If there’s one thing I can say for sure I’m not good at, it’s quitting stuff. When I’m interested in something, I tend to go full tilt or not at all, often well past the point when something’s become a sunk cost and a negative force on my life. If you know me well, you’re already nodding.
My girlfriend and I have decided to make 2022 a “reboot year”, where we’re going to come up with reasonable but ambitious goals for ourselves and really make a commitment to them. As part of this process, I’ve spent the last several months pondering what I do with content, what I want that to look like in the future, or indeed, if I want to keep doing it at all.
I’ve been doing YouTube since 2013, streaming regularly since 2017, podcasting since 2018 and maintained this blog off and on well before all of that. And none of it’s been what most would call successful. My stats for all of them are very poor, while many who have started only recently have skyrocketed past me.
However, I still have been exposed to a great deal of what makes the content creation world taxing. The endless drama, the hordes of fake people, regularly being taken advantage of and unappreciated by people and organizations I go out of my way to help, having to choose between supporting evil companies I despise or limiting my options and perhaps worst of all, learning that luck and immutables mean far more to your prospects than making quality content ever will.
On the flip side, content creation has brought many boons, even at my small scale. I’ve made some great friends from doing this. I have indie developers hooking me up with cool games, often coming to me first and saying they really appreciate my efforts. My community has raised $27,703US for my local children’s hospital. It’s taught me technical skills that have translated to my IT career and provided incredible social benefits. I can now easily talk to groups of people, something that once petrified me. I can directly thank my content efforts for that. Plus, just getting to express myself about things I’m passionate about.
People often ask me what I consider success at this to be and I’ve never been able to give them a clear answer. Do I want to do this for a living? Definitely not. Alright, so what’s the line where I think I’ll be big enough to justify the effort? I honestly am not sure, but I know I’m not there yet and that as time goes on, it looks less and less likely that I’ll ever get there. It’s getting harder to justify the time, money and mental demands it takes to keep making content regularly at this level.
Some of the other goals I’ve set out for myself this year include:
- Getting a new dog.
- Getting my diet and exercise back on track.
- Playing more games for fun only.
- Starting to learn electronics repair.
- Making several improvements to my new house, including planning a “retro lounge”.
- Finding more charitable and volunteer things to take part in.
- Completing a lot more training for advancement at my job.
- Maximizing the huge promotion I just got and justifying the faith my employer has put in me.
What’s the one thing all of these have in common? They need time and lots of it, something that’s becoming a rarer commodity for me. I’ve thought about quitting content outright several times but when I do, I think about the things I’d be giving up and I remember that I do still enjoy this and that though small, my audience enjoys it too. So, what to do?
For now, my decision is that I’m not going to quit making content. However, the way in which I do so is going to change and become a lot more unstructured.
Among the mountains of advice other creators will offer–which is typically guesswork at best, BS at worst–is that you have to make content on a consistent schedule. Well, I’ve been doing that for years and it hasn’t helped at all. Meanwhile, I see very successful creators who release stuff basically at random, often months apart. So, I’m going down a similar route, plus making some other changes too. Here are the highlights:
- Streams and videos are going to a “when I can and feel like it” schedule. I still intend to do them regularly but if other things come up, especially related to my goals above, those now take priority. As always, people interested can follow my schedule on Twitter or Discord.
- I’ll be cutting back the number of games I request code for, both to focus on titles I’m really interested in and to make sure I don’t take codes for games I can’t get around to covering.
- I’ll be making retro games a bigger part of my streams, as well as co-op stuff with friends. I also have some other, non-gaming ideas for streams that I think could be fun.
- Indie Showcase is getting renamed to Indie Ramble since the former is used by many others channels. Hopefully, it will stand out more now.
- Retro Flashback is coming back as either Retro Ramble or something else and will be used for not only showcasing retro games but also modernizations of retro titles (for example, the recent releases of classic shmups on modern consoles I’ve been covering.)
- I’m going to experiment with uploading my videos to Odysee, in addition to YouTube. If you’re willing to make an account there, I’d appreciate a follow.
- I want to expand the charities I support with my content. I’m not sure in what way yet, but I want to broaden beyond Extra Life and I may finally retire from that event entirely.
I believe this will better balance my desire to make content with my other goals and make it something I enjoy again, rather than something my brain treats as an obligation. This is an experiment and could change again. I may ultimately decide to give it up or maybe I’ll end up wanting to do it more. We’ll see what happens, but this is the plan for now.
I hope that this hasn’t disappointed anyone in my community. Whether you support this or dislike it, please sound off on Discord or in the comments and let me know. I welcome feedback as always.
I want to thank those of you that have stuck around for all this time to watch, to chat, to give ideas, to be friends and who have made my charitable efforts such an incredible success. You truly are what drives people like me to do this and without you, I wouldn’t still be here trying. Your support means more than I can express and I hope I can continue to make things you enjoy.
I hope everyone has a wonderful 2022. There’s more to come from me, count on that!