How This YouTuber is Breaking Out of the Small Screen to Become an Author
Jessie Paege uploaded her first video on YouTube three years ago. Now, she boasts over 1.3 million subscribers, stars on the Guilty Party web show and just released her first book. Oh, and she’s only 18 years old.
Jessie’s YouTube Channel is all about lifestyle, fashion, music, food, and DIYs, so basically you should subscribe to her ASAP. Jessie is venturing outside of the small screen and doing some really incredible things, like joining the ever-growing list of YouTubers-turned-authors.
Earlier this month, Jessie released her first book, Hey, It’s Okay to Be You!, and we got to sit down with her talk about everything from the book writing process, what it’s like to expand from YouTube and the importance of mental health awareness.
Writing a book is a daunting task, but something that Jessie was more than willing to tackle.
“I wanted something that was tangible,” Jessie said. “My YouTube channel being all about self care and confidence and identity, it’s really cool to express my opinions about in that way but I also wanted something a little more personal. In this way they can take what I teach them, and take their own individual stories, and cut the two together.”
Hey!! I'M WRITING A CHILDREN'S BOOK. (Link to pre-order in my bio)??? It's a therapeutic fill-in the blank journal that can start to introduce younger children to important topics AND TEENS CAN ENJOY IT TOO. All ages will appreciate the work. It's a way to take the ideals presented in my videos and apply them directly to your own lives. it's a totally new concept and touches on things like anxiety, being shy, gender identity, stereotypes, and more ?
Hey, It’s Okay to Be You! isn’t a normal book; it’s a journal that has all of Jessie’s stories and inspirations as well as templates for the readers to fill out and have their own experience.
“The writing process was very odd, it wasn’t like your traditional process because it’s more of a journal and activity book” Jessie said. “It was a lot like making my videos, which you wouldn’t expect, but also very different. It was such a cool experience because it was also a very collaborative thing with the publishing company because I had the ideas but they come up with the graphics, so it was a really cool to collaborative experience.”
The most important thing to Jessie is the readers. This book is such a unique experience that her main goal is that people will be able time to really analyze who they really are.
“I want the readers to get something to reflect on when they’re older,” Jessie said. “My dream is for someone to fill this up and read it 10 years from now and be like ‘wow that’s where I was’, not just like physically but mentally. I hope it changes people, even if in the slightest way. Even if it just changes one person a teensy bit, I will have succeeded.”
This isn’t the first time that Jessie has been intentional with putting her fans first. She constantly prioritizes videos about mental health awareness and pioneers conversations about treatment and asking for help, so it’s no surprise that she finds ways to incorporate the topic in every project she takes on.
“I’m a big mental health awareness advocate and it’s so important for my fans to be informed because I think exposure is important, and being able to recognize that you may have a problem and to be able to ask for help is incredibly important,” Jessie said. “Exposure is something that helps a lot, and not only for your own life. For your friends, too. Mental health is more than having a mental illness, it’s insecurities and how you view things and it’s such a large part of our lives.”
Jessie is continually climbing the ranks in YouTube popularity, which means there’s another added layers of stress and expectation. Thankfully, Jessie is a pro at dealing with stress and nerves in the best way!
“I definitely still deal with stress, but I think it’s really important to take time to prioritize your mental health. Just in general that helps me not get stressed out in the first place,” Jessie said. “When I’m stressed out in the moment, one thing that really helps is watching a video or TV show that will make you laugh and is cathartic that you can always turn to. And if you continue to get stressed out, being able to recognize the problem and what’s causing it can really help, too.”
While Jessie has been writing and promoting her book, she has had to balance her crazy schedule more than ever before, which means that she has had to cut back on posting to her own channel.
“It’s been hard keeping up with my YouTube channel while writing and promoting the book, but I’m trying my best,” Jessie said. I have a very understanding audience and I am very appreciative of them. I’m like, ‘Hey, I need to do this thing and won’t be uploading,’ and they’re always like, ‘It’s okay, take your time,’ so it’s nice that we have that relationship.”
If that wasn’t enough, Jessie also stars on AT&T Hello Lab’s Guilty Party web series! She plays Charlie, an outcast who tries her best to stay out of high school drama.
“I wanted to be a part of Guilty Party because my manager sent me the character biography and I was like, ‘Wow, that was me in high school I want to portray this perspective.’ You always see the outgoing one, the popular one and Charlie is different because she’s very independent and doesn’t have many close friends, but she likes it that way and that’s such an interesting perspective that isn’t shown that often.”
Just when we thought that her schedule couldn’t get any more full, Jessie reveals that she already has another book in the works set to come out next year! We are now even bigger Jessie Paege fans, and you should be, too! Don’t forget to pick up her book, Hey, It’s Okay to Be You!, in stores now.