Hello there, Tracey here! I’ve been a content creator for five years and it can be stressful. As entertainers, most of us make a living being “on brand,” which can result in putting expectations on ourselves that no human can realistically achieve. We are people who experience burn out, stress, unhappiness, and sometimes failure. As semi-public people, some of this is seen but most of it is not. Those feelings can be isolating but they are actually pretty normal and we can forget that sometimes.
I hope these 10 tips help to re-center your perspective and serve as a reminder of what’s important: your ability to feel peace and happiness while still creating in the competitive and sometimes lonely spaces of Twitch, YouTube, and social media. We create to share joy, so we have to be able to experience it for ourselves, too.
- Know What You Want
- Have a Control Goal
- Tailor What You See
- See Your Success
- Don’t Compare, Get Inspired
- Share Your Boundaries
- You Have Nothing to Prove
- Be Ready to Learn
- Take a Break
- What’s More Important than Your Content?
1. Know What You Want
Do you want to focus more on the business side of your content? Do you want to branch out into different media? Goals keep us motivated and give us momentum. Decide what’s important to you.
When I started out, I wanted to build a community and get partner, once I did that, I remember thinking, “Hmm, well, now what?” There is definitely a lull of limbo once the party dies down and without direction, content creation can feel hollow, like you’re just going through the motions.
Keep up with your goals, especially since no one else will set them for you. We make goals unconsciously anyway, so why not target them for more fun, more direction, and more reasons to celebrate when we reach them!
2. Have a Control Goal
So yes, goals are great! Like a certain number of followers, subs, or views. These can be fun to strive for with your community but they can also be distracting and aren’t within your full control. Set yourself up for success by always having a control goal. Why do you create content?
I stream to create a space where people can hang out and escape their daily lives a bit. Where they can be seen and heard and have fun.
3. Tailor What You See
When it comes to bad news or angry tweets, our cups runneth over. We are being bombarded by negativity all the time online. Whether that’s in the news or social media, even in our chat or comments, it can be a lot to deal with. You might be really good at it, but I am not. I started taking notice of when something I saw or read stressed me out. And, these annoyances weren’t productive, I would just stew or want to vent myself.
I do want to get to a point where those things don’t bother me at all, but until I get there, I want to reserve my energy well for dealing with things that I choose deserve my attention and emotion, not the things that are thrown at me. If you relate to that, then the Mute button on Twitter, unfollow buttons, these can be lifesavers. Don’t feel guilty for muting or shutting the blinds on what stresses you out, your peace of mind is more important.
4. See Your Success
Why do people remember the worst things so easily and forget the good things? It’s because bad things are always lessons. But, we really shouldn’t let the good get away so easily.
Record your successes. I keep a planner of the work I need to do and check it off when it’s done. I don’t keep it perfectly, but it does keep me on task and when I look back, I see all the little steps that helped me reach milestones. From editing a video to working on this site. Even just posting to Instagram on a schedule. I see the productivity and small accomplishments I’d otherwise forget.
Yours doesn’t have to be a planner. It can be a journal, your Twitch highlights, even your Media Kit. Just something to remind you of how awesome you are and all that you’ve done. We work for ourselves, there’s no one to promote us or pat us on the back for a job well done. (By the way, you’re doing a great job!)
5. Don’t Compare, Get Inspired
You can’t compare yourself to the social media version of someone because that’s not even a full person. It’s not fair to anyone to pretend that it is. Everyone is on their own path, with their own struggles that we’ll never see.
We get a small slice of others and some of the successes along the way. So when you see another content creator doing great, your go-to should be to cheer them on! Our jobs aren’t easy and we should celebrate each other and learn from each other. What are they doing that you’re not doing?
And, if you can’t get envy off your mind, move on. Jealousy is a hard emotion to deal with and if it’s something you can’t get over right now, remove them from your online spaces until you can.
6. Share Your Boundaries
What is acceptable and not acceptable to you? If someone or something is making you uncomfortable, you don’t have to be nice and accept it. You don’t have to smile and ignore your own feelings. People can’t read your mind and they may not even know that their behavior is unwelcome. Let your boundaries be known to give others the best chance of fitting in with your community in a way that’s acceptable to everyone.
One of the biggest changes I made last year was closing 99% my DMs. It wasn’t a personal strike against any individual, but the culmination of just getting too many personal messages I felt I had to respond to. Once I created this boundary, it was a huge and noticeable positive change for me.
7. You Have Nothing to Prove
That’s the tip.
It can be shocking when people comment about us harshly, negatively, or say untrue things about us. It’s just like, “What, why?” It’s frankly confusing and our knee jerk feeling is to react and defend. But don’t get caught up on unhappy people who don’t even know you. Their comments have so much more to do with them than they ever could about you.
8. Be Ready to Learn
Leaving negativity at the door doesn’t mean not accepting criticism. Constructive criticism from trusted, knowledgeable sources is invaluable. Observe those who are successful, seek those who are more knowledgeable than you, and be open to change.
9. Take a Break
But my numbers will drop! My viewers will leave me! No more excuses. If you feel like you need a break, or it would serve you at all, do it, take a break. Take as much time as you need. And don’t half-ass it where you spend your break stressing about your content, take a full break. The Internet will still be here when you get back, and you’ll be back refreshed.
10. What’s More Important than Your Content?
You need to have something that is more important to you than your content whether that is family, friends, your own personal development and skills, your hobbies, something. If not, the world gets really small in content creator land and every minor challenge or bad day can feel insurmountable.
That doesn’t mean it can’t be related to your content though, maybe raising money for charities using your platform is your thing, or maybe you’ve found your tribe through your content and they keep help keep you going!
Maybe you haven’t found your thing yet, and that’s okay, too. You are inherently valuable and deserve peace and happiness, just being you. You are more important than your content.
Is there anything you think I missed in this post? Let me know what has helped you in the comments below!