I have self-esteem issues. I’m also very outgoing and prone to trying new things. When I fail at new things, it damages my self-esteem even more.
YouTube was one of those things. I am very proud to be a part of the Content Creator community. I am always excited to see the content that my favorite creators put out regularly. Everything from comedy to heart wrenching stories can be told in this seemingly endless space of entertainment. I am very proud to be part of that.
I am not, however, proud of what I have contributed. I have uploaded over 100 videos to YouTube over the past 5 years. Only about 25 of them are up. Several of these are school projects, even though I made another channel for school projects specifically. The rest of these are episodes of my web show, Indiana Mack.
Indiana Mack was an idea that had endless potential, but has met with countless failures. I tried making it a vlog series with a fictional character, an ad libbed review show, a show about a character that is pushed into different universes, a show with plot, a show with jokes, a show about facts. All of these failed. They failed because of several reasons, but all were still failures.
My commitment was one of the major reasons. Throughout high school, and now college, I tried to create something entertaining with virtually no support. I had friends who wanted to help (and did when I asked them), but all of the people who said they were watching weren’t. YouTube keeps a view count. I knew who was watching because I almost always watched with them or they told me right afterwards. This was disheartening. How could I continue making something that almost no one cared about?
My life has been in constant turmoil because everyone’s life is at some point. The scripts died. The ideas were bad. The stress was unreal. I didn’t know how the Content Creators I looked up to could keep up a work ethic that insane. Then, one day, it dawned on me. They had help.
I’ve had three people consistently help me with Indiana Mack. My Mom, brother, and friend Jonathan. All of them have been there when I asked them to be. I’ve had many people for years say they want to be a part of my webshow, but, when the time came for their involvement, they backed out. All of these people from different points in my life showed insane enthusiasm for the ‘fun’ part of the webshow. No one wanted to e involved in the script development. No one cared about the editing. No one wanted to free their schedule. They just wanted to play characters and leave. That made me even more disheartened.
For every Indiana Mack video, there were three abandoned ideas. The amount of people who were helping me was a stark contrast to the people who said they would. This, coupled with people mistreating me and leaving my life, made me want to abandon the web show all together. I never told anyone, but I began to hate Indiana Mack. I hated everything about it. About him. He, the character Indiana Mack, was a personification of my failures. My lack of commitment. Indiana Mack was my face on a pile of rot and waste. I couldn’t even wear the hat I’d associated with him and it was my favorite hat.
What changed then? Why didn’t I just abandon the channel?
I made new friends in college. People I knew in high school became close friends. New people I met through school events or work became close friends. I was getting a real feeling of what real friendships were like. I wasn’t receiving support from them because it ‘would be cool to be in a web series’. I was receiving support from them because they wanted to succeed. My failures weren’t because of weakness. My failures were because, sometimes, life just does that.
The ideas are still fresh, I just need to find a new way to get them to my audience. The creating is still fun, I just need to make it productive and inclusive. And I might even fail again.
But, you know what the best part of failing is?
You can always try again.