. I can't. There is no way- no way within my human ability to keep up with the demand. I know it's sad, but for now, school comes first.

So, you may ask, what is the point of this whole blog post? Well, first of all, I just needed to vent. I feel like I have been pretty disconnected from AGtube (for reasons stated above), and I wanted to let you guys know what's going on with my life. Also, I wanted to tell you guys my plan for the next 6 months.  

I am going to be "streamlining" basilmentos.

Don't worry, nothing terrible is going to happen- I am just cutting down on a few of my online accounts. I have been spending WAY too much time answering fan emails and scrolling through my instagram, while many of my other webpages have been neglected. I need to downsize- compress my online activity to fewer websites- and that is what I am doing today. 
I started by deleting my facebook page. I never really found facebook to be a useful platform, and I almost never logged on. I had almost reached 2,000 likes, so it was a little sad to delete- but it needed to be done. 
I also discontinued my flickr. I left all the photos up there, so it is still publicly viewable, but I won't be posting on there anymore. This way, I can concentrate all my photo related activity on my instagram.
I have also discontinued the doll's blog (basilmentosdolls.blogspot.com). I am leaving it up, because there is some pretty cute content there, but it won't be updated anymore.
Most importantly, I am changing my policy on fan email. I used to respond to every single message, even if it was just "hey anna when r u gonna post the next vid?", but now, that has to change. I will only be responding to messages that show clear effort and interest, or ask a question that is not answered on my FAQ page. 
I will not be responding to messages anywhere except for my fan email. If you really need to reach me, please send me a message there.

Here are the active webpages profiles that I plan to continue:
1. basilmentos youtube
- I will try to post once a month

2. basilmento (backup+extras) youtube
- I will post every once in a while

3. This blog (for the awesomest of fans! :D)
- I will post whenever I have something important to say!

4. my instagram (@annabasilmentos)
- I will update a few times a week

5. Fan Email (but only responding to well thought-out emails!)
- I will check about once a week

So, yeah. Phew. I can already feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. 
It is still going to be a struggle, maintaining my schoolwork, youtube and social life, but hopefully this will make things easier. 

I am so thankful for your support during my journey. It's amazing that I made it this far, and no matter how busy I become, AGtube will always hold a special place in my heart. I love you guys.

Also, you rock for reading this far! Here's an exclusive photo as a reward for your awesomeness!



48 comments:

  1. Dear Anna,
    First of all, I TOTALLY FEEL YOU!
    Like, I'm not even in Middle School yet but I have to go to a Gifted class and I have to spend my Thanksgiving break working on a project.I also am in a choir that is making me practice for about 4 hours a day every Monday and the week of the show I have practice everyday that week except for Wednesday. I just don't want you stressed. I also feel guilty when I'm done with homework and don't have any activities to go to but i decide not to make a stopmotion. But stress just makes things worse. Thanks for reading if you did. I really hope this helps you settle down ;)
    ~ T❤nk

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  2. You post SO much more often than I do on all of your online accounts. I hardly ever update my blog (maybe twice a year), my instagram (maybe once per week), and my youtube (once per 3-4 months). There is no way I can keep up the schedule you keep so be proud of yourself! My focus the past two years has only been school and sports. If I have time, I do the other stuff. I love youtube and wish all the time that I could put up a video once per month but that is impossible for me - somehow you make it possible and that is amazing. Don't worry about cutting back. You know what you can handle and true fans will appreciate that.

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    1. I used to post once a week, which in hindsight is totally crazy (considering each video takes about 16 hours!), so I think a lot of my viewers are accustomed to that. Honestly, posting once a month is MUCH more realistic! Thank you for sympathizing with me, its comforting to hear that I am not the only one. By the way, your stopmotions are wonderful! I suppose you don't post them very often, but it is always worth the wait! :) Keep up the awesome work!

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    2. It's OK. I know it's tough with a lot of fans nagging you to make more AGSM's. I honestly don't want you to get rid of the doll's blog, in fact, us fans would help you keep it up on the internet, but, Anna, if you think this is best, go for it. We all can understand why you are feeling a little overwhelmed. Keep up your good work at school. We all love you, your friend,
      Ella.
      P.S. My Google+ name is Ella Bruer. You can chat me whenever you're available. I'll respond later if I'm not currently on Google+.
      - Ella.

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  3. if people are saying "you should post more" then screw them!
    I make videos as well and I know how hard it is to get the right mind set,
    you are doing a terrific job! :D
    ~Giz :D

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  4. Oh Anna I hope you feel better!! Feeling like that is terrible. You're so strong and creative, and we don't mind at all if you don't post as much, if it makes you happier!! I'm a BarbieTuber, but I LOVE your vids! Stay strong!
    You're amazing!
    xxx

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  5. Dear Anna. I know exactly how you feel. I'm not at school anymore but I remember when I was a student, schoolwork asked all of my intention and I hardly had time to do something else. Luckily there was no Internet back then for me for up-dating blogs and so on that needed my attention. All I want to say: don't listen to people who write such (in my eyes) horrable things to you. School is important, all the other things (also making stopmotion videos) are just a hobby! I know how long it takes to make a doll movie or to do a photoshoot, but these people mostly don't! Post a new video, write on your blog when you have the time for it and don't feel "pushed". Because otherwise you will lose all the interest in your hobby and that's not what you or we wanted! You make terrific doll videos, Love them very much. Having stress about the internet.... NO WAY. It is not worth this. Stay strong and follow your heart. IT IS YOUR LIFE not from someone else. Take care.

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    Replies
    1. So true! People just don't understand or try as hard as she does!

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    2. Wow, thank you so much for your comment! I think a lot of my viewers have never made stopmotions, so they don't understand how long they take! I will continue to put school first, but I don't plan on stopping the videos- creating stopmotions is my favorite thing, and it makes me incredibly happy! I really appreciate your support, and thank you for your kind words.

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    3. Stop motions are very hard it takes about 400 pictures to make the video a minute!

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  6. Anna, I'm glad that you lifted some weight off your shoulders. I'm thinking about doing the same thing. And I still can't wrap my head around your lengthy schedule, and your ability to produce AMAZING videos somewhere in there.

    And don't take this the wrong way, but I'm glad you don't post more often. If you did, your videos would not be as good, and you really would die of exhaustion.

    By the way, I'm one of your biggest fans and my YouTube channel is Ninatheshark in case you're bored one day (like you can be with that schedule!) and want to watch a pretty bad stop motion;)

    Don't worry, things will get better. They always do. And you've got 40,000 loyal subscribers who'll stick with you no matter what;)

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  7. Anna, I can't believe with everything going on you've been able to breathe! You're amazing, don't worry about posting all the time. We understand and when people are asking "when will u post the next vid?" you should just ignore them. True fans wouldn't make you feel bad or make you upset. I TOTALLY understand that you can't post as much or keep us updated as often. You're in high school!!!! How on earth would you be able to keep up with everything and still have time to sleep? Basically, what I'm trying to say is that you should not have to worry about cutting back or taking a few minutes for yourself because true fans wold be happy to wait on a video if it means you're happy. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your support and understanding! I really appreciate it. :)

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  8. Don't Push Yourself Anna! It's okay if you don't have time, Do what is more important first. :) Are you still gonna upload in your flicker?

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    Replies
    1. I mean if you want to, I'm not pushing you.

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    2. She is not using flickr anymore. It is public still but it will not be updated
      - AGDollsforever1218

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  9. Good Luck Anna. Hope to see you soon!!

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  10. Anna I knew you were stressed but I had no idea it was this bad- I am so sorry I think it was a good choice to discontinue your flckr and Facebook and change the policy on your fan email. I am a little sad about your doll blog,it was the cutest thing and you only posted a few times and I will definitely miss that a lot, but that was a wise choice too. I still check your blog every couple weeks and your instagram every other day and your youtube every day just to watch your old videos. I hope you never leave AGTube because you are the reason i joined AGTube and I'm sure many others can relate. Even If you only posted once a year you would still be the queen of AGTube. School should come first. Do whatever you need to to get good grades and maintain a good social life. We all love you and hope to hear from you soon. love you Anna!
    ~Nali♥

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    Replies
    1. Aww, thank you! I never plan on leaving AGtube, it is one of the best parts of my life <3

      Anna

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  11. Oh, Anna, I'm so sorry that this happened. Especially with Daylight Savings, when I come home from my after school practice, it's already dark out, and sometimes, I can't even get a video up after a few weeks. I understand what you're going through and If you ever need a friend to talk to, I'm here for you.

    ~Mika

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    Replies
    1. Haha, tell me about it! I have been doing lots of indoor videos lately! And thank you. :)

      Anna

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    2. Me too! I tried venturing outside four times to get a photoshoot done, but ended up inside after a few minutes because it was too cold! Welcome! Just e-mail me if you need someone to talk to!

      ~Mika

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    3. Hey, Basilmentos, would you like to be friends?

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  12. Oh my gosh- i feel so sorry for you! I just hope you know we aren't angry with you- we understand that everyone has a life outside of the internet.

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  13. Stay strong Anna! With all you have going on, it's amazing that you still post as much as you do! By the way, I love your videos; they always put a smile on my face ;D

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  14. Hi Anna! I'mm sooo sorry about that! I definetly feel you too, because I am in a show at a community theatre with twenty performances! I also have my youtube account to maintain and a latin classs, that I have to get really good grades on for college credit. I"m homeschooled and in sixth grade, so it's a bit easier I guess. But I can relate. I'm sorry, Anna. :)

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  15. I am sooo sorry! I feel bad for all the things you have to do and people keep pressuring you! I just want to say Thank you for trying and not giving up like some. Love ya lots!

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  16. I'm in the same boat. I'm struggling keeping up with everything. It's my junior year so I'm taking some hard classes, doing SAT prep, trying to get my driving learners permit, do theatre and go to work. It is really hard, especially being an AGtuber. It has been a lot for me and my videos aren't even half as good as yours! Nor do I have all that social media stuff. I feel your pain and I wish you the best of luck. And like someone has said, even if you only posted once a year you would still be amazing and the greatest AGtuber ever.
    AGDollsforever1218

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, highschool. :( I haven't even started driver's ed. yet, because I can't find the time! Good luck!

      Anna

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  17. I hope you'll be able to focus more, after your "streamlining"! Just remember, you have hundreds of fans that have your back ;)
    Even if you don't post many videos anymore, your loyal fans will still be here.

    God bless <3

    NICKI

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  18. Don't Worry surger plum it is all fine I am struggling at school too! I haven't posted a video about 2 months don't worry we know you are always going to be here.

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  19. I'm happy to hear from you. I totally get your problem. I'm on a pretty high level myself too and a time ago I didn't enjoyed blogging on my blog. I grabbed myself together and I made fun again and I tried to have more free time.
    I'll always be one of your greatest fans and I get it that you post less videos and pictures.
    XXX Pretty Lilly AG

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  20. Thats ok! I am so excited when one of your videos come out. It takes me a long time to make a stop-motion and yours is a lot better. Even though I dont get much homework sometimes its hard for me to post a few times every week. As long as you keep posting a least once every 2 months, I will be happy!

    One of your biggest fans,

    Hannah

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  21. I think this was a very good decision you made. We know that high school is super important, especially when you take AP classes to prepare for college. I can't totally relate, because I'm in 7th grade, but I am at doctors appointments all the time because of some health problems, and on top of that I do get crazy homework. I live in a big city. so getting straight A's and exceeding expectations on SATs to get into a good high school, to then get into a good college, is almost as much pressure as doing this for college would be. I honestly love AGTube but I barely have time to relax on weekends, putting 100% effort into my schoolwork, especially science, since my teacher is like the Grinch and has total favorites (not me of course), and rather than just having reading and math SATs we have science as well this year. I'm terrified of what high school will be like if 7th grade is hard..... And I'm absent so often that I'm struggling more than I should on a daily basis. My mom is hoping to move to the suburbs, though, which would be great, seeing that there would only be one high school so school wouldn't be as hectic as it is now. I really hope streamlining your accounts will make everything a bit easier on you. Although AGTube is close to your heart, what will determine your future is getting into a good college and doing well in school, not making videos. Hopefully, sometime in the future, once you've gotten where you want to be in life, you will be able to look back on your hard work and be glad about where it got you, and look back on AGTube and be glad about all the good memories it brought you and all the memories you'll have time to make then. <3
    ~Sapphire (IslandPrincess021; YouTube)

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  22. That decision was a very good one! School can be very stressful and even I have a ton of homework and stress even though I'm in 6th grade (7th in America) I know that stopmotioning takes ages! I made one over summer which I made on mid summer eve and I never really finished it. It took the whole day to make it and I still need to finish it. It must be very hard to do schoolwork at the same time as doing stopmotions and updating on instagram, blog etc. whenever i read the comments on your videos and see the comments asking where you are and when you'll post more I get annoyed by the fact that don't they understand that you are busy?

    I wish you the best of luck and you're the best AGTuber on earth and I am a huge fan of yours! Stay strong!

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  23. I feel you 100%, Anna. Even middle school is tough. I have to practice the cello for 1 hour daily, worry about a bunch of gifted classes, get huge amounts of math homework, read for an hour, study for a weekly writing quiz, do writing homework, and I'm almost ALWAYS studying for some test. I have 0 youtube videos on my account because of that. I think I need to manage my time quite better, because when I finish all of those tasks, I have to brush my teeth and go to bed! I know how tough it is to manage so many things at one time just as well as you do.

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  24. I Feel you Anna. I get thar middle school ishaed and ya.. you want to get stuff done and stuff so yeah i get u 100000000000000000% long as you nver quit

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  25. I know what you mean Anna. I'm not even in high school and I know how you feel. I am dealing with 4 hours of homework, my violin reading 24 books by may, chinese, soccer and my youtube account. Along with friends and family I have all of this. I hope you will be able to sort all of this out. That is a part of life. And life is hard so here is my advice:
    Life is short it dessert first and when your feeling down have a cupcake!!!:) and:
    Just keep on smiling and the day will be better:)

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  26. Anna you are very wise to streamline your AG activities. It is an important lesson to learn how to say, "No I can't do that." All adults must learn how to do that, and it is particularly hard for us women; we hate disappointing people. Sometimes we need to say no to something in order to say yes to something else.
    You are a brilliant, talented thoughtful young woman, and so many people love and admire you. I hope you can feel the support from that and let go of any pressure it might evoke. We want a happy, healthy Anna who feels good about how much joy she gives others and protects herself from getting swamped by life's pressures.
    Count me among the many people wanting only the best for you. And thank you for all the joy you have already brought to us.

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  27. It takes a lot of courage to come out and tell that to the world, Anna! I hope that you can get a hold on school work, and have at least 1 hour every week to do something of your choice. Let me just say, I would much rather wait a month and get an amazing video, rather than waiting for a day and getting a low-quality video.

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  28. Oh Basilmentos! I feel so bad. Life is always hard, and things in life ARE hard. College will be more challenging. But what will you do when you leave for college?

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  29. I love you basilmentos. You were the reason I started doing stopmotions. *Kenn

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  30. Is it true you might be getting a new doll possibly named Grace or Ellie?

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  31. Hello Anna, could we be friends? i really look up to you and it would be cool to have another AGTuber friend.

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  32. I can totally relate. I haven't upliaded a proper video since march because of studying fot GCSE's and I always have something going on. Don't feel sad Anna, school comes first and most of us understand that.

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  33. good I read to the end. NOW TAKE A BREAK! Because if these people care about you then they will understand. Have a nice day and may God bless you.

    God bless you,

    Thalia♥

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The story behind it all....

In September of 2009, a pre-teen girl named Anna was searching youtube. She no longer used her american girl dolls. they were behind the closet doors, gathering dust. She reluctantly glanced over, then began to type in the search bar: American Girl Dolls. A video came up. She clicked on it. 14 coustumed dolls slid onto the screen and began to dance together, waving their arms and doing cartwheels. Anna was shocked. How could this be possible? This was.... Amazing. She quickly searched a few more. There were hudreds of videos, by usernames like stephenswodadancer, AGlovejess and girloftheyearstudios. Anna couldn't believe it. This new discovery was incredible! She ran to her room and pulled out her two dolls, felicity and samantha. She grabbed her camera. And, she began to film.


It is now four years later. I work on videos almost everyday, usually stopmotions. I have gathered quite a few veiws and subscribers on youtube, and I really appriciate when people comment on my videos. I have come unbelievibly far, but I still leave up those first videos from two years ago, because for me, those are the memories that I will always treasure. I am so happy that I can share them with you.