Pursuing A Difficult Dream: Online Content Creation

It has been a very long time since I sat down to reflect and write my thoughts down in a blog post, and, if I’m honest, I have missed it – it’s nice to put things into words to openly observe from a distance after you have written them down – especially when I have a lot more time on my hands.

As many of you who follow my various social media know, I recently took the plunge in deciding to leave my semi permanent job at Hollyoaks (“semi permanent”, as I was freelance, but was there pretty much full time) so I can focus on Youtube and other social media / videography.
To be severely honest with you, I was, and remain to be, terrified at the entire situation; I have left a paid job to focus on something that I have a passion for, but does not pay at all right now; which to some is a really stupid thing to do as how will I pay my bills and for how long?
Believe me, these are questions I have asked myself, and what have given me pause in the past to do what I want to do… But, everyone has seen the memes, the images, the videos, the words of motivation, and inspiration, stating that life is short and we, as individuals, should live our lives how we wish to live them – pursuing our dreams and not settling down for less.

Now I am not naive enough to assume that everything will turn out hunky dory and I will be successful in what I choose to do, as such a thing is nigh on impossible without incredibly hard work – but neither do I wish to live in a forever state of “What if?

As everyone knows, Youtube is an extremely difficult nut to crack – it is the internet, and the entire world (figuratively speaking) engages with it, as well as steps being taken in various major cities in the world, e.g. London and LA were Spaces have been set up, to mould online content creators’ talent. But therein lies the frustration – it is as though only those who engage with these Spaces have the opportunities to build and grow their channel with the aid of Youtube itself as a platform, whilst others push and push with no aid whatsoever.

N.B. Youtube Space holds weekly events for creators under the 10,000 Subscriber threshold – Calum McSwiggan

It is a simple frustration, as it is an online platform; something on which, in days gone by, people would find success from their bedrooms on a webcam. Not in a purposefully built studio with a full crew, which only caters to those who have a big enough audience, and leaves the rest of us feeling inadequate. My point simply being: it should be the content, not who we know that can further share it, that does the talking.

We now live in a time were if you engage in online social media, worth is simply based on online influence – New creator? Good luck in your attempts to associate with more popular creators as most simply believe you are only engaging with them to further your own career, as opposed to actually wanting to socialise, learn and grow.
It truly is a type of Mean Girls “You can’t sit with us” mentality, and you see it.. a lot. For example, I saw a few posts made following my ‘announcement’ to leave work and focus on videography / Youtube, that basically questioned why I was doing it as I only had 6,000+ subscribers on Youtube, which is most certainly not a viewership which many would class as an allowance to ‘go full-time’ on the platform; which continued into . Again, the social network freedom of speech trolling which allows anyone to vocalise an opinion openly to disregard others.

Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware that this may come across as me being bitter, as I CHOOSE to remain in Liverpool and do not wish to relocate to London, a choice many would see as me not “doing what I need to do to be successful”, but like I say, I also CHOOSE to follow a passion which is solely situated on the internet; a passion which is demonstrated by my own skills as opposed to someone else’s.

As Youtube grows, it seems more evident that Youtubers are moving away from what made the platform so personal and different to mainstream media – preferring high end production values that someone else can take responsibility for, whilst they just focus on the actual ‘content’ – what is said, how it comes across – reminding me more of a director.
Don’t get me wrong, this can be a good thing, but the beauty of Youtube, for me anyway, was that every creator had the incredible talent to make all their content, from pre-production through to sharing the final product, themselves (and I do know that some creators who use the Space, simply use it for the sets and equipment, whilst continuing to produce everything else themselves).

But hey, that’s just my viewpoint at this current moment in time…

I will continue to make content on my channel, whilst taking on freelance videography work for others (something which I have already begun), and hopefully will begin to see changes in technique and content ideas.

’til next time.

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