This time last year I had to take a break from photography and from YouTube because of burn out. I returned refreshed and determined that things were going to be different.
But were they? Did I stick to my plans or were my best intentions cast aside as soon as I picked up my camera again?
Before we start you can read about my break in 2018 here.
The End of Weekly Videos
A contributing factor to my burn out was the pressure that I placed on myself to produce weekly content.
I promised myself that I would no longer be a slave to the schedule.
For the last year I have tried to release a video each week. However, I am no longer concerned if I miss the odd week here or there.
There were still a few occasions when I had to force myself to go out to shoot. On those occasions I feel that the quality of my videos and my photography suffered.
If I am not feeling it I just can’t force it.
Last summer I decided that I would focus on videos that told a story.
I stopped producing tutorial style videos in favour of documenting my experiences, sharing the highs and lows that we all endure.
As a result the growth of my channel has slowed. However, I am much happier with the videos that I am producing. And they are a lot more fun to shoot!
Moving forward I will continue to share my ‘journey’ as a photographer in this way.
After my break last year I returned even more ambitious than ever. I wanted to create bigger films. Epic productions shot across multiple locations over over the course of many days.
In reality that was never going to happen.
The amount of planning and organisation to pull this off was simply too great. Inevitably I reverted to filming each video in a single morning.
I have not given up on the idea of creating bigger productions. I want my films to be packed full of content and to tick along at a steady pace.
If I am going to achieve this I am going to have to somehow find the time to plan my videos properly.
It was clear to me at the time that if I was going to concentrate on storytelling there would be subjects that I wouldn’t be able to cover in sufficient depth in my videos.
I resolved that I would have to start writing more in order to address these subjects.
This all started well with my Lake District location guide. These articles helped to improve my Google ranking for the search term ‘Lake District landscape photography‘.
However, apart from that my blog articles have been sporadic at best.
I enjoy writing but I lack the discipline of a successful writer. Writing comes a poor 4th behind my photography, videos and interaction on social media.
If I am going to fulfil my desire to write more it is going to have to become part of my daily routine.
With that in mind I am considering writing an online diary sharing my experiences and exploring certain subjects in greater depth than in my videos.
Consume More Content
Last year I vowed that I would dedicate more time to consuming other people’s content. I would make more of an effort to watch videos and read blog articles.
This is probably the area where I have failed to the greatest extent.
Again this is mostly a time thing. I am so focused on producing my own content that I find that I have little time for anything else.
There are so many people vlogging now that I struggle to keep up. With so much content available I have had to become very selective about what I watch.
I have even missed out on content from some of my closest mates on YouTube. Mali Davies, Tom Peters, Simon Burn, Sam Bose, Oddbjørn Austevik, Jamie Overland and even Gareth Danks!
This just isn’t acceptable and cannot continue.
I might not be able to watch everything but I can at least support my mates.
On reflection I have been reasonably true to the promises that I made to myself last year.
As with everything in life I have been too ambitious with the goals that I set for myself. However, one year on those ambitions have changed very little.
Perhaps I’ll be more successful this year.