Good morning to you all.
It is with a heavy heart that I am sharing this post with you today. As you probably gathered from the title, I have made the decision to retire my BookTube channel. This was not an easy decision to make and there were a lot of thoughts and emotions that led to my having to say good-bye to YouTube, more than likely for good. If you would allow me to, I want to share my reasons for no longer choosing to make videos. I hope wholeheartedly that after reading this post, you will forgive me, understand my motives, and continue to support me as a content creator here on my blog, BiblioNyan.
I created my channel in 2016, but it wasn’t until the beginning of 2017 that I truly began to make videos. My biggest motivation for becoming a BookTuber was my passion for books, specifically my desire to spread knowledge and awareness for books written by and about marginalised voices. The second biggest reason was that I desperately needed a way to focus my loneliness and Depression into an activity that wouldn’t be harmful mentally, physically, and emotionally. I had seen so many people talk about how they turned to YouTube to fight their anxiety, depression, grief, and many other challenges. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try.
Over the course of the past year that I had my channel, I had a lot of fun talking about a myriad number of books from various genres and even growing my content type to discuss anime, granted I did not talk about that as much as I had wanted. But I liked what little I did offer. It felt like my personal niche specialty for BookTube. Within a couple of months, positive differences began to take root in my life. My social anxiety started to waver, and my agoraphobia started to take a step back. I remember the first time I went for a walk without Sir Betrothed and I was amazed at how easy it was to spend 10-minutes in nature. Any other time and I would have been stricken helpless with crippling anxiety and/or panic attacks. I found myself enjoying old hobbies again, activities that I felt were lost to me forever. Watching anime and studying various cultures from around the world are among a few. Because I was able to step out of my house for short periods of time again, I began attending regular Sunday services at my local Jōdo-Shinshu Buddhist Temple; a wonderfully life altering experience.
But as 2017 ended, I found myself struggling horribly. While I found reprieve for my conditions, satisfaction for a new creative outlet, and personal growth that I hadn’t had in years, the stress of being a YouTuber slapped me in the face, causing severe feelings of self-doubt. It made me second-guess myself, which is was what led to my rut in January-February of this year.
Try as hard as we can, more often than not it is extremely difficult not to focus on the statistics of your channel or blog. You want people to watch your videos, to engage with you via the content that you make, whether it’s by sharing your work, or commenting and starting a conversation with you. But no matter how much I tried, how hard I worked my ass off, I could barely hit 50 views on average. This was so painfully discouraging for me. I did manage to hit a decent subscriber amount for only being a year old—approximately 300—but my interaction with the community was still significantly non-existent, and my content seemingly uninteresting. My Depression came back, and it was a bit worse. I had never put as much effort into my passions before, at least not for a very, very long time, and these negative feelings were causing me to fall into reading slumps. When Sir Betrothed noticed my love for reading dwindling away, he sat me down and told me I needed to re-focus my passions and priorities.
I chatted with a couple of YouTuber friends of mine who provided me with tips on how to cope with YouTube analytics, specifically on how to keep from allowing those numbers to affect you as a creator. It worked for a short while, but then I became ridiculously sick with pneumonia and that went out the window. I created May Madness as a means of re-igniting my channel and my vigour for BookTubing. But within the first few days, many people unsubscribed, and I began to feel unmotivated and so utterly sad. I was beyond frustrated
I think the hardest part of being a content creator, is putting your fucking heart and soul into something, and seeing everyone around you making it except for you. I wondered if it was because I’m brown and not white, as most of the super popular BookTubers are not POC. I’m not saying there aren’t POC out there who kick ass with their sub counts, but there’s not much. Then I figured it was because I’m Queer, or I’m a tomboy with a “shitty ass accent.” I began to hate on myself and find flaws that I had never seen in myself before. I just couldn’t understand where I was going wrong.
Then one morning I woke up and I said, “Fuck this feeling. I worked too damn hard to allow myself to feel this shitty over YouTube. I will not let this control my passion for talking about books, anime, and other things. Fuck it, I won’t let it control me period.” That’s when I decided that it was time to retire my channel.
I have no regrets with the time that I spent as a YouTuber. As I mentioned earlier, it completely changed my life. In many, many ways those changes were beautifully positive. Creating videos and taking this opportunity when it came up, gave me my life back. It taught me how to live without being afraid, or at the very least how to live by conquering those fears one baby step at a time. These are aspects that I will cherish for the rest of my life, things I will always be appreciative for. That is why I am choosing to retire, not to quit.
Quitting implies that I want to be rid of something. It is so negative and harmful of a word. When I think about what it means to quit, I see it as giving up, usually in a frustrated or hateful means. Yes, the last few months of my YouTube career were frustrating, but I never hated it. Not once. Retiring is different. It means that I put in the time, effort, blood, and sweat that I needed to to make something work. Now, it is time to move forward, leaving with all the experiences and wisdom gained from this chapter, good or bad, and stepping towards a fresh new one.
Another reason I am retiring, aside from the mental and emotional strains, is that I am returning to university over the course of the next few months. I shall be beginning at a junior college in August and then starting at a university in January. Going to two colleges will make it damn-near impossible to maintain a regular and legitimate recording schedule, more so if I’m pursuing multiple degrees simultaneously.
I don’t know how people will respond to this decision. Some may see it as a failure. My being too sensitive. Quitting. Throwing a tantrum. Whatever. That is completely their prerogative. The only thing I can do is be honest and upfront with myself and be honest with everyone who ever took the time to visit my channel and see even five seconds of one of my videos. I didn’t want to leave without saying something. You deserve better than that.
I will never see this as a failure because, you know what, I wanted to try something new and outrageous, something that was so far out of my goddamn comfort zone that it scared the bloody hell out of me. And I did it. I created my first video, awkward as fuck with terrible lighting and all. I posted it. Then I made another video and another and another. After doing it for a year, I simply realised that this is not my platform. It is not the platform from which I want to stand and share my voice. It is not the place where I want to feel stress. The stress I feel should be validated and still give me some sense of accomplishment, which I am no longer getting here. I’m just not enjoying myself, or having fun like I used to. I never would have figured that out if I didn’t take that first frightened-as-fuck step of making my first video. I saw a chance and I took it and I learned so much from that one moment and everything that came afterwards.
This is important to emphasise because more and more I see people who want to put their mental health first, but ultimately decide against doing so due to the fear of disappointing other people. Or they feel that a specific community or platform is no longer a right fit for them, for whatever reason. But the fear kicks in—fear of what others will say, fears of how it makes you look, etc.etc. If something doesn’t bring you joy anymore, then it will show in the work you do. Your dying passion will be visible in every word and every breath you take. If you want to say “No,” then do it and do what is going to be the best thing for you; the healthiest and the happiest. You won’t be a failure and you should never feel ashamed of it, because you know what? At least you had the guts to give it a shot.
But… yeah… videos just ain’t my gig, Yo. I love writing and blogging. This is my home, this is the platform that I love, the one place where the stats don’t bug me. I still stress over the traffic for BiblioNyan, but it isn’t the type of stress that hinders me into inaction, or negative and self-hating thoughts. The sense of accomplishment and the joy that I get from writing and posting content here on the blog makes the stats irrelevant to me. The blogging community is also much more welcoming and supportive than YouTube. I have met so many fantastic people through BiblioNyan and that is a gift that is very precious to me.
So… yeah. My BookTube channel is officially retired. I did make all the videos unavailable because I knew that if the videos were available for viewing, I would stress and worry about it, and keep returning to it, which is something I don’t need in my life, especially not now in this moment. If I ever decided to return to making videos, the videos will be there for me to make available to everyone again. I won’t delete them. I worked too fucking hard for that.
Well, that brings my long-ass post to a close. I apologise once again to anyone out there who enjoyed the BookTube channel and will miss it. Your support is a very special thing and I will always, always cherish it and hold on to it with every new endeavour that I partake in. You guys made it possible for me grow and evolve as a person, you guys helped me fight my fears, and learn to live my life again. Thank you so very much.
It is with sincerest hope that I ask y’all to keep supporting me here on my blog. I promise that BiblioNyan ain’t going to go anywhere anytime soon. Not even university will stop me from keeping his dweeb-beast alive.
Thank you so much for stopping by today. I wish you all the very best in everything you do! May your dreams and ambitions come true. All you need is that one small step to get you going. And remember, there is nothing wrong with saying “No,” or “I’m done.” Until next time, happy reading and happy otakuing. Bula. 🖤🖤