Sorry for the clickbait-y title on this one, but I wanted to make sure you all read it. I'm going to try to keep this as brief as possible, because I could easily bury you under an avalanche of text with this one. I'll briefly discuss my three main pieces of news, and then if ANY of you have ANY questions or concerns, PLEASE feel free to follow up in the comments here on Patreon or via a private message (here, email, social media, whatever you like) and I'll be happy to talk with you.
1) I'm okay! In a couple of recent posts and videos over the past few months, I had hinted at having some personal challenges I was dealing with. One of the primary issues was a problem that had been detected with my heart. After a couple months of appointments and tests (you can actually see my little heart monitor peeking through in one of my recent videos), my cardiologist has finally assured me that my heart irregularities are benign. As long as I get enough rest and manage my stress, I shouldn't even need to be medicated. Yay! I literally asked my doctor, "So, what you're saying is that my heart is NOT in imminent danger of exploding, right?" and he calmly said, "No ... no, I don't believe there will be any explosions."
2) This has been an extremely difficult choice, but I'm going to start having ads on my YouTube videos again. I won't go into all the factors that went into this choice here (though I'm happy to discuss in comments or private messages), but it has boiled down to the fact that maintaining a channel with regular content is challenging, and the revenue I can make from ads has ultimately become the difference between whether I can stay active on YouTube or give it up. I feel terrible saying that, because I never wanted to make it seem like I'm holding some kind of ransom on my videos ("Watch these annoying ads or you'll never see your precious videos again!"), but this is simply the reality of my life right now.
I *am* planning on finding a way to make ad-free videos available for all my Patrons. Right now I'm thinking that I will upload two versions of all my new videos moving forward: one to my regular channel (with ads), and one to a second private channel with no ads. I'll share links to the ad-free new videos with you all here as they become available. I'm also going to gradually add ad-free versions of my older videos to the private channel, so keep an eye out for a survey on which videos you'd like to see added there first. Additionally, I encourage you all to check out YouTube Red, YouTube's new paid subscription service. I haven't signed up for it myself yet (though I'm planning to), but my understanding is that, for $10 a month, you get all ad-free videos, the ability to download videos/watch offline, and the ability to continue running YouTube videos in the background if you close the app on your mobile device. I know it won't be for everyone, but it's definitely worth considering if it's in your budget.
3) I'm super pregnant. I'd held off on sharing this publicly because I knew I'd want space to deal with it privately if anything went wrong early on, but I'm approaching the 3rd trimester and it seems like a good time to open up about it. Without sharing all the details (though once again, I'm happy to chat privately or in comments), this has been a very challenging pregnancy and has really forced me to slow down and take better care of myself. I have made a commitment, though, to creating and saving away some extra videos that I can publish in the weeks surrounding my due date, so that I can give myself a kind of "maternity leave" from YouTube while still providing you all with regular content. If all goes well, my baby girl should be joining my son, my partner, and I in late winter. <3
Thanks for hanging in there if you're still reading! I appreciate your support, your messages, and your comments so much. The past few months have been intense for me, and the kindness you've all shown me has been a big boost to my morale.
Lots of Love,