Oh there are some days…..and yesterday was one of them. And I had a day last week as well. Should I throw in the towel and just give it up? Should I quit the videos, maybe even the blog itself? Should I start a new blog with a new theme? Should I do something different with my minute (pronounced “MY-NUTE”) amount of time?
Nah, retirement is around the corner, I say to myself. And the negative self talk ensues, along with the buts…..but you are old, but you are not pretty, no one is interested in what you have to say, your life is boring, you have no value to add or share, you talk too much, no one wants to hear it. Then the “just think of what you can do with your time” thoughts set in: but just think: you could work a puzzle, you could sit on your butt and watch TV til your heart is content, you could read a book, you could exercise, you could write more, you could cook more, clean more.
When I’m about to talk myself in to trying to get excited to quit, I get a sick feeling in my stomach like the floor is about to fall out from under me. And I have thoughts like: Oh my gosh I’ve worked so hard, I’m not done trying yet, it’s a puzzle and I’ve got the pieces I just need to make them fit and put it together, you are not a quitter, and oh my gosh I’m not ready to quit yet. No way! I am not a quitter! I would be so disappointed in myself. I’m not going to lose at this. I’m not going to hang my head and cry.
I have to step back and realize that while some of those things are true, and I have a lot of reasons and odds against me, it’s not just me that is the problem. I am older. Mostly my beauty days have gone. My mind is half spent at this point. I have a lot of competition as about half the world has a channel. Ok I’m exaggerating there but you get the point. People are on YouTube for selfish reasons: they want to learn something, be entertained, or otherwise have a goal in mind when they get on it, even if only to please themselves. They don’t usually just get on to see ME. Most everyone out there doesn’t even know me. And just like life, a few of them if they did probably wouldn’t even like me. I have people I don’t prefer as well. We all do.
I have to laugh as even the viewer doesn’t really know what they want at times, thus the moving target. The algorithms change also, thus another moving target.
Before I could get the video editing down, “SHORTS” became the thing. I’ve still not gone there yet. Had I done it in the beginning my channel might have been highlighted. I didn’t take advantage of that initial push- didn’t do it for Instagram reels either.
Yes I have reasons for being slow. If I didn’t say it before, I have next to ZERO time with full time work out of town (last night it took over an hour to get home). I have a Mom that is fully dependent on me for most everything living in the next city over. We are active in our church and I work with World Bible School students across the world (currently at 458 students) but they don’t all take the study quizzes or need me at once. I manage to do a lot with my time.
So the targets are moving. Life is busy. I mentioned the viewer sometimes don’t know what they want. I have to laugh as the same people that tell me I talk too much are the same that have told me I needed to talk more. It’s like the lady at the ministry fair told me to move away from the booth to talk to people and when I did she told me I needed to move closer to the booth as I was missing people. lol I realize there are elements of humanity that even the humans don’t know what they want and the target moves. It’s enough to make you put your head in your hands, or throw them up in the air. But why do that? Just step back and giggle at life’s imperfections, ironies, and snafuisms.
You have to find a happy medium, the soft spot between talking too much, talking to little, or what you talk about, to make it interesting. Or the case of the ministry fair…The happy spot between the booth table and the crowd. Bottom line if it was boring, it just was. If I was engaged in conversation or not enough, it just was what it was.
I’ve gone from not saying much to feeling comfortable talking more, like many others who have 250,000 + subscribers – yet when I do it, it’s not pleasing. Or do I just not have my right niche? Who knows? It’s all trial and error at this point.
Still HAVE MANY IMPROVEMENTS TO MAKE
I ultimately decided to not give up. I still have a lot of improvements to make. I also realize that criticism is a friend, if you let it be. It hurts for a minute – or two, and in some ways it burns and never leaves, but you can turn it into something positive. Which I have chosen to do.
I have sooooo many things on my list to improve and it’s very exciting to know that which each one, as slow as they may be, will bring ultimate improvement to vlog and the blog.
With retirement coming, I can weave the wave of that in my niche to bring a few more subscribers. The ones that watch my videos are my age or above.
I’ve also been holding back the videos that I know will bring more. I’ve been afraid for my channel to grow while I’m still working because I don’t want to miss out on being able to grab hold of it and grow it more and control it, and be ready for it. Do I set up a LLC? Copyright? All those things. I’m half way to monetization right now. I want to be able to plan more content, work on improvements, get the financial aspect and legal aspect under control. I want to learn more and know more about the path.
What is it that I really want?
Yes, I myself have been kind of a moving target of sorts. I’ve not really defined what it is I want or why I want it. What am I pursuing and what is the reason behind it? I think I need to sit with myself and a legal pad and map out what, why, when, how, what if.
I need to chart the course. I need to prioritize it instead of shooting a dart across a dark room and hoping it sticks. Someone described growing a YouTube channel is like throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing if it sticks. I haven’t even had time to listen to many growth YouTube channels until this week. It’s very exciting the ideas to add to the spaghetti bowl. lol
So yeah, I decided not to quit. You don’t make those decisions on days when you are tired. You let the thoughts settle in your mind a bit. When you wake up on fire the next morning, so glad you didn’t make the “I’m quitting video” and realizing that the fun is really in the journey.
The journey is really about yourself. Every bit of the struggles I am having in the YouTube journey reflect me in every sense across my life so far. How well do I communicate with anyone? How well do I take criticism? How resilient am I? How do people respond to me? How much am I willing to give others? How selfish am I going to be? Am I a quitter? Do I have it in me to push? How creative can I be? Am I up for improvement in all areas?
I can take breaks if I want, but if I quit, it will not be a good thing for me. I know that much. I’m fine. As I battled with these decisions the last two days as my subscriber count was stuck on 245, I realized the trying is not over. I’ve reached the hardest milestone already (100). I may be slower at climbing than all the others out there trying but I am doing it. It is growing. Even if slowly. And magically two lovely subscribers made it to 247 overnight after a week of losing one and gaining one and staying the same. Don’t look, if you do someone might drop out, lol. Ahhhh.
I have a viral video (compared to the others of mine, lol) – my colonoscopy video. People subscribe from that and my Panama City video. But my other videos are nothing like those so people subscribe and then leave when I don’t have other medical videos or don’t have many other travel videos like those. So I have to accept that, refine my niche, continue to improve, and finally being letting loose on the videos I’ve been holding back on. I’m excited, and moving on to get past the negative thoughts.
Don’t let what I’ve said here stop you from your criticism. Don’t be mean though. I have a soft heart with not much to protect it. So be gentle. It hurts but the hurt makes me push myself to be better. So don’t let MY statements here hurt your feelings.
OK so over and out.
Puzzles of Life
It was hard to get this puzzle worked. It took several months of not having much time. But I plugged in a piece at the time. I considered all aspects of it. I framed it, I sorted it by colors. I used a lot of tools (baking pans) to get it done. I turned the pieces every which way to see if it would fit. I tried many that just didn’t work. It looked like it would but it didn’t. And the pieces slowly one by one begin to fit. More pieces fell into place. And before you know it, the pieces were going in so fast. It took less effort as I went along because it became obvious to me which pieces went where. The last third was the quickest. It was finished and I reached the goal. So it’s an example that with YouTube I’m just now still working on the framework in many ways, the sorting and placement has really just begun.
And now I’m somewhat excited. The year of transition has almost arrived. 2024, the year of transitioning from work life to retirement (early 2025 date yet to be determined). The year of transitioning YouTube into something that I want it to be (clearly not yet totally defined).
I hope you are going to be along for the journey. It’s likely to get interesting really quick I think once I get a little momentum and begin changing up some things I’ve held back on.