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The Other Side of Content Creation

The side of content creation not often talked about.

This is the side of content creation not many people talk about. Content creation can be a very fun and rewarding experience but like most things it comes with it’s downsides as well. If you’re in the game you may know what I am talking about. The dark feelings of not being good enough, talking into the void, asking yourself does it even matter, and so on. Today I’m going to touch on a few of these topics.

Beginning content creation can be a fun and joyous thing. Most people have passions about something and they want to share that with the world. Whatever that passion or thing may be they want people to see it/hear it/feel it. It’s one of the many joys of being able to create something and see other people enjoy what you create. That is one of the addicting things about content creation.

Where along the line does that joy seem to fade? I had a miserable job one time, a job I couldn’t stand anymore. Most people have but I’ll never forget the wise words someone once told me at that job, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” Which means: “Extensive knowledge of or close association with someone or something leads to a loss of respect for them or it.” It is a popular saying and many times it can ring true. I relate this saying to my content creation. I set out goals for when I first started and most of those goals have been met. I’ve met fans, listeners, spoken with so many people I normally wouldn’t and met friends along the way but at some point it seems empty. Getting that high of going to a convention only for it to go away the next second leaves you feeling dark. Going months on end with getting no feedback, views, downloads can have a toll because it seems you’re doing something wrong. It can have an effect no matter how much you tell yourself just keep going.

No one was there to tell me the amount of work you’d have to put into something like this. Recording, editing, and uploading my podcast I thought would be the hard part, turns out it was the easiest. Coming up with the content is easy, getting eyes and ears to listen and watch has turned out to be harder than anything. It doesn’t help when you’re a nobody coming onto a scene because while you may have good points to make no one cares about you unless you’re somebody. So begins the grind of networking, getting noticed, and being active on social media. Oh social media, it has become my personal bane of existence. It is such a wonderful creation but at the same time terrible. It has brought the world closer together yet so far apart. You never truly leave high school as there are still cliques about. Who are the popular ones, who are the ones to avoid, who are the cool kids? Starting off can feel so intimidating because trying to break through a clique like that can be demoralizing. Whispers will come through to tell you, “Don’t talk to this person, if you ever want to make it, avoid them.” or “We never discuss this topic, it’s looked down upon.” As if there is some agreement with the upper echelon that you should’ve been aware of. There’s no employee handbook given to you from HR so it’s up to you to figure things out.

You will make mistakes, you will fail, you will not be seen, heard, or noticed a lot of the times. People can see the desperation coming from you as you want to be noticed. If you’re good, you learn how to talk and interact in meaningful ways. You want to shout on the rooftops and tell people, “Look at me! Look at what I created isn’t it grand!” but you can’t. It’s a slow and steady burn getting eyes on you. Then along comes someone who just hits it out of left field and becomes noticed immediately. Quickly you think, what am I doing wrong? What does this person have that I don’t? The feelings of insecurity creep up on you and you do your best to push it away but still they linger.

You also sometimes feel as if you have to change yourself in order to get people to like you. This, to me, is one of the worst traps to fall into. I have suffered from it but I have learned instead to just be as cordial as you can be without having to change your moral stances. Treat it as you would hold yourself at a place of business. Respect should be given as well as earned.

Three years it has been since I started this podcast of mine. I’ve said many times I never thought I’d make it past three months yet here I am. Some days it’s a labor of love, other days it’s out of habit and the feeling of having to produce something in order to stay relevant. The same holds true for social media, some days it’s just to post something in order to appear I am in the know. Keeping up with it all is exhausting mentally.

This is the side of content creation not often talked about because most people just want to showcase their work and glorify the grind. I’m not sure how it is outside of America but I’ve always detested the undue bragging of how much time is spent on working and how you have no free time. Many times it feels you can’t show weakness because, hey, you have to hit those big numbers right? Because if you don’t, you’re a nobody and will continue to be a nobody! I guess what I’m trying to relay here is I’m tired. I’m tired of these notions that you have to continuously grind to “make it”. I’m tired of these little cliques that dictate who you can and can’t talk to or what you can and can’t talk about. It’s easy to ignore all of that but when you try and showcase something and have nothing to show for it, it eats at you.

Am I trying to steer people away from making content? No. Just be aware it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Figure out what your goals are and how to achieve them. Be aware there is a lot more to it than just creating the content. It’s navigating that sea of uncertainty and trying to not topple your boat.

Thank you.

4 Comments

  1. Hank
    Hank January 22, 2019

    Dang Zuby, I think you hit everything I’ve been thinking about for the last year, but had no idea how to express. Thanks dude!

  2. Wally D.
    Wally D. January 22, 2019

    So many of us feel like this and I am glad that you have put this article into the world for all to see. As a fellow #MTG and #DnD content creator, I understand. You are not alone. Thank you for all that you do!

  3. Dean@YoungCorpseTV
    Dean@YoungCorpseTV January 22, 2019

    Great article, man. I struggle with this greatly. I love creating content and at the end of the day do so because I really enjoy it and have always found an excuse to do so over the years, but yeah, it’s disheartening to say the least…It’s so damn hard growing a base from absolutely nothing. I feel like it’s even harder to do in so Magic. Very fickle community. haha. It feels almost impossible to get over the “approved creators” hump. But I get it, magic has been around for over 25 years and the content creation game has been going very strong way before I entered the fray. I still have a lot to learn about the game before people respect my POV. haha.

    As it turns out tho, my social anxiety isn’t limited to IRL. The social media grind has been tough. Trying to find the balance between “hey, check out my new thing” and watching, promoting and uplifting the community has been tough. I feel uncomfortable telling people to watch something/boosting content I don’t watch. I have my collection of creators I love, share and promote but it’s hard to be both creator and promoter for the community and go beyond that circle. I’m kind of glad the walls of hashtags slowed down. I was getting 15/20 likes and retweets and peak promotion a year or so ago and literally got no video clicks or sub crossover. Haha. People were retweeting, liking and saying how good the content was but no crossover on youtube. Felt bad. I’ve been working on a new video that shouts out creators, I think I prefer that approach instead.

    At any rate, I guess what I’m trying to say is thanks for the post. Can’t wait for the next Hooligans.

  4. Lasraik
    Lasraik February 1, 2019

    I’m glad I’m not alone with detesting social media and the cliques. It really does feel like high school and the constant drama has driven me away from it.

    People often talk about “the community”, but most of the time they are talking about their clique and who gets their stamp of approval. They talk about helping each other, but they don’t help spread the word for any creators who aren’t in their said clique when all it takes is a click of a mouse to help them by sharing a post with their followers. It’s too bad, because lots of great content and creators go unnoticed.

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