2018 has been a big year for me so far. Not because I went on some major tour, or played any huge shows, in fact from a gigging standpoint its been a pretty slow year compared to the last two. 2018 has been a big year because for the first time in my career I started working on a dream that I had been putting off for years, and its finally coming to fruition.
This year I started my YouTube channel. Im not sure why, but for a very long time I've had this innate desire to share my story and experience, I don't know where this drive came from and for a while I tried to push it away because I felt it was in some way self indulgent. But that desire stuck with me and grew to the point that I couldn't ignore it any longer, so I decided to start making videos. At first it was really hard, I couldn't talk to a camera, I barely knew how to use my editing software and I didn't know how to convey an idea or lesson in a clear way, it was like beating my head against a wall. Add to that the fact that when you're starting out, nobody watches your content because nobody knows who you are, and you start to understand why people say your first 10,000 subscribers are the hardest. But through all of that, the drive to create and share not only stayed with me, it actually grew stronger.
Starting a YouTube channel is not an easy decision for most people, myself included. For a long time I struggled with the fear of failure, the fear of rejection and the fear that I wouldn't be creative enough to say what I wanted, how I wanted. But as I started uploading more regularly I noticed those fears started to fade, they haven't gone away completely but they're not nearly as prevalent as they were when I started back at the beginning of the year. The satisfaction you get from completing a video and clicking that upload button far outweighs any fear or negativity you deal with when starting out as a creator, and for that reason alone I've been encouraging anyone who asks me if they should start out on YouTube to just go for it.
Even if you never build to more than a few hundred subscribers, I think there are massive benefits to committing to a project, and seeing it through to completion. I cant tell you the ways I've grown as a musician, videographer, producer and writer all because I started making videos. You come up with an idea, and if you don't know how to execute that idea, you learn, and with every video you make you get faster and sharper, then a few months down the road you can go back and watch older content and have a record of your progress. How cool is that?
Im not writing the blog post to toot my own horn, or congratulate my self on 10K subscribers. Instead Im writing in hopes that someone may be reading this who wants to start their journey on YouTube, or maybe step on stage for the first time, or start a blog. Im writing this to encourage you to set aside your fear of failure and rejection, to start that project thats been on your mind for a long time but you haven't started yet. To buckle down and start something that scares you, thats going to challenge you, because thats where growth lies. If its easy, you're not growing, if it doesn't scare you just a little bit then you're still in your comfort zone. So go make something.
There Is No Plan B.