I’m really interested in creating educational and inspirational content online and offline. Creating is a hobby for me and I am especially interested in building my own educational platform with a large following. However, as much as I’ve wanted to build a platform, I haven’t been the most successful at it. YouTube was a particularly challenging platform for me to master. I actually used to upload videos onto YouTube sporadically back in 2010. They would be makeup/hair tutorials or videos of myself attempting to speak Japanese from a script I wrote. I’d usually end up deleting the videos though because I’d realize how much I disliked them, the fact that no one was watching, and mean comments. I did make two other attempts to get back into making YouTube videos in 2016 and 2017, but I finally decided to hang up that towel (permanently?) this year.
I didn’t have a comfortable place to film
To even film a simple video, where I am only sitting at a desk and talking, still requires proper equipment- at the very least, lighting. I tried positioning my tripod at different angles, turning on lights, etc… but the spaces that I ever tried filming in were just too poorly lit. Since I wasn’t sure about my feelings about being a YouTuber, I never invested in lighting equipment. Eventually, this just caused me not to film at all. On top of that, I was very shy about recording and I didn’t really have a private place to do it. Of course, if I was truly passionate about making videos, none of this would stop me. Plenty of YouTubers began their career making videos in poorly lit locations, many filming simply with their cellphone. Even today, lots of YouTubers still film with cellphones, in poor locations, or exclusively stream. Creators who upload videos with their voice over images has become very common now too. If the content is good enough, none of that will matter to the subscribers. For me though, this was enough to kill my drive.
Editing was NOT fun
One of the many reasons I commend serious YouTubers is for the amount of time and money they spend on editing. I could not stand the amount of time it took for me to rewatch my own video, listen carefully for mistakes (when I spoke Japanese), type in subtitles, add in an intro and outro, edit the music volume, etc… If I ever had to make videos in my professional career, I would simply want to record and pay someone to edit. If I decide to get back into creating videos, I will certainly take the “live” approach only.
The time it took to upload videos
This was probably one of my biggest deterrents. Maybe it was my internet, my computer, my location, etc. Whatever the cause, uploading videos always took so freaking long and it would irritate me so much. In fact, I got to a point where I only wanted to make videos that were under 8 minutes in length, just to minimize uploading time. I don’t fully remember (since it’s been a while), but the option of simply pressing upload and walking away from the computer never worked out either.
I just wasn’t that into it
The fact of the matter was simple. I just didn’t like making YouTube videos. There are plenty of YouTubers who started small and continued to make videos, despite the challenges I listed. However, I just didn’t enjoy it. It did not make me feel fulfilled. I didn’t like having to dress up and make sure that I had the right type of make up for my lighting, I didn’t like having to plan out what I would record, I didn’t like having to sit down and edit, and I wasn’t really into coming up with topics to make videos about. The idea of making a “career” out of being a vlogger is so appealing, but it only really works for you if you actually ENJOY doing it. The idea of making money by doing pretty much nothing doesn’t really exist for the average person and it’s not even healthy.
I don’t know that I’d say that I’ve completely given up, though. There is a great chance that I could end up making videos on YouTube again. Creating educational content is a hobby that I am very passionate about and YouTube is one great tool for doing so. So, i’m sure I’ll be back eventually.