My stint on Youtube doing Booktube was nice while it lasted. I remember I made the decision to start creating videos of my own because I wanted to be part of the conversation. Well eventually I hit this space where it felt like being part of the conversation was only adding to my already too high to avoid stress levels and I had to do something about it.
I have to say, I have had a few people reach out and ask why I left. Some have said they miss my videos and hope I come back, and honestly that is AMAZING. I never planned on that, never thought I’d have any kind of reach to be able to experience that. I’m so grateful for those who tuned into my very inconsistent, not well edited thrown together on my iPhone chatter.
Why I left though:
I am the first to tell people, if something is no longer bringing you joy, it’s time to cut ties. I went back and forth for weeks on keeping my channel or not. I thought, oh I can keep it up and just take a break, but I know the way my brain works. Had I kept my channel up and just taken a break, there wouldn’t have been a break and the cycle I was in at the time would’ve continued. I wasn’t happy anymore making videos.
Time played a big factor into me letting it go. When I first started my channel my kids were in daycare. My oldest two would get picked up and taken to daycare by a few of the teachers and my baby stayed there all day. There were a lot of days I would go into work early which allowed me to get off early. I would use that few hour window to film, edit and upload. Last year we moved across town and hired an in home sitter so regardless of when I get off work, someone is always at home. Newsflash! Trying to film with kids is hard! So I began making it a priority to film something on the weekends but even that began to feel like a chore. When I should be relaxing because everyone is chilling, doing their own thing..I was getting dressed, throwing on make up, doing my hair to film. It worked fine for a while but I didn’t like the feeling that Booktube had become another task on a to do list. I didn’t like the pressure I had put on myself of every week at least something needs to be posted on the channel.
I also feel like I set myself up for failure in a few ways. That’s probably not the best wording but it’s what I’m going with. It should come as no surprise, but the online book community is a very 18 to early 20s, white girl reading Young Adult/Fantasy space. I fit none of those descriptions so I always had it in the back of my mind that I’d probably only make it so far.. Then your girl began reading romance. Surprise Surprise! Book snobbery is a real thing and for whatever reason the romance genre is the genre everyone chooses to intentionally hate on. Once I got heavy into the genre and started making romance focused videos my channel became real stagnant. I wasn’t losing too many subscribers but I also wasn’t gaining many either. People will tell you don’t focus on subscriber numbers and all that but when you see people join the community and within 6 months surpass you it’s hard not to start questioning what it is you’re not doing that they are. And if it’s something totally out of your control in the first place? I don’t like being a woman of color, being the reason I think why..because I have white friends who have been on for years before me whose channels haven’t really grown at all. I think the Book corner of Youtube wants a specific look and for you to act a certain way and be a certain way. That wasn’t me from the beginning and I got to the point where I was over trying to insert myself.
I started my blog months ago when I was began toying with the idea of stopping Youtube. I actually stopped blogging instead to focus more on Youtube, but here we are.. I love the no pressure vibes I feel with blogging. I can sit in sweats and a tee shirt, I can blog at a coffee shop..All I need is my laptop.
I’m for real rooting for all my friends still sitting in front of their camera and creating content for Youtube. I think it’s a great platform which provides you the opportunity to reach so many people. After almost 3 years for me, I realized I wasn’t happy with it and I don’t regret my decision to leave. I am refusing to give energy to anything that stresses me out so I had to let it go. The pressure I once felt is gone. I haven’t been hauling books like crazy when backed by the pressure to want to have so many books for a haul..I’m not stressing because I didn’t have the time to film when I wanted to. I am happy with my decision to move on. xo.