I quit my full-time writing job nearly eight months ago. After three years at the same company there were a few reasons to make my exit; but at the time, the biggest motivator was the aching desire to write what I wanted to write, on my own terms. I had spent several months struggling to pull focus into fulfilling my quota of 4-5 shorter news-driven pieces per day, written for the primary purpose of driving unique web traffic. It was good work, but after a while work is all it felt like.
My intentions in the months since has been to establish myself as a freelance op-ed writer, specialising in internet culture. My decade of experience within the YouTube creator community has inspired plenty of lengthy pieces that I take a lot of pride in; from the nature of online celebrity, to the dangers of working in an artform that defines itself by a corporate entity's ToS. These are subjects which, in today's online sphere, require even more nuanced discussion than ever; and need people familiar with the industry spearheading those talks instead of "outsider" voices. It's a niche that I've felt confident that I'm capable of filling.
SO WHY THE HELL HAVE I NOT.
Writing was to be one of several pillars of content that would make up my online presence moving forward; but almost halfway into 2018, it's arguably the shortest pillar. Pitching stories is in many ways still a mystery to me (is getting no reply par for the course?), writing for the sake of writing stopped feeling like a financially viable pasttime, and a lot of my energy has gone into making my newest pet projects, in Twitch streaming and podcasting, as strong as they can be.
Launching this blog has been a dot in my Bullet Journal that frequently gets pushed forward month-on-month; but there's also been something of a knock on my self-confidence (or awareness) that has held me back, thus giving people no actual reason to regularly visit the website I'm paying nearly £300 a year to keep online. I know I'm struggling to hold people's interest in the half a dozen other things I'm working on; why exert myself for another reason to be disappointed? Why continue to get excited about my plans for the foreseeable future if I can't stay afloat?
But then I think of why I got into this game in the first place, over 10 years ago now; when my YouTube channel was for YouTube Poop, Doctor Who AMVs (yes, really) and other examples of dicking around on Windows Movie Maker. To 18 year-old me there was no audience, no creator community, no potential work: It was creating for the sake of creating. Something that, as "content" has become my entire career, I have forgotten to really do for myself. Everything has been at the behest of the Liam that wants to build a community, and not the one that wants to just... make shit.
If I can have one slightly less polished and filtered bastion on the internet, where I can pour my anxieties and creative differences, it might as well be in a place and a medium where I'd like to get some more practice. And anyone who wants to come along for the ride is welcome to do so.
Welcome to the blog.