It's been a while since I've written here, and oh how the world has changed. With COVID-19 in full swing, many of you may be out of work, or doing everything you can just to barely keep afloat. Times are hard, and while my hauling of freight is considered essential, I've definitely started to feel it. The load board is looking mighty sparse these days, and the ones that remain pay less. There are moments when I stress over how I'm going to cover the next truck payment. Every trip to a grocery store brings more unwelcome anxiety. Take a moment to close your eyes and breathe - it's okay to not be okay. Do the best you can; make it through the day. That's all anyone can expect right now.
Many of you have probably noticed that the video release schedule has become somewhat erratic lately. It's no secret that YouTube has a troubled relationship with its creator community, and I'm no exception. Changes seem to be geared toward what's best for a few high profile creators and their bottom line, while the rest of us are ignored. These days subscribers don't even get notified when a video actually releases unless you beg and plead in every video to have your viewers "ring the bell". Anyone not already riding a massive following or uploading daily seems to have Vegas house-like odds of publishing into the void.
When I first started putting videos together, it was a hobby. I was passionate about the creative process, enjoyed the interactions and it didn't feel like work. As I grew as a filmmaker, the edits became more complicated. Simply stringing some video clips together on a timeline wasn't good enough anymore; they needed to be motion stabilized, color corrected, the music perfectly synced. I can't force myself to publish mediocre work. YouTube doesn't care about quality though; these days it's all about clickbait thumbnails, begging people to like and subscribe, or how many questionably relevant tags you can stuff into a box.
All of this leaves two choices: make more shit for the monkeys to throw or spend hours putting together something that only a handful of people see. Suddenly that hobby feels an awful lot like a job, and I already have one of those. So I've made the hard decision to pursue other passions. Some of them will still be video-based, like the 360 bike video we filmed in Utah:
Others maybe be more focused on art, like those enamel pins that have been "coming soon" for ages on the OctoSquad page. Perhaps even some jewelry when my studio is no longer a renovation project. When I do release truck videos, they will mark a special achievement, like the I-70 special:
I'm sure this makes some of you nervous that I'm quitting trucking. Someday, sure. But I'll still continue to haul freight in Barbosa for the foreseeable future. To the awesome people who get postcards and backgrounds from me every month, don't panic. As long as we still have a postal service to deliver them and access to the internet, you'll still get your monthly fix of Allie photography. I love putting those together.
As always, thanks for being awesome, gang.