Site Closure

Hi everyone.  It is with a little sadness that I must announce that this website is closing.  The host, who has graciously allowed me to host this site for the last 2 years for next to nothing is no longer offering hosting services as of the end of September this year.

I will be building another website, and changing some things up a little, but due to limited spare time, and affordability, this may not surface till next year.  In the meantime, please follow me on Twitter (@ia7xshadowsi) for the latest news/updates etc.

Thanks for joining me on this journey.  Hopefully we can contiue it together sometime soon

Much Love

Shads

Living with Depression: Part 1

Some of you who know me will know that I’ve had an on/off affair with depression since the age of about 13. There are several reasons why, but because of the public nature of this blog, I would prefer to discuss them privately with anyone interested, as I feel this to be more appropriate. If you really would like more information, feel free to DM me on Twitter

Anyway, the severity of my depression varies. I can go days, weeks, months, even years without having any symptoms, then suddenly from our ou the blue it’s back. Symptoms can range from a general low mood, feeling restless, unable to concentrate, right up to feeling suicidal. The severity is always worse if there have been any “catastrophic” events in my life. Past instances include loss of loved ones, relationship breakdown etc. The more that’s going on, the more I struggle to cope with “staying afloat”.

When things are really bad, I have had some scary instances where I kind of go into auto-pilot, where I tend to do things I’m not proud of, such as self-harm, and even attempt to take my own life. These instances are quite rare (I’ve only had 4 instances so far), but also quite scary because when they happen, I’m not in control – it’s like I’m watching myself from the outside. These episodes last no longer than 10 minuites, but I can cause alot of damage in that time, to myself or those around me. I’m not going to go into detail, as again I don’t feel it appropriate for a public blog.

I’ve been on and off medication, and I and out of psychiatric care for almost as long as I can remember. They always seem to “work”, insofar as I “get better”, but it’s always just a matter of time before it starts to fall apart again.

Relatively recently I was diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder. Which is a fancy way of saying “you have some symptoms of schizophrenia, and some of Bipolar, but you are neither one nor the other”. I guess at least I can put a label on what I suffer from as I always felt that “depression” didn’t really cut a good enough descriptor.

So what is going on today, you ask? Well in 2014, I was diagnosed with Diverticular Disease. This is a disease where little pockets and fissures (Diverticulae) appear in the wall of the bowel (usually the colon or large intestine), and food and waste can get trapped in these fissures, and become infected, which causes Diverticulitis – a condition that requires urgent medical intervention in the form of oral or IV antibiotics, depending on the severity of the infection. In a really bad flare-up, the infection and swelling can cause the bowel wall to perforate, and the infection (and waste from the bowel) spreads into the body, causing septecemia, which can be fatal. This is all coupled with the fact that it hurts like hell too, leading to restless nights and days of work. There is no “cure”. The only remedy is surgery to remove part of the colon, meaning I get to have a nice bag attached to the outside of my stomach to collect all the poop. This can be reversed at a later date, depending on how much colon is removed.

Additionally, I was diagnosed the same day with gall stones, kidney stones and a cyst on my liver. That wasn’t a good day. The kidney stones have passed (ouch), but they still come and go, the gall stones are still there, and I get occasional pain from them. The cyst on my liver is currently not doing alot. It’s probably plotting something though so i need to monitor my health closely.

Fast forward from 2014 to today. I’m currently undergoing a 2 month flare-up of Diverticulitis. Usually it lasts a week, and I’ve been on Antibiotics for 2 weeks. These have eased it, but I’m still in constant pain and discomfort. I have other issues going on that I’m not going to reveal here just yet, but the stress of the constant pain, sleepless nights and other things going on has really taken its toll on my mental health, and I have slipped backward and I’m starting to struggle. You may have seen several tweets that I have posted that give it away.

My psychiatrist has always said I should try writing about how I feel. Getting the thoughts out of my head and onto paper (or screen), gets them out of my thought process, so the jumble of stuff going round and round in my head gets a little easier to cope with. This is the reason for this blog I guess. I’m hoping it will help anyone reading this to understand how depression affects people they may know who suffer. Or help them realise they are not alone of they are suffering themselves. But mostly, it’s about getting my shit out of my head so I can cope with daily life a little easier.

I’ve always been a helper. I come across people struggling with depression, or that are just unhappy with the way their life is at the moment, and like some kind of depressed superman – Schizoaffective Man! I throw my energy into helping them. It’s wonderfully rewarding, when it works. I get to forget my issues and concentrate on theirs. I get to see them feel better, get happier and I have made some amazing friends along the way by doing this. But sometimes it doesn’t go as well. And that’s the part that makes me doing this a dangerous risk. Because I blame myself for not being able to help. For making things worse. And then my own problems return to my mind, only now I have guilt and frustration added to it. It’s easy to say “concentrate on getting yourself better”. I’ve been doing that for 30 years. You’d think I would have nailed it by now.

Anyway right now, I’m in pain, both from.my stomach, and from stuff that’s going on elsewhere, which I cannot discuss here. Lack of sleep, worry, and stress are taking their toll, but I’m determined to get through this somehow. I have people around me to support me, but I rarely ever talk to them about it, because I don’t want to be a burden. I don’t want to be “that guy” who is always miserable and bringing people down. I don’t want to be this person anymore. I would like to have peace. A full nights sleep, and be free of thoughts that I’m useless, that I am fat, ugly and unlovable. I would like to just be able to sit, or lie there quietly without a million thoughts going through my head. But most of all, I would like to say that I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I occasionally say and do things that are upsetting. I’m sorry that I shut myself away, or become distant and evasive. And I’m sorry if I’ve hurt you, let you down, or made you feel like I don’t care. I’m one of the most caring people you will ever meet. I’m a fiercely loyal friend. Sometimes, I’m guilty of caring too much, and it always comes back to bite me in the ass, but I still do it, because I try to give what I’d like to receive.

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or comments, please do hit me up on Twitter. I’m an open book on a private conversation, and I am comfortable (finally) talking about my condition(s). I will try to post on a weekly basis, depending on what I have going on and how I feel. If you like this blog post, please feel free to share it. If it can help just one person feel that they are not alone in suffering with mental health issues, then I consider this to be a success.

Love always,

Shads

School Update and more battles

So after a visit to the school, which resulted in both myself and Eden’s mother feeling zero confidence in the school’s ability to resolve the issue of my daughter being bullied, it has been decided that we will pull her out of that school and she will start at a new school in September 2018.

While it’s a big change for Boo, we feel that a fresh start, with a chance to have confidence in the staff to resolve anything she isn’t unhappy about, plus the fact it’s not a Welsh speaking school, will give her more confidence, and help her rebuild her social skills.

Watch this space for updates…..

On to other things. I tweeted about starting (or, I suppose continuing) a blog about my ongoing war with my depression. I received a fair bit of positive feedback, so I guess now is the time to strike while the iron is hot. These posts will be kept separate from other posts, so that those of you who don’t wish to read about this can skip on by to the next post that might interest you.

Thanks for your support. It’s appreciated as always.

 

Shads

Another Day, Another Battle

Following on from my last post, I thought that this update on things going on in my life would be something to share as a positive thing, even if the subject matter is less than pleasant and not positive at all.

My daughter, Boo (real names have been changed to protect the innocent) is 9 years old, and since November 2017 has been subjected to bullying in her school.  While this did stop around Xmas. it has started up again in the past few months, and despite her mother and I attending the school, writing emails and talking to the teachers, only one investigation was ever carried out (in November) – and the conclusion was that they could find no evidence that bullying was taking place, despite the issues stopping when the child accused left the school.

This week, Boo’s mother (we don’t live together – Boo lives about 200 miles west of where I live) notified me that my 9 year old little girl had come home in tears because Child X had spent the last week or so constantly following her around the playground and classroom calling her a fat, ugly loser. He has also said to her that he is “going to make more friends  so that we can all bully you more”. As conversation went on, it transpired that this had actually been going on for a couple of months.  When she tells the teacher, they ask the child “Did you say this?”, naturally the child says “No I didn’t”, and the case is dropped.

Now, I know that Boo has some issues.  She is currently under supervision of the Educational Psychologist, because she has some problems making and maintaining friendships.  I am under no illusion that she suffers from separation anxiety disorder, due to the fact that I left her with her mother – for reasons that are not appropriate to be discussed here. This means that she is an incredibly sensitive child, who just wants people to love her, which lets face it is all anyone really wants.  When people are nasty to her, it hits her harder than it might his a less sensitive child – she struggles to just shrug it off.

For a 9 year old girl, sensitive or not, constantly being called fat and ugly is the beginning of a teenager having Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Anorexia, Bulimia etc.  It is the start of depression, and is one of the biggest contributors of Teen suicide.  As a father, this is heart-breaking for me.  As a father who suffers from depression it is terrifying for me.  My daughter is drawing pictures of children standing around her pointing and laughting at her and calling her a loser.  My 9 year old little girl is talking about not eating and losing weight, when she is already her ideal weight for her height, medically.

I have arranged a final meeting with her school principal/head teacher for 10th July, having sent him an incredibly shitty email about this, and I WILL get this resolved, but even if I do, the damage has already been done.  I don’t want my daughter to go down the same road I did, struggling with depression, self harming, or worse, but the reality is that this is a very strong possibility, all because a head teacher is more concerned about the reputation of the school, and tried to bury his head in the sand and/or sweep all the bad things under the carpet.

I am not going to let this lie.  I am not going to be fobbed off with excuses, lies, or accept any attempt to play this down to “kids will be kids”, or “Eden is too sensitive”.  I have already vowed to take this to the schools Board of Governors, and I have already made it perfectly clear that I will inform OFSTED, my local MP and the local and even national newspapers if this doesn’t get resolved, as in good conscience, I must let the parent of any other child at this school know what is happening, and how ineffective the school has been in resolving this.

Finally, the stress of finding all this out has taken a heavy impact on my own physical and mental health.  Last night I spent half the night laying awake with stomach pain and vomiting, all the while my mind is endlessly going over what I have done wrong and how I have failed my daughter as a father, ranging from thoughts of her being better of without me, to how the hell I can even begin to try and stop her spiraling like I did.  As someone who presents with Schizoaffective Disorder, i can find it incredibly hard to “shut off” my brain.  Where most people can fall asleep and stay asleep, I can either struggle to fall asleep because my brain won’t stop going over and over and over stuff repeatedly, or I can fall asleep, but then wake up an hour or 2 later with thoughts going through my brain that I can’t stop.  Some days I can manage, other days I feel like I am going to explode.  I can go from happy and ecstatic to almost suicidal in seconds, and for no apparent reason, and I am terrified that this is something my daughter will have to face if I don’t fix this.

Anyway – another day, another battle.  I try to take each day as it comes, but my failing physical health isn’t helping this at all.

Shads

 

Health. Not Just Physical

Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week, and I wanted to make a post about it.  Better late than never, right?

Some of you may, or may not know that I’ve suffered with mental health issues since I was around 14. I won’t go into gritty details, because that’s not something that belongs on a public Blog post.  Suffice to say, it’s been an ongoing battle for me that comes and goes as it feels.

I suffer from bouts of depression,.  Sometimes it’s only mild, others it’s moments of feeling suicidal, intense anger, frustration, uncontrollable fits of crying, and moments of euphoria/mania. Sometimes I can be “normal” for days, weeks, months, even years, but eventually something happens to trigger it again, and I can spiral quickly into being almost unrecognisable in personality. I can withdraw into myself completely, or lash out at people verbally (and yes in some cases physically, I’m ashamed to say).  For those people who have never experienced it, it can be quite worrying or in some cases terrifying when I go into full meltdown, as I’ll either ignore everyone and everything, or make the world around me burn.  Sometimes I can hide this, depending on the severity of the episode.  Other times it’s quite apparent.  If you know me, and think “that’s weird I never knew this”, then don’t feel that I’ve shut you out – I’m simply trying to protect you from it.

One of the most difficult things I have to cope with is not actually directly related to depression, schizophrenia or any other mental illness.  I have an “ability” to “read” people’s feelings.  It’s not an X-Men style super power, so it’ll never make me famous (or a member of the X-Men), but it is heightened when I’m hit by bouts of depression.  If I’m feeling particularly negative, this can have a MASSIVE effect on me.  I’ll pick up on something someone says or does, then analyze it over and over and over, till I can’t sleep for thinking about it.  I’ll get irrational, irritable and can rapidly spiral out of control.  So far, I’ve managed to eventually drag myself out of these bouts (admittedly once I was hospitalised), but there is always another one around the corner, just waiting.

I also suffer from Diverticular Disease, gall stones, Kidney stones and I have a cyst on my liver.  These physical conditions all come together to make keeping positive extremely difficult sometimes.  The constant pain and discomfort gets me down if it goes on for too long, and I feel like I’m wasting my days if I take meds and sleep it off.  Sure, there is a chance I could get it corrected with surgery (Colectomy – removing some or all of the diseased colon), but it’s an invasive procedure, with a 3-4 week recovery time, and I will need a colostomy bag until the procedure can be reversed – which may not be possible.  At 43 years old, I don’t really rejoice in having to have a colostomy bag.  But it’s getting to the point where I may have to, as my disease is getting worse, and the risk of my bowel wall perforating, which could lead to septicemia and possibly death.

Anyway, enough rambling.  How does this affect you?  Well, unless you’re in contact with me on a daily basis, you probably don’t care, so it probably doesn’t affect you.  Even if you are in contact with me on a daily basis, it probably won’t affect you, because I will try and protect you from it and you may never even know.  Those of you who do know and have been there for me will know my gratitude.

 

If you know someone who suffers from depression, bipolar, schizophrenia. shizoaffective disorder or any other mental health issue, but you are unsure how to “deal” with that person, then let me help you out.  Be there for them.  You don’t have to spend every waking hour glued to their side, but make yourself available to them ESPECIALLY if you know they are having an episode.  You don’t have to give them medical advice, you don’t have to give them ANY advice, just listen and let them know they are not alone.  Sometimes they just need someone to talk to.  Some find it easier to talk to a friend, others prefer to talk to a stranger.  There is nothing worse than feeling alone, then reaching out to someone for help, and they don’t seem to care, or they appear too busy to be there for you.  If someone reaches out to you – please do your absolute best to be 100% there for them, even if only for a short while.  Stop what you’re doing and just listen to them.  It could literally be the difference between life and death.

Here endeth my sermon.  I hope that anyone reading this who suffers from depression can find the inner peace they crave, the help they need.  I hope that anyone reading this who knows someone who suffers from depression has gained a little insight, or maybe realises that the person isn’t the only one who suffers it.  I hope that this makes a difference to SOMEONE.  I’m always happy to talk to anyone who has questions regarding mental health.  I will always talk openly and honestly about it, so feel free to hit me up on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ia7xshadowsi

Thanks for reading.  Peace and love

Shads

2018 New Year News

It’s been a while since I posted anything here, so I figures I’d keep you all up to date with what’s been going on

Christmas and New Year were great, I got to spend a lot of time with my family, which is always amazing, I’m now back to work, which is approaching an extremely busy period at least up until April.  With this in mind, my content is likely to be even more sporadic than it usually is.

YouTube

With YouTube being the way it is about monetized videos, I’ve completely de-monetized my channel, which has made little difference to any income I was making, since it was getting pennies per video.  Pretty much the only content that will be uploaded is going to be Vlogs, and the occasional retro gameplay video.  I’m considering returning to some music video’s too, since hopefully, now I’m de-monetized, I won’t get hit with copyright claims.  I’m going to be dipping my toes in the water with some Rocksmith 2014 Remastered Edition, trying out some new material and some old favourites that I already know quite well. I’m also hoping to create some family friendly content with the Bromigos sometime this year – if the stars all align and we can find time to get together all at once!

Twitch

I’ve decided to concentrate on my Twitch channel.  This is NOT family friendly, and is not going to be associated with the Bromigos in ANY way whatsoever.  I’ve teamed up with a few new and old friends who are all available at different times, giving me a far better variety of co-op stream opportunities.  Not all of them have their own channels, but we all hang out in a new discord channel, which Ill provide details of later in this blog.  I’m pushing to gain Twitch Affiliate status, which requires me to have more than 50 followers, stream a minimum 7 times a month with a total of 8 hours stream time, AND have an average of 3 viewers per stream.  In December I missed out on 1 average viewer per stream, so I’m going to be pushing for this throughout January.  I’m still going to be streaming the obvious favourites such as PUBG, but I’m also going to start streaming some 7 Days to Die and Ark: Survival Evolved, as well as adding in some other games that are being released later in the year (FarCry 5 for example). I’m going to try to stream 3 times a week if possible –

  • Monday 8pm to 10pm UK Time (2pm to 4pm Central)
  • Thursday 8pm to 10pm UK Time (2pm to 4pm Central)
  • Friday/Saturday 3am to 5am UK Time (9pm to 11pm Central)

Discord

I never really advertised my discord to anyone, as it was pretty much just a place to hang with some close friends.  However, toward the end of last year, I started streaming more and more with Red Charpie, a few of her friends, Hyde2020, Jendestroy and a couple of collegues from work, PleasedPanda and TomNomSatnav.  Charpie and I decided to merge our discord channels and create a joint channel, Shads & Charpie.  Frankly, this was one of the best decisions I ever made.  We have a small, but thriving community which includes many content creators (such as Ferg, Crystal Craze, Dawgeth, Craig, UR_No1Nemesis), and generally awesome people, and I’m proud to be a part of this group.  If you want to join us, you can do so here: https://discord.gg/ZPv8erS

Servers

As many of you already know, I have a few different game servers.  Most of these are private servers for me to stream/record from.  However, both myself and Charpie are working on providing an Ark server for our community members.  We’re ironing out some teething problems at the moment while we try and get a stable build with a decent host, so please bear with us on this – we pay for the server, so we only have limited resources, since we don’t have much spare cash for this.  As time goes on, we are hoping to either change the game out, or get an additional server for Conan Exiles, or any other popular game.

Additionally I have an Aim2Game 7 Days to Die server that I’ll be streaming from with friends – this will not be open to the general community for the forseeable future

I also have a couple of Minecraft servers, which are sponsored by Aim2Game.  One of these will eventually be the long awaited Rising Shadows server, the other was originally going to be a re-creation of the old DobbyCraft server – however, this has become problematic, as many of the plugins no longer work with the newer versions of Minecraft, and I’m struggling to get it to a point where it’s going to be usable without the risk of it crashing, or not offering the same experience as the old server.  With that in mind, I’m considering swapping it out for another minecraft modpack.  I haven’t reached a decision yet, but I’m open to all suggestions, so please feel free to let me know on Discord, or DM/Tweet me on Twitter www.twitter.com/ia7xshadows

That’s all for now – catch you on the flip side!

 

Shads <3

Milestones, past, present and future…

On 12/09/2017 I passed the 600 video mark on YouTube.  I also recently broke the 25,000 views mark, and earlier this year I hit the 250 subscriber target as well.  Not too shabby (jerkin).  With 25,000 views of 600 videos, that’s an average of 41 views per video.

I started creating content for YouTube in 2011, so I’m averaging creating 100 videos a year (that’s 2 videos a week!), with an average growth of subscribers at 42 new subscribers a year.  I certainly didn’t expect to get more than just family and friends as subscribers, and I certainly didn’t imagine that I’d still be doing it 6 years later.

I’ve been privileged enough to have made friends with some awesome content creators and subscribers over those 6 years.  It all started with one content creator, Vaygrim, who for reasons best known to himself, reached out to me to ask if I wanted to be a part of a Minecraft Mod Spotlight video for a Mod called Minestones with another content creator called TheDarkPreacher.  The three of us then went on to create The League Of Ordinary Gamers, a group of amazing people, that I’m incredibly proud to still be a part of.  Another group of which I’m proud to be a part of is The Bromigos.  Founded by myself and my good friend Dawgeth, the group has been through its ups and downs, and members have come and gone, but Craig, Dave, Mango, Effect and now Ferg remain some of the most amazing friends I’ve ever had. I’ve had the honour of producing content with some amazing creators, such as RedCharpie, and encountered some amazing, hard working individuals, such as Button_Pusher_ and Shep, and been a part of groups I never would have thought I could ever be a part of.

It’s been a roller-coaster ride, this content creator thing. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve laughed till I cried. I’ve quit, and come back, cursed and wondered what the point is, but above all this – when all is said and done, I’ve had a bloody good time, and met some of the most amazing people on the internet.

I’m not sure what the future holds.  Will I break the 300 subscriber mark? The 30,000 views mark? The 1,000 videos mark?  Will I still be creating content in another 6 years time?  Those are questions I don’t have definitive answers for, but I HOPE the answer is yes to each of them.  Regardless, the friendships I have made on this crazy journey are more valued than any other part of my YouTube “career”, and for that I am, and will remain eternally grateful.

Thanks for being a part of it.

Shads

x

 

 

Overwhelming support. And common sense.

Following on from my last post about jumping off of the YouTube ship and moving only to Mixer, Twitch and Video.me, I received a massive response from friends, followers and subscribers. The message was clear: “Don’t leave!”

I’ve taken everyone’s comments and suggestions on board, and will be staying with YouTube, but also producing content for Mixer, Vid.me and Twitch. Obviously spreading myself across so many channels is going to take alot of effort, and I have some limitations:

1. I can’t upload more than 3GB a month to Vid.me till I get 100 follows.

2. I have settled on using Restream.io to help me stream to Twitch and Mixer simultaneously. This keeps the chats tidy and in one place so I only need one chat window open. Restream.io doesn’t support YouTube right now, so I will have to upload the VoD’s to YouTube and Video.me separately.

3. While I’m not creating content to support my family, I have spent an awful lot of money on equipment to produce my content, and I’m always looking at ways to improve, and new games to play to keep my channel varies and up to date. With this in mind (and due to the fact my YouTube content is no longer monetised) I have created a streamjar link to enable followers to give one off tips/donations. I also have a Patreon page where you can pledge small amounts. I’m not asking for big wedges of cash. $1 a month would be absolutely amazing.

Links to these pages will be in the description of every video I create. I’ll be updating my website to include my Streamjar tip page shortly too.

A massive thank you to each and every one of you for your unwavering support. My Twitch and Mixer channels are slowly growing, and I’m still around the 250 subscriber mark on YouTube. I didn’t think I’d ever get this far, and you’re all an inspiration to me to carry on.

Special mentions go out to the following:

Vaygrim (for keeping it real and telling me that I’m a douchebag sometimes), The Bromigo’s (for your unwavering support and patience), Dawgeth (for always managing to make me laugh), Ferg (for being a solid fellow flailer, and going above and beyond in being available to co-op stream and record with me), Slothy (for continued support and encouragement), Saphrym (for being my one and only Patron), DragonRacer (for always trying to show up for my streams, RedCharpie (for helping me to grow my Twitch channel via shoutouts and the challenge of the snorty laugh), Button Pusher (for huge encouragement and being an awesome guy to bounce ideas off), Crystal craze (for added support and banter). And last but by no means least Shaz for her patience while I spend eternity at my desk streaming, recording and editing videos.

If you haven’t had a mention, fear not – you’re still awesome and I appreciate each and every one of you.

Shads

So long, YouTube…

This has been a sad choice to have to make, only made easier by the way that YouTube appears to be treating the smaller content creator.  I’ve been chatting with other creators, who confirm that videos are now being marked as “unsuitable for some advertisers”.  My own videos have been marked as such, and there appears to be no reasoning behind it – PUBG may not be completely PG, but half of my PUBG videos have been marked – the others have not.  And they’re not all mature ones.  Additionally, I’ve had other strictly PG games (Wonderboy: The Dragons Trap, Citadel: Forged with Fire, and ROKH) be marked as such.  It states that:

Limited or no ads due to content identified as not suitable for all advertisers.
Your video remains fully playable and is eligible to earn subscription revenue from YouTube Red.
Advertisers avoid placing ads on videos that don’t align with their brand. For example, they may choose not to advertise on content that’s sexually suggestive, includes bad language, or is considered controversial.
What can I do? If you think our automated system got this wrong and your video is suitable for all advertisers, you can request a manual review.”
“Limited ads” and no ads are VERY different things.  I may be getting reduced money or ZERO money. I can request a “manual review”, but I’ve hear rumours that unless your video has over 1,000 views, it won’t be reviewed.  Now I understand that to Mr 1 Million Subs, this is potentially a LOT of lost revenue, but he can request a manual review to get it overturned.  To me, it’s a few cents of lost revenue.  However, what YouTube fail to seem to grasp is that it’s RELATIVE. No revenue off of my 10 views is proportionally as devastating as no revenue off of 100,000 views. Every cent counts towards hopefully netting me enough money to withdraw it from my Adsense account.
Ok, so thankfully I don’t rely on YouTube to pay my mortgage, or put food on the table form my family, but for a content creator who has around 10,000 subscribers, and who rely on this income, this could be a pretty scary time for them.  It appears to me that if you have 1,000 subs, you’re JUST about on the YouTube radar.  10,000 subs puts you at the bottom of the “we do really care, honestly” list. 100,000 subs means you’re effectively increasing YouTube’s revenue, so they’ll listen to you a little.  1 million plus subs and you’re in with a good chance of having your complaints and suggestions considered.
I’ve produced almost 600 videos, spent money on a better PC, recording and production software and audio equipment, and I’ve made a total of £15.  I can’t even spend that money, because I have to reach a balance of £60 before I can withdraw it, meaning at the current income ratio I’d have to produce another 1,800 videos over another 18+ years to be able to get that money into my bank account, provided I don’t get further crippled by this monetization issue.
So today, I’ve decided that YouTube as a source of income is a total waste of time if you’re just starting out (or if you are like me and you’ve been creating content since 2011 but not full time, so haven’t been able to invest a lot of time into it because I actually have to pay the mortgage and feed my family with a salary from a “regular” job), or you haven’t got over 10,000 subs already.  They don’t care about you.  You’re a drop in the ocean.
As from today, I am removing monetization on my entire channel, and I will not be adding any more content to it. Existing content will stay.  From this point on, I will now be streaming on Mixer and Twitch, with recorded content going up on my Vid.Me channel (links at the top of the page).  So long, YouTube – it’s been a blast, and I’ve made some awesome friends along the way.  Hopefully they will follow me to pastures new, and I can continue my journey into content creation on a new platform that actually cares…..
Shads

Enter 2017

So 2016 has been and gone.  It was generally speaking a good year for me personally.  I got a new house, a new car, won my battle with BT for compensation for my internet issues, broke 200 subscribers on my YouTube channel (albeit briefly!) and had a great Christmas with my family and loved ones.

I’ve made and strengthened some amazing friendships, thanks to the internet, including (but not limited to) The Bromigos, The Couch Crashers, The League of Ordinary Gamers and all associated followers, members and “fans” (I hate that word, but can’t think of another suitable one at the moment).

I’ve decided to make 2017 somewhat different.  I have goals that I have set myself which are not YouTube related, and goals that ARE YouTube related. To achieve them, I’m going to need a little understanding from my subscribers (that’s the word, not fans!), a fair bit of understanding from my friends and family and a ton of hard work from me.  I wanted to share these goals with you, so that you can track my progress and share in the trials and tribulations of my successes (and possibly failures).  With all this in mind, there will need to be some drastic changes to the way I run my online and offline life.

YouTube Content Goals

  1. My YouTube channel will essentially become the place for occasional Vlogs, Tekkit: The Return, and the occasional livestream – no new series’ are planned for the channel, with the exception of POSSIBLY running a stream/recorded content of my Monday night Roll20 D&D sessions – this idea wholly depends on whether the people I play with agree to allow me to do this.
  2. I will continue to Stream with the Couch Crashers every Friday on the Couch Crashers channel .
  3. Vaygrim’s Chance Season 4 content (which I know is sporadic at the moment, my apologies) will go up on the Bromigo’s Channel.

Offline Goals

  1. I’m going to be studying for my Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) in Server 2016 and Windows 10 – I have around 9 months to study and take the exam – no pressure!
  2. After I have completed the above, I will be studying for the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) – I want this to be completed by Xmas 2017.
  3. Continue to assist Dawgeth to help him grow Aim2Game as a business, and hopefully help him find time to concentrate on HIS goals

On top of all this, from 25th January 2017, I’ll be spending 14 days in New Zealand, where I’ll be pretty much off the grid regarding YouTube, Twitter, Facebook etc, then when I return, I’ll be spending a lot of time away from home with work to get a project finished before April, so again I will probably only be able to produce vlogs while at hotels during the week, while trying to spend time with my family at the weekends.

I’m not expecting my YouTube channel to grow at all over 2017, and I’m fine with that.  I appreciate the support I have of my friends, family and existing subscribers, and I’m perfectly aware that my content will never be good enough to make me the next pewdiepie, and I’m fine with that also – I’m doing it for fun, not as a main income source (though if I can make a little pocket money along the way for a new game now and then, I’ll not complain!).  My offline goals on the other hand ARE my bread and butter – if I can get more qualifications to bring in more money to improve my families way of life, and support those I already donate to even more, then so much the better.

Family comes first. 2017 is, for me, about family and friends.  If my YouTube channel becomes a burden, then I’ll have no issues with taking it down so I can concentrate on real life matters. It’s fun, but when it becomes not fun, you’ll be the first to know, and that is when I’ll call it a day.

I’ve waffled on for far too long now, so I’ll end here.  Happy New Year, and may 2017 bring you all happiness, peace and prosperity.

Much love

Shads