Monday, August 1, 2016

6 Years on YouTube: My Journey So Far

Six years. That's a long time! It's tough to believe that my YouTube channel is as old as a child in first grade. So much has changed since 2010: I was younger, carefree, and uploaded low-quality slideshows and lyric videos about Strawberry Shortcake. Back in the day, I even uploaded a video or two of myself, but thank goodness they're gone from the face of the earth.

Fast forward six years, and you may have realized a lot has changed for me. Things aren't as simple as they used to be, nor are they as carefree, but I guess that's just a part of growing up: you lose your naivety and begin to see situations and people for what and who they really are. But in every circumstance and through the process of growing up, one thing hasn't changed: my passion for video-making. I remember back in 2009 and 2010 I'd spend up to nine or more hours a day working on a video. At the time, I didn't care about the quality of the content - what only mattered was that I had another video to showcase to my family.

Content-wise I have matured to a significant extent. Making videos is more like a business than a pasttime now, and unlike my younger self, if I'm not pleased with what I've created, I will scrap the whole thing despite how long it could've taken me to make it. YouTube is no longer a hobby for me - it's a lifestyle. It's really shaped my perception and has pushed my creativity to the limit. And when I see so many other youtubers finding success by following their dreams and doing what they love, they encourage me and help me to believe that one day I might attain the same.

Currently, my channel is still very small. In the time it took me to reach 2,000 subscribers (about 2 years), someone else would have already reached a million. Somehow, it's much easier for everyone else to grow their channels and fan base than it is for me, but I've taken the time to learn that it's okay. Success doesn't come by merely being popular, and let me tell you this, I've never been popular anywhere. I've always been the nobody in the group when it comes to anything, so you can imagine the feeling when just a handful of people tell me how much they enjoy my videos. The YouTube race can be gruesome, it can be exhausting, and if you've been on there long enough you'll understand the struggle that most users battle, the struggle of staying relevant. My videos aren't as popular as they used to be; with so many bigger name youtubers uploading Strawberry Shortcake videos now, my content very easily gets drowned out, and the end result is my channel staying in the shadows. It's a tough fight, but I come prepared. When I fall short of my goals, I'm empowered to try harder, and I won't give up until I beat the odds.

Thinking back, I never would have imagined being where I am today with my YouTube channel, even if I still have a relatively small influence. Six years ago, I imagined that by now I would have been done with YouTube and moved on to other things. I thought I would be much more independent, mature, and would have lost all interest in my Strawberry Shortcake toys, but obviously things turned out to be quite the opposite. I'm still very much the same person with the same passions. I may get older and wiser, but deep down I'm still the same little girl who wanted her own cartoon on Disney Channel (yes, that actually happened, which is funny because now I don't even like Disney that much).

These six years on YouTube have gone by very quickly yet very slowly. If I've come this far, there must be something greater in store, and I'm very curious and excited to find out what it is. I'll just have to continue to be patient and see where being a youtuber leads me. Will you join me on my journey?

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