(Here is my post I put on youtube, explaining my absence. I wanted to put it here as well.)
*Disclaimer: please understand that with this post that I am in NO way, trying to garner sympathy or pity. I am merely trying to answer the questions I’ve been receiving about my whereabouts. Also I apologize or any mistakes/all of my run on sentences.*
Good afternoon friends,
I am very happy that this community tab has finally opened for me as I have wanted to share with you information about my absence on here, but haven’t been able to bring myself to film a video discussing it.
Go ahead and buckle in because this is going to be a long post, but it’s going to be about 3 topics: 1. What caused my unplanned hiatus, 2. When I plan to be back, and 3. Where you can find me in the meantime.
Okay *deep breath* so the first topic is going to take the longest to explain, because there truly are so many reasons as to why I stopped filming. One thing I need you all to understand is that this wasn’t something I just decided to do without some serious consideration. I had been debating for a while about going on a hiatus, and really weighed the pros and cons.
The thing that actually pushed me over the edge were some Youtube videos that I watched. The week before and after the VE Schwab signing that I attended, about 5 videos from different creators were made, that all had to do with growing your channel. Each video when you broke it down, talked about being consistent, connecting well with your community, and have original content. While these videos may have been very helpful for some people, all they did was give me HUGE anxiety.
For me, my channel has always been a hobby. It’s been something that I could look forward to coming home and help me de-stress from a busy work day. It was always something that was supposed to remain a part-PART time gig. Nothing too serious, just a girl in her room, posting a video every once and a while about my love for books. That very quickly changed though.
It seemed like after I hit 5K, people really started to expect things from my channel that I had never promised or expected to give. If my upload schedule changed or went wonky one week due to something in my personal life, before when most people didn’t care, suddenly I was getting comments/twitter mentions demanding to know where the video is/why it wasn’t up.
(Now let me be VERY clear, so many of my subscribers are wonderful people and I appreciate you so much! Your comments and posts mean everything to me. When you’re being polite and wondering about me, it’s no bother whatsoever. But the other people, who feel like my content belongs to them, and that if I don’t post something they are being ripped off, they can go to hell. I don’t owe anybody ANYTHING. I post this content for FREE, because I enjoy doing so. That’s it.)
The videos that I watched, pretty much pointed out every flaw that my channel has. I can’t post consistently every week. It’s just not possible. I constantly fall behind on answering comments, and interacting with other creators because I work two jobs (which means I work about 50-60+ hours on average ESPECIALLY around the holidays), am very close with my family so I’m with them a lot, am trying to rebuild friendships that wilted a bit while I was gone at Disney, and then reading, filming and editing as much as possible. Let me also say that I understand that I’m not the only one who has a busy life. I’m just trying to put everything into perspective.) It’s hard to juggle sometimes as I’m sure many of you can understand. But as I watched each video and realized how much I was failing at the YouTube game, instead of bolstering me up, it made me feel like “what’s the point?”
After that, I realized that I forgot why I started. When I fell into the booktube side of youtube, I was posting videos because I love reading, and wanted to share my thoughts. The numbers truly didn’t mean anything to me. Again, this was purely a hobby that was my relaxation after work. Lately though, all I have been able to focus on, is the subscriber count and why it hasn’t been moving like everyone else’s. I couldn’t put the time in that everyone else seemed to be able to do. It was frustrating to say the least. (Again, please understand that I’m sure soooo many booktubers have just as busy lives if not MORE. It just seemed to me like it came easier to them, or they had somehow found a balance that I just can’t seem to master.)
Then, with hitting 5K, the hate comments began to come in. Not only were people attacking my opinions, but they were attacking things that had nothing to do with books and were about things more personal. My weight, my appearance, and one person even had the audacity to comment on my financial situation, as if my income and the way I decide to spend my money is ANYONE’S concern except mine. (Again let me say, that for the most part, everyone is VERY kind. But you can have 1 mean comment for every 100 kind ones, and unfortunately the mean ones are going to be the comments you can’t get out of your head.) I was just getting fed up.
Everything finally hit the fan and became too much when I got a FLOOD of hate on two very specific videos: 1. Books I Want to REREAD and ANNOTATE video and 2. Throne of Glass Review + Discussion. Now, if you were to look those up you would notice two things right away. My reread and annotate video has the comment section removed, and my throne of glass review has been taken down. That is because the comment section got so ugly, so fast on both videos that I couldn’t deal with those comment notifications coming in anymore, all because I had opinions that didn’t match other peoples.
In my reread video, I mentioned the possibility of rereading the Mortal Instruments series by CC, in fact I said word for word “…I want to talk to you guys about it, because I really really do value all of your opinions. Please let me know, if you guys think that I should try to give this book series another shot…” I went on for a few more minutes about my thoughts of each book series, and how so many people have told me how it important it is to separate the author from the book material, which is something that SO MANY of the bigger booktubers preach and people seem to love them for. And yet, when I tried to show in that video that I had grown as a critical reader in the last 3 years since I read this series and that I wanted to show some support, I got SO. MUCH. HATE. One comment even said, “I’m so disgusted that you would support that cow. Kill yourself.” Word for word, someone left that on that video.
Then, in my throne of glass video, I dared to show that my rating and love for that book had gone down, and got attacked in the comments so bad, that I had to take the video down, simply for having an “unpopular opinion” and I just decided that if I can’t post videos showcasing my opinions and my thoughts about books (which is literally what booktube is about) then I don’t want to post videos anyone. I don’t want my channel to grow so much where not so nice people notice me. It just got so overwhelming, that I just stopped filming videos.
So now we come to topic #2: when I plan to be back. The true and honest answer to this is, I don’t know.
I have VERY hesitant plans to start posting again in 2019, but I can assure you that I will not be posting again for the rest of 2018. I do have some ideas on how my channel will work and operate if I do come back. It will be different. I will no longer be stating any type of upload schedule, and I will really start to focus on content that I want to make, not the videos that I know are most popular on booktube. I really hope that you can understand and be supportive of the fact that I won’t be here for a while.
That, then brings me to my next and last point: #3. Where you can find me in the meantime. I haven’t totally disappeared from social media. In fact, I honestly think I’m more present now, that I have been in the last few months. Only instead of YouTube, it’s on good ol’ Instagram. I have always enjoyed this social app and have over the last month really engaged myself in the bookstagrammer side and have been having soooo much fun! I’m posting on my stories almost every day and I’m currently trying to post a picture everyday as part of some November photo challenges. I’ve made some amazing new friends, and it’s been great! I would love for you all to join me over there if you’d like at AbigailHaleigh as well! Then, I’ve also revived my blog: www.abigailhaleigh.com. I got rid of my old posts and am starting fresh, so it’s a bit bare boned right now, but I have some good things in mind.
This is where I am choosing to focus my time right now, and hopefully you will all understand. I hope you all realize that this change is the best thing for my headspace right now, and will support what I’m doing. I do truly hope that by 2019 I will be ready to return to YouTube, but only time will tell.
Thank you so much for reading this tiny novel, and I hope that you will continue to hang in there with me as I try to figure things out.
PS- if you have any questions or need any clarification, I will answer anything in this comment section, but at this time I am not answering any comments on my other videos.