We knew going into 2020, that this was going to be a year of change for us.
We started seriously prototyping some games.
We started streaming more.
We started this YouTube channel.
… little did we know what 2020 had in store for us.
Neither of us are working right now (thanks, COVID), so after all the panic, anxiety, and depression of the decade formerly known as March, we’re taking advantage of all this time we now have and making it a year of experimentation.
We started gaming on YouTube.
We prototyped some games.
We started a podcast.
We restarted cooking on YouTube.
We stopped streaming.
We’re about to shut down Fridgg.
We’re getting serious about VR.
We’re stopping the podcast.
We’ve been spending a lot of time lately trying to figure out – what is it we actually want to do in life?
What makes us happy? What makes us feel fulfilled? What would we want to make a career out of if we could?
We’ve tried out a ton of things this year… and quit a lot of things, too.
And while I don’t always agree with the clichés of startup culture, “fail fast” is one that is working for us right now.
Try a lot of things.
Figure out the ones that work for you.
Stop doing the ones that don’t.
And most of all, don’t feel like a failure. Self-discovery is challenging, and being persistent about things you hate is kind of the worst way to figure out what you love.
Here’s what we’ve discovered so far:
Creativity and usefulness are the things we value most in the content we create.
All the things where we’re learning, pushing ourselves, doing cool shit, and having fun are the things we enjoy most – and the things that our viewers/followers respond the best to.
And all the things that are easy, require no effort, and we can pretty much just phone it in without impacting the quality of the final result? Those gradually end up being a drag for us (even though they’re hardly any work!) and relatively very few people care to watch those things.
That realization is driving a lot of the decisions we’re making right now.
First things first – we’re pulling WAY back on SushiCodes content. 7 days a week of shallower content worked for a while – we learned a ton – but it’s not working for us anymore.
So for the next few weeks, we’re not going to have any sort of a schedule, and just post videos whenever we have something ready.
Instead, we’re taking the time to ramp up our game dev/VR skills (we still have that tray table vr jam in August!) and spend more time making content that really speaks to us.
What we’re keeping:
SushiDay cooking videos: we love food, enjoy getting cool video shots, love the amount of creativity Son can tap into while editing, and they’re informative.
Devlogs: we’d be continuing to develop no matter what, and we love learning and creating new things and being able to share them. However, we’ll be doing these on an occasional basis – rather than trying to push out a devlog every week, we’ll try to have one every time we wrap up a project.
What we’re adding:
VR gaming: it’s an area we’re very interested in, and the market for VR gaming videos seems wide open… that being said, we’ll try it out and see where it goes, but drop it if we’re no longer enjoying it.
Just Dance videos: as a former dancer, rehearsing and planning costumes is a ton of fun for me, and there’s lots of room for creativity/performance. I’d be dancing anyways (I’m very much enjoying the game), and Son’s going to get to be super creative with his editing as well.
Gardening: this is something we want/need to do anyways, so might be fun to have as a YT series. Unsure if this will fulfill the useful/creative requirements, but we’ll try it and see!
Game jam vlogs: unsure how often these will happen, but we think they’ll be a fun look into our lives and the making of a (tiny) game over a weekend or so!
What we’re dropping:
General gaming: we’re not really gamers – meaning that, outside of what we’ve done for our YouTube channel, we don’t typically choose to game in our free time. It’s become a drag, feeling like we have to film game videos even if we’re not enjoying it, and there’s not much room for creativity. Plus, I get motion sick almost every time I watch Son play Last of Us, and oddly enough, that’s not my favorite thing to do. I nearly cried when I realized we’re not even halfway done with the game. 😩
Podcast: we loved it at first, but five episodes in, we’re discovering that there’s not much room for creativity, and things are starting to feel repetitive. We don’t feel like we’re bringing much value (or it’s bringing much value to us), and we just haven’t felt excited about it for a while.
Tutorials (as a regular thing): we may still post tutorials occasionally, as they can bring lots of value, but not if it’s a forced “I have to get a tutorial written every week” sort of thing which is a lot of unnecessary stress. Our tutorial posts may be rare, we’ll do it when the inspiration strikes us.
I do want to recognize, we’ve definitely coming from a position of privilege when it comes to everything going on this year.
We can comfortably afford to not be making money for a little while.
Our families are all doing okay, and we’re able to give them support when needed.
No one in our close circles has gotten COVID.
We’re already used to working from home together, and don’t have to suddenly account for children being at home more than usual.
AND also, all the things we’re doing right now are building on years and years of experience – cooking, coding, photography, videography, editing, performing, blogging… we may not have nevessarily found much success with these in the past, but we’re definitely not starting from zero here, which is a HUGE advantage.
I do want to share our experiences, thoughts, and the things we’ve learned, but never want to be the kind of person who ignorantly claims, “and YOU should be using this time to achieve all YOUR dreams toooooo!” because, let’s be real, shit is seriously fucked up right now.
If you want to work towards your dreams right now? I’ll support you and give you a push if you want it. But if you just can’t? I’ll never shame you for that either.
Pushing forward, getting things done, and creating things is how Son and I cope the best. (Trust me, there have been plenty of anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and freak-outs around here… it’s not a good time in the world, and we’re all trying to cope with it the best way we can.) That may not be the case for you, and that’s okay. Be kind to yourself.