As I’m writing this I’m tucked away in a rain forest, cicadas chirping in the dark behind me, and fog pressing against the windows. I have left Melbourne for the foreseeable future, and I’m enjoying the quiet, the slower pace, and the sounds of nature.
This year was strange, it threw me to and fro. Just when things seemed to settle down they would then become turbulent once more. It started with a boundary being crossed, and the following months became every kind of struggle – the struggle to create, to work, to move back into a 9-5 lifestyle, to create a work from home balance. In August, just when I thought I had found a pattern, life threw another curve ball – my YouTube channel, which I had worked on for three years as a fun side-project suddenly appeared in the recommended pages, and one of my videos hit 1.2 million views. I gained 26,000 subscribers in a year. Actually, I gained most of them in the four weeks following what must have been an algorithm glitch.
Much of this year has been focused on finding balance – between the return from dancing to a day job, and then the balance between working on social media and freelance work on top of that job. More of this year has also been spent trying to work out what it is that others gain from these channels of communication. I can see January ahead, and after a much needed break overseas in Bali (Kuta, Seminyak and Ubud here I come!) I know that I will return to trying to crack what it is on Youtube that my audience values and wants from me, that in turn speaks to me and what I want to create.
What I did in 2018:
- I made SEVENTY-THREE youtube videos. Wait what? I just counted. Wow. Okay I feel like I should actually slow down on this front.
- I finished my book. I’ve written about four or five total manuscripts in my life. However, they are always fiction. This was my first piece of long-form, journalism. It was an extreme change for my writing and I’m glad I chose to work on it.
- I started to define my boundaries in relationships with friends and family. I think this is a healthy habit we should all work on, no matter who we are, or how old we are.
- I also began to think about the future of social media and my place in it. For quite a while I was producing short, easy GRWM videos. However, while these are fun to film I know that I want to move my channel into a more journalistic style of short documentaries and meaningful projects. I’m just not sure how or when that will begin. I know I want to think carefully about my channel and whatever platforms I am granted.
2018 was a year in conversation – conversations with consumers, people, readers, viewers. Conversations with myself, with others, behind curtains and closed doors. It was a year that tied the stories we tell others and ourselves together. It has also begun to feel like a very ‘full circle’ kind of year. One that began with a lesson and ended with the impact not forgotten.
What did you achieve in 2018 – and what are you looking forward to in 2019?