Tuesday, August 27

Ending Vlogust

One month ago today, I wrote a blog post called 'Finding Me'. It was the hardest thing I've ever done since starting my blog, but also the most rewarding. I didn't appreciate how supportive my followers/readers were and decided it would be a great opportunity to continue the journey by documenting it on my YouTube channel. 'Vlogust' (essentially vlogging every single day in August), was meant to be fun. It was a chance for you to see and learn about the real me, and was a challenge I'd set myself. Instead, Vlogust ended up being the hardest thing I've ever done since starting YouTube, and was the least rewarding.

I knew that daily vlogging wouldn't be easy and I wasn't oblivious to this. I was almost excited about the challenge and even started thinking about a vlog channel and names. Two weeks into filming, I started receiving more and more 'negative' comments. I was criticised for my appearance, my diet, my exercise routine, my job, my business and even my boyfriend. Apparently, people thought they had a right to dictate how I live my life. I'm absolutely fine with people having an opinion, but I learnt that the line is extremely fine between constructive criticism to pure bullying and hate. 

I tried to take the comments on board as a chance to improve but honestly, they were so cruel that it was extremely difficult to want to get up and film again. I'm an honest person, so I couldn't lie about how I was feeling on camera and started to get myself upset. YouTube is a hobby for me, so when Vlogust ended up feeling like a third job, I knew I couldn't continue. It ended up draining me physically and mentally and I didn't appreciate how much effort and time I'd need. 

I'm currently reading Dynamo's autobiography 'Nothing Is Impossible' and I'm going to quote what he says as it summarises exactly what I'm trying to say.

"I've achieved a lot so far, but I haven't touched where I want to go. It's not easy - you will get knock-backs - but you have to take the criticism. You have to have good people around you. Listen to everyone's advise and take it in, although you don't always have to do what they say. But listening and making a considered judgement on what you hear is so important. I don't take criticism as personal attack. I know when someone's intentions are honest and when they're just being jealous. Even if it's delivered in a horrible way, I think it's still important to think through what someone has said rather than dismiss it straight away as someone 'hating'." 

What I'm trying to say is, the comments were the trigger point for me. Although 90% were positive and loyal subscribers absolutely loved the videos, I couldn't help but think the vlogs were boring. It wasn't the comments that made me stop though, I wouldn't let anyone stop me from doing something I loved. However, I really needed to take a step back and work out if vlogging was for me. I know it was only for 1 month, but what other YouTuber do you know that works a full time job, runs their own business, has a life AND films it, edits, and uploads every single day? Please enlighten me because I'd love to find out how they do it.

I think the hardest thing about Vlogust was that I was essentially filming a 'journey'. I wanted to change how I was feeling about myself and thought Vlogust would keep me motivated and focused. Unfortunately, it actually made me feel worse than I did before I even started. I'm now back to feeling negative, doubting myself and I've realised that I'd much rather continue my 'journey' on my own. I don't want to share my highs or lows anymore, I don't want people judging me and I certainly need to learn and make my own decisions.

Maybe daily vlogging just isn't for me. I honestly wish it was but the pressure got the better of me. People were expecting long exciting videos all the time,  and with the amount I already fit into my life, I currently just don't have time to make vlogs. I can however confirm that Vlogust hasn't put me off vlogging completely. Maybe in December when I've got two weeks off work I can try again for you, but in the meanwhile, I'm going to stick to my 'normal' videos and vlog when I've got something interesting on the odd occasion. 

I'm really sorry if you loved vlogust and are disappointed I finished early. My life is a crazy mess and I just can't commit to uploading on certain times/days. I don't want to forget why I love YouTube and like Dynamo said, this is just a knock-back. It'll only make me stronger and better, you just have to be patient with me. If I'm honest, I think I got caught up in thinking I could do everything all at once, but I'm only human and obviously I couldn't.

I'm genuinely gutted I didn't complete what I set out to do, but I must remain humble and true to myself. I don't regret Vlogust, it taught me a lot and I've even made some fabby friends doing it. Thank you so much for understanding and sticking by me while I figured this out. Lots of people forget that I am only 19, I'm making mistakes and learning along the way. 

I love you all for being amazing. I promise I'll be back asap. 

Ps. The top photograph is from my little Beach Hut that we've had 10 years. It's my favourite place in the whole world where I spent this last bank holiday weekend with my loved ones.
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