My Stepaway – update about whereabouts and plans

Did you miss me? After a three month stepaway, I’m here to
report back with what I’ve been up to and share the tough but important decision I had
to make about the future of NativLang. At the beginning of the year I announced in
a community post on YouTube and in text and audio over on Patreon that I’d be stepping
away from NativLang for a few months. I stepped away because I needed some perspective. For years, I’ve jumped from project to project. As much as I immersed myself in each new one,
it didn’t feel like my job. I was taking courses and programming to advance
my career, after all. Getting animated about language history? That’s a personal passion, not a job job,
right? Well, that question became acutely relevant
when I was well over 300 hours into animating Middle Mongol. What was I doing? How seriously was I taking this? Didn’t this time belong to my career? I couldn’t shake that, even as I started pouring
hours into the next project. So I cut myself some slack. I released the story and art for Altaic that
I had so far. Then I got some distance, time to learn, time
to create and time to reflect. I was humbled to see you sticking by NativLang
throughout these months. You gave me thumbs and hearts, and your patronage
actually grew! It’s amazing, you cheered me on and you took
the stress out of the whole thing. I reciprocated, keeping you updated throughout
the months, including my classwork, opportunities I was applying to and, most interesting, two
of my own projects I was building. Wanna see? While you waited, I worked on a custom language
builder. Forgive its hackery-looking surface, but check
out its insides. If I give it some IPA with features, then
some simple syllable types, it generates believable words all on its own. Then I can define some rules and have it apply
sound changes. It even builds units by attaching grammatical
affixes or adpositions. While you waited, I also worked Grim Harvest. This is a prototype for a game idea I just couldn’t
let go of. This grim here farms heros or lite-rogues
that run through a randomly generated castle when they’re planted. After I got the various game systems messy
but working together, creating the art and music and seeing it come to life was an unexpectedly
nostalgic reminder of what I love about creating NativLang videos. And a reminder that I still had a decision
to make about the future of NativLang. I compiled a list of over 100 questions considering possibilities from going all in to walking away. I spent weeks weighing my answers and
9 hours writing them down. It comes down to this: I’m in. I have a plan. The plan is demanding but flexible with me when I need to set aside projects or even step away for a moment. I’ll reevaluate in 6 months and again in a
year. The plan overhauls my creative pipeline. It’ll take time to get the gears turning again,
but I’m on it. Also, I’m going to be bolder about asking
for your support. Since you’re watching this I realize you’re already more likely to be patron or supporter so thank you for your patience when I do request
help sharing and sustaining my work. Well, that’s some hope and honesty about my
needs, plans and goals. I appreciate you for sticking around and subscribing
this far. Enough background, though – it’s time to tell
a story!

100 thoughts on “My Stepaway – update about whereabouts and plans

  1. You have been missed. Your work is much appreciated. And it's a delight to hear that it will continue. Thank you!

  2. Greetings from Egypt.
    You've been sorely missed for sure and I can't wait for the next video!
    I just have one question about planning and reflecting on projects in general because I want to do that too.
    I noticed you calculated your work hours.
    Is there a technique you follow (or an app you use) to calculate hours of work?
    Also, if you have any tips and tricks about time management or project planning, could you please make a video about it? ^_^
    Thanks, that's all.

  3. I'm curious why you haven't considered all in as a linguist. Are you an academic? John McWhorter seems to have a full life as a public intellectual if you're wanting to go larger scale, and I love historical linguistics, and wish there was more accessible work in it! tGlad you're staying with us!

  4. Ah, that generator! I'd always wanted to write something like that. Now I don't have to, and it's written by someone who actually knows something about languages! 😀

  5. Another viewer from Crash Course's series (History of Science) made a recommendation to check out NativeLang after someone else asked me about Language channels on YouTube. Here's the source:

  6. I really enjoy your NativLang videos. I have done for several years and I have learned a lot. I am a native English speaker, but am also fluent in German. I have also learned Old Icelandic, Old and Middle English and Latin at university. Plus I have taught myself some Dutch, Vietnamese, Finnish, Cornish (Kernewek), Welsh and Spanish. So I thank you for all the stimulating language videos. Languages are soooooo interesting. Please keep making more NativLang videos!

  7. Languages to do:
    What did:
    – Indus valley civilisation language sound like
    – Phonecian sound like
    – Jesus's language
    – ancient Egyptian
    ..any other..?

  8. I’m normally not very active when it comes to specific creators, but ever since I saw your videos I’ve been in love with languages, I never knew this was what I wanted to do with my life. I am currently in my second year of Spanish and am learning Korean on the side. You’ve inspired me and I’m so grateful. I will be going into Global Studies in college and I hope I am able to integrate languages, cultures,economics, and history in my career. Thank you ❤️❤️

  9. Nice to have you back.So this is a bit off topic, but I would live for you to do a video about the Slavic languages.You really forgot about them somehow.But nevertheless have fun in your upcoming projects, that is what matters most

  10. did you post your code to GitHub or anything? I'd love to play with the language builder.

  11. As someone who started his first proper YouTube channel only about two months ago, this is really encouraging.

  12. You're life belongs to you man. But together with a lot of other fans, I'm glad as hell that you're putting this much work for language enthusiasts!

    Keep up the good work and wishing all the best for your career!

  13. Wow, that language making program looks amazing!!! I am in a linguistics class in college right now, and I think that my class would find it very interesting. Is your code open source?

  14. i forget sometimes how devoted you have to be to make videos of the quality you consistently put out, and how conflicting this can be with real life for you. you're obviously passionate and care a lot about us and the channel. be bold in asking for support; you've earned it. love ya!

  15. This is the weirdest coincidence, someone in my 20Books FB group also just revealed that they've built a language generator. Crazy timing.

  16. Your stuff is amazing, but don’t sacrifice your career for YouTube. Just do stuff for us whenever you can.

  17. I'm so happy to hear from you! You're one of my favourite channels, and the moment I sort out my own job situation, I'm hoping to support you on Patreon!

  18. I have offered help writing Scripts in the past and I will gladly help if you need it.

  19. I was actually considering writing something along the lines of your language builder, but it looks like you beat me to it!

  20. Finding your videos was one of the best YouTube rabbit holes I've ever fallen down.

  21. I've shown your channel to anyone who's expressed the slightest interest towards languages. I am not a linguistics major or anything, I just love languages and how they work. Keep it up 😀 <3

  22. Awesome man!!!! I love your videos, i'm happy we'll get to see more from you, even if it means longer waits or whatever it might mean.
    I just get nostalgic about hearing the voice from this or that creator so when y'all go, a piece of my day goes as well, so i'm super glad you'll stick around for a while longer.

    I hope you get time to pour into antoher projects too!

  23. Welcome back! Looking forward to learning with you again. No matter if you end up staying or going, may you find and enjoy the heck out of your best path. 🙂

  24. Zen was told to me to be. When you are doing work and calling it play.

  25. I didn't realise there were updates on you, so eventually I got worried that something might have happened :/ I'm glad to hear you're well and wanting to continue the channel 🙂

  26. Is the language generator available anywhere? I'd love to take it for a spin!

  27. I’ve never supported anyone on patreon so far (because I’m a minor and my wallet belongs to my parents, woops), but I swear, as soon as possible, you’ll be the first one I’ll support. You deserve it, keep it up!

  28. If you are in doubt as to what future language to explore, try Albanian language. Why.? because along catalonian language, these two are the ones that rest aside from any other language branches, in other words they have a branch of their own. Thank you in advance, keep up the good work 🤞😊😌

  29. Hi Nativlang! Your videos are awesome and u seem to really put your heart and soul into it. Glad you're back and hope to see your new video real soon.

  30. Glad to have you back! I'm glad you felt you could take the time to reflect too, whatever decision you would've come to. And I think the decision to reevaluate at given intervals is very wise. Definitely hold yourself to that. Good luck in the coming year, and I can't wait to see what you have planned

  31. Awesome! Looking forward to what Nativlang has in store!

  32. Okay, so. Couple of things:

    1) Welcome back! Really glad to hear you've decided to focus on your passions, and can't wait for more excellent videos from you. Keep up the good work 😀

    2) As a professional writer who dabbles in sci fi, and a lover of linguistics, I am deeply interested in your language-generator. That kind of tool would be truly, wonderfully useful for world-building — just the idea being able to generate realistic-feeling conlang on demand has me a little giddy. You've essentially democratised a specialised skillset only a few writers have been able to properly employ up to this point (Tolkein being the ur-example). If and when you get that finished, please share it/let us give you what little money we can spare for it?

  33. Good to see you back. Youtube wasn't the same without you. Can't wait for your take on Old Chinese.

  34. Wow! Awesome projects! So glad you're back! Linguistics has always fascinated me, and your channel makes language and grammar accessible and understandable.

  35. wow, I share the same passion for languages as you, however there is a whole artistic dimension in your work that I would never be able to match. This is clearly artistic sense coupled with hard work.
    I love the Etruscan video, this is basically how I discovered you.
    No matter what is your ultimate decision, your (solitary) work remains impressive.

  36. This Chinese channel is using a translated version of your video without citing the source.
    I don't know if you have permitted it, but here is the link.

  37. Best news! Honestly, even if you upload once every six months I would be happy already. The quality of your channel is so good!

  38. Just watched the Mongolian video and well, I'm in. Can't wait to catch up.

  39. I'm glad NativLang is sticking around! Seeing your videos on my feed always makes my Ravenclaw heart happy. And as a writer, I'm really intrigued by your language generator!

  40. I was afraid you had no more to share. So I am glad that you are back. And you do have a great voice! Deep and calm.
    A linguist has so many things they can work on, it is normal to step out for a while. 🙂 The best achievements are when you do things from the bottom of your heart. Best of luck for the future!

  41. A language creator…
    As a fantasy writer.

  42. How can I message you privately? I didn't see the option on your page. Is there an email address you share with the public?

  43. Your videos are awesome, Mark! Great voice, great research, beautiful animation! Do more of whatever makes you happy and whatever is best for you! For my part, I will watch whatever videos you post. Bravo!

  44. This is one of the best channels on YouTube: Change my mind.

  45. plz keep on! NativLang introduced me to linguistics and encouraged me to take my first linguistics course at college and considering a linguistics minor.

  46. You may meet someone, fall in love, take an interest in having a family, find work to support them…in the future. You may go on a trip of a lifetime and decided to settle there. You may win the lottery. You may have to find time to care for someone… My point is, you don’t know where life will take you, so keep on doing what feels right. When it stops feeling right, re-evaluate, re-group and relax! You’re doing great work here, but I hope you have balance in your life too. That’s all. Peace.

  47. Maybe I have been reading too many books about Cold War history but I feel like someone who is really good at programming and knowledgeable about language should be working for an intelligence agency lol

  48. You’re allowed to take breaks. You’ve uploaded tons of videos. 🙂

    I love that you’re learning computing languages too

  49. That's reasonable. In fact, I'm a little envious. I don't think anyone'd notice if I stepped away.

  50. Where can you find the custom language builder? And is the Altaic video coming out?

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