HIATUS IS…OVER?

Hey there! It’s everyone’s favorite unreliable entertainer person. I know I’ve been *ahem* slacking (a MAJOR understatement) on not only this blog, but on my own YouTube channel as well. I don’t really have an excuse other than I haven’t really had my life together these past couple of weeks.

I mean, there’s also the whole issue of the fact I didn’t have a video editing program the entire last half of summer and I didn’t have wifi for all of June, but whatever. I still hold myself accountable for my failure to keep everything updated.

forgive me

But I’m slowly and surely getting my life back together. I’m back in school so I’ll hopefully be able to keep to a schedule. I’m scared to make any promises because something might come up and change my plans. I don’t know. My life is weird like that.

Here are some promises that I will definitively keep up with:

  • NEW YOUTUBE CHANNEL: I’ve been hinting at it for a while on my twitter now, but I honestly have stuff filmed for this new channel. It’s just a matter of editing the footage, designing new logos, and creating a new opening graphic different from my Maddness one. Launch date is TBD.
  • TWITTER: Guys. Seriously. Check out my twitter. I love tweeting. I live off of your favorites and retweets. It’s a drug. I can’t stop. It’s also the most up-to-date social media on whether or not I’m getting my life together so keep up with it.
  • BETTER CONTENT: This one is subjective, but I feel like I’m improving. I’ve got some ideas cooking that should help move The Maddness forward.

I know all of this is a bit much for someone with only 300 subscribers (not even), but I care. I want the few of you who do follow me to know that I do care and I’m trying my best, but I just don’t have my life together. So thanks for sticking around despite the ups and downs. I appreciate all of you.

kisses to the bitches

Hashtag blessed.

#PimpMyBio: All About The Maddness!

Why hello there.

hellooo

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably wondering how you could possibly find out more about that delightfully charming girl that is constantly harassing people on the internet with too many exclamation points and usually in all caps. Well I’m here to tell you that girl is me and I love talking about myself so kick back, relax, get back up to grab that drink you forgot on the counter, come back, suddenly realize you’re hungry, start cooking a frozen meal in the microwave, scroll through Tumblr to pass the time until your frozen meal is ready, get caught up in a horde of Supernatural gifs….

get on with it

Anyway, my name is Maddie Gudenkauf. My last name is hilariously hard to pronounce for some reason so let me make it easy for you: good-in-cough. Not my choice, but it works. I spent the first nine years of my life in Kansas, the second nine in Colorado, and now I’m just sort of wandering. At the moment, I’m stuck in Nebraska for the next two years until I get my bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Web Communication Design. After that, I have no idea. That’s the life of a millennial pursuing a career in journalism!

laugh-cry-o

In the meantime I maintain a YouTube channel that posts weekly videos, write novels about superheroes, and run this blog. People ask me how I manage to do all of that on top of work/school/etc. and I just kind of stare blankly at them, take a sip of my coffee, and get nostalgic about the last time I had a full night’s sleep.

If I happen to have free time and choose not to spend it on my book or YouTube channel, I tend to spend it playing video games (Skyrim is BAE), catching up on hours of YouTube videos, or reading. I’m not really into TV, but I have been known to mess up my roommate’s Netflix queue with documentaries about North Korea.

haters gonna hate

I particularly enjoy quirky YA books, but I’m a sucker for any super-dramatic YA series like the GODDESS TEST or GOSSIP GIRL. CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller is my all-time favorite book. Other books I love are Harry Potter (Fun Fact: I was president and founder of my high school’s Harry Potter club), ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES by John Green, FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell (Nebraska pride!), GRACELING by Kristen Cashore, and THE DA VINCI CODE by Dan Brown. But again, I read everything. I very rarely give up on a book.

There’s hardly anything I love more than reading. Except for writing. And superheroes. And video editing. And Panic! At The Disco. And Skyrim. Okay so I love a lot of things. What can I say? I’m a very excitable person in love with life. The glass is never half-empty for me; it’s always full. It’s just that the other half is filled with air. I’m always looking for the next adventure because I don’t do well with boredom, which is why I wrote my book and started my YouTube channel in the first place.

positive!!!

I just hope everyone can keep up with my adventures on my Twitter, my YouTube, or my eight other social media accounts. I’d hate for you to miss out on my excessive exclamation points.

Desks for Dayzzz: My Desks Throughout the Years

Buckle your bootstraps because I’ve had a large coffee with six sugars and have only slept three hours in the past 24 so now I’m going to take you on an over-caffeinated, over-enthusiastic journey of my various desks throughout my life. Why? Because I freaking love desks.

The Desk of My Early High School Days

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My early high school days were not a good time. I tried too hard to be cool (as evident by the giant, white sunglasses on top of the desk) and it didn’t work out for me. In fact, I used to just wait on Facebook in hopes that one of my friends would come online and I could chat with them with the fancy IM system just so I could be like “yeah cool kids do this all the time so I am cool for doing this.” You can see on my crappy old Toshiba laptop that I was chatting with someone at the time. I never really wanted to chat with them. I just wanted to say that I did to look cool.

But this was before I really got into my writing and I was just only beginning to discover the beauty of YouTube. The empty food wrappers and drinks reflect late nights spent watching YouTube rather than working on my failed sequel to my currently unpublished book. Overall, I just had a lot of blatant disrespect for my desk and my work, but I also had a lot of disrespect for myself by pretending to be this cool person rather than embracing my true nerdy self who can’t stand Facebook messaging and finds large, white framed sunglasses to be tacky.

However, I would still wear those tacky sunglasses that make me look like a bug because I have a weird sense of humor like that.

The Desk of an Overambitious AP Student

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Flash forward to my junior year of high school. Things had gotten a lot better since my early high school days. I was beginning to be comfortable with the fact that I will never be a cool popular kid and I might as well start being happy with myself. Of course, it was mostly because I no longer had any time to pretend to be anyone other than myself because of my full schedule.

My overambitious self had managed to cram nine classes into an eight period school day with two of those classes being Advanced Placement. If you add my hectic softball schedule or any of the six extra-curricular activities I was a part of, I barely had any time to sleep or eat let alone excessively wait around on Facebook to pretend to be interested in IMing a friend of a friend.

But this desk, which is in the form of our family kitchen table, shows a moment of calm in the chaos of my life at the time. A cute kid’s movie, my favorite subject in school and a ready-in-20-minute pizza on a snowy day is all I needed to feel at peace with the world.

The Desk(s) of a Music Video Director

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I was very fortunate that during my sophomore year of college that I was able to take a class that enabled me to spend an entire month on creating one video. That one video ended up being my music video for “Mercenary” by Panic! At The Disco. It was an insane month. I was obsessed with this video and spent more effort on it than any other video I’ve done at that point. I could ramble all day about that video, but I already did that in another blog post.

But my desks reflected this insane month. During production, my dorm desk was a living disaster. It was where I stuck all of my various cameras, my army of flash drives used to hold the footage, and my snacks on my desk so it would all be within arm’s reach from my laptop so I could continue working without distractions.

During post-production however, it was the complete opposite. It’s clean, organized, and just very well kept. The difference is that while filming relied on sporadic inspiration and improvisation, the massive task of editing the footage required my utmost focus and so only the things I truly needed to edit the video were on the editing desk and in neat, orderly fashion so I could reach them quickly without fumbling through a mountain of empty wrappers. Even with everything in place, it still took me a little over six hours to accomplish editing this music video.

The Desk of a Lazy Day

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After the stress of filming and editing an entire music video in one month, I decided to take it easy for a while. Lounging on a living room chair with my dog by my feet, I caught up on the YouTube series I missed while filming and wrote parts of my severely neglected novel to the tune of Fall Out Boy’s latest album.

Honestly most of my “desks” are couches or my beds. Most of my best scenes were written on couches and I can’t begin to list off all the times I’ve fallen asleep with my laptop on my bed. It’s just comfy to lounge while working. But it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a solid table top with a good chair.

The Desk of The Maddness

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Now we’re on my most current desk. I now have respect for my workplace because I actually rely on it a lot now. It’s the location of 90% of my Maddness videos, I’ve designed my fair share of thumbnails at this desk, and good chunks of my novel were written at this desk. While trash will occasionally clutter the desk after late work nights, it’s not to the extreme of when I first started to actively use my desk.

I’ve grown to love my desk by surrounding it with most of my favorite objects and giving my laptop the space it deserves. It’s cozy and reflects my personality almost perfectly. My life is no longer the chaos reflected in the first picture, but there’s now a sense of calm now that I have found my confidence and my interests. There are still areas that need to be improved, but overall it’s a desk good enough for a future queen of the internet like myself and I love it.

I’m fortunate to be able to find time to work on the things I love and I’m even more fortunate to have the chance to share my interests with the world through my YouTube channel and writing. But regardless of how much I’ve been able to achieve, I never could’ve done it without a solid desk to hold everything needed for this crazy journey.

Thoughts on #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike

If you follow me on Twitter, you might’ve noticed that I posted a selfie of myself a little while ago with the hashtag “#ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike”.selfie If you don’t follow me on Twitter, well you’re missing out. I’m a delight on Twitter. Go follow me on Twitter.

Now I normally don’t post selfies because of reasons and I actually spent a solid ten minutes trying to think of a caption for this one. (Side note: Kudos to you people who can casually post a selfie without a reason. You’re all my heroes.) But the reason why I posted this selfie is that I am proud to be a nerd and I shouldn’t have to prove I’m a nerd just because I don’t look like a Big Bang Theory character.

The #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike campaign was created by the Grey Havens YA group to do just that: prove that you don’t need to fit society’s stereotype of a nerd to be a nerd. Everyone’s a nerd. You don’t need buck teeth, thick glasses, and suspenders to be one. All you need to do is love something passionately and enthusiastically to be a nerd.

Now I may be partial to this cause because even though I’ve been a nerd for as long as I can remember, I’ve still faced people who’ve said I’m not a nerd just because I’m an athlete. I mean obviously it could be worse, but it still sucks that everything I love and am passionate about is automatically invalidated just because I enjoy playing sports. Then of course, a good portion of the internet automatically believes girls can’t be nerds so my double X-chromosome invalidates my interests too.

Believe it or not, I’m still a nerd. My softball teammates and I enthused about Harry Potter and the Hunger Games in between ground balls at practices, I’m constantly annoying my friends with my endless superhero theories, and I have a whole YouTube channel filled with videos dedicated to my love for all nerdy things.

Society’s stereotype of nerds is long outdated and needs to change. Nobody should have to prove that they’re a nerd just because they don’t look like society’s expectations of one. That’s why #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike is so important because it’s an opportunity to see a range of people fromfirefighter firefighters to biology majors professing their love and pride for being a nerd even though they might not fit society’s idea of a nerd.

I encourage everyone and anyone who describes themselves as a nerd to post a picture of themselves on social media using #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike. More information on the cause can be found here with the original essay that sparked this movement. Nerds aren’t exclusive to characters on The Big Bang Theory and we need to recognize that anyone can be one. People shouldn’t have to prove their love for nerdy things and #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike is a step in the right direction.

Seriously check out the original essay that created #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike. My rambling definitely doesn’t give it the justice that it deserves. Don’t forget to post your selfie with #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike too!

What is The Maddness?

Boredom doesn’t settle well with me. Life is too short to allow boredom to take a precedent in it. I aim to have the most fun in life as possible and my online web presence reflects this belief.

This is the band Fun having fun. Yay.
This is the band Fun having fun. Just like me. Yay.

The videos I create for my YouTube channel are all videos I had fun making and truly believed other people would enjoy to watch as well. But I still struggle on finding a balance between what I like and what my audience likes. Some of my favorite videos that I had an absolute blast making are my least watched and the videos that were absolute pains to make are my most popular.

Bitter.
Slightly bitter.

There’s a lot more flexibility with my Twitter. Occasionally I’ll go on a rant about the lack of female superheroes, but I mainly use my Twitter to post the occasional interesting or humorous thought. In fact, people approach me in real life to compliment my Twitter and how they look forward to my tweets. But I do have a nasty habit of tweeting to celebrities and promptly deleting the tweets five minutes later when they don’t respond. Sorry celebrities.

Other than my YouTube and Twitter, I’m a relatively private person on social media. I only use my Facebook to let long-distance family members know I’m still alive, Tumblr and I have a love-hate relationship, and I’m just getting started on this blog. All-in-all, I just want to make people smile and that’s what I aim for on my social media. I want people to have the same amount of fun I have when I create the content. I could always improve on my interaction with my audience. Most of the time I just post my content and leave it there for people to interact with at their discretion. I never try to force people to watch or comment or anything like that, but that often leads to low amounts of interaction.

Seriously ONLY 60 VIEWS?!
*cries 5eva*

Overall, I just want people to think positively of my content. I want them to look forward to the next time I post content because they know it’ll make them smile. Most of all, I want my content to alleviate my audience’s boredom. Even if it’s for a second, I just hope that my content lets people have fun.

The Madness Behind The Maddness

Hello. My name is Maddie and I’m the madness behind The Maddness.

I enjoy listening to music way too loud, staying up past a normal bedtime, and challenging myself on things I shouldn’t be challenging myself on. For example, I once stayed up for almost 30 hours just to see if I could make it a full 48 hours. That isn’t a healthy life choice, kids, don’t do that.

But it hasn’t always been a bad thing. I started my YouTube channel just to see if I had what it took to become an internet personality known as a “YouTuber.” At the time, I had no formal editing experience and my only camera was my iPod touch. But I did it anyway because I wanted to see if I could. Two years later, it’s pretty much the same content but  in glorious 1080 p resolution thanks to my fancy new camera.

I wrote a book on the sole reason that I like to read and one day I finally went “hey I could probably do this” and so I did. It took over five years of revisions, but finally I’m in the process of publishing it and discovering just how absolutely useful the past five years have been for my book.

FUN FACT: I’ve made every friend I currently have after I wrote the initial first draft so I sort of forget to tell people that I’ve written a book and so it’s sort of a fun surprise for them whenever I casually mention it. Including now. Surprise!

When my high school newspaper lost their graphic designer, I made my own graphic designs for my column even though I had no experience in graphic design. The result is that I now use an odd combination of basic Photoshop and Microsoft PowerPoint to create graphics. It’s very weird and in hindsight it’s somewhat unconventional, but hey it works.

I may or may not have abused my powers.
I may or may not have abused this power.

The point is that everyone gets their start somewhere. Some people do the sane thing and take classes or an apprenticeship or ask for help. Me? I just go for it and see what happens. If I fail, I learn. If I succeed, I challenge myself to make it better. There’s really no method to this madness, but it’s definitely a challenge I’m willing to take.