On making “good” content

Lately, when it comes to content creation, particularly in the communities that I’m a part of, there’s been a pretty prominent mindset that I’ve seen being spread around a lot. Sometimes it’s been thrown directly at me, other times it’s been thrown at my close friends who also make stuff online and there are a whole bunch of times where I’ve just seen it brought up in a general discussion about content creation. And honestly, it’s something that’s led to me having a lot of doubts about myself as a creator, both on this blog and on my recently created YouTube channel.

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It’s this idea that you should always be striving to make content that’s considered “good”. That your blog posts, YouTube videos or whatever else you make for the internet, needs to meet whatever arbitrary standards that others have decided makes for “good” content. That you always need to be making your next masterpiece. That you should be constantly trying to be “the best”. That you need to contribute something new that’s never be done before, instead of just talking about whatever the hell you want or doing whatever you want.

And upon reflection, this is a mindset that, while perfectly valid in many ways, is something I myself struggle to get behind.

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Those of you who consider me a close friend, or who’ve followed this blog for a long time, are no doubt aware that I often struggle with motivation when it comes to being a creator online. I don’t really believe in myself or my work all that much, and it leads to regular breaks and hiatuses that I struggle to come back from. When I do manage to work up the motivation to get something written or made, I’ll work non-stop until I’m at my breaking point, and I’ll get it out super fast, but in between those moments, there’s a lot of self-doubt and struggling to do much of anything. And I’ve come to realise that a lot of that has to do with this whole idea that everything I make has to be “good”. It has to be “better” than my last thing. I can’t let people down by making something that isn’t good, can I?

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But recently, I’ve come to seriously question how much all of that really matters. Because at the end of the day, I never started doing this for any of those reasons. I don’t really write this blog to impress other people. I don’t make my YouTube videos to make mind blowing content that will completely redefine the communities perspective on things.

At the end of the day, I create for myself. I do this because I enjoy it. And most of all, I make content because I want to talk about the things I love, explain my personal connection to them and share why they mean so much to me and hope that others can be like “Hey Leth, that’s really cool!” and we can all talk about it and share our thoughts.

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For a good while now, I’ve been worried that my work isn’t “good enough”, but then I remember that this is fun for me first and foremost. I’m not here to “get big”. I’m not doing this in hopes of turning it into a career or to become “the best” (like no one ever was!).

I’m not interested in making “good” content, I’m just here to talk about the things I enjoy, to share my (often unspoken for) opinions and perspectives and to have a fucking blast while doing it.

And that’s not to say I don’t want to make some good stuff while doing so. If I can make something amazing and grow a big audience while also having fun and satisfying myself, then that’s pretty awesome! But is it my goal? Is it why I’m here? Is it why I started this blog and why I make videos?

No. Not really. And that’s perfectly valid. And I’m glad I’ve realised that, because it’s motivated me to keep going and start working on stuff again. And it feels good!

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It’s okay to create for yourself. It’s okay to not always be at your best. And it’s okay to just let loose and have fun as a creator.

Because at the end of the day, that’s why most of us are here. …I think. Unless I’m some weird outlier who decided to start doing this for fun and because he wanted to share his opinions and not because he wanted to get millions of hits and make the big bucks on the internet.

…I’m not the odd one out, right? Right…?

Guys…?

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…God fucking dammit.

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11 thoughts on “On making “good” content

  1. This is a mindset that I always try to apply to myself when it comes to making my own content, whether it’s as small as a blog post or video, or as big as a book. It’s something that helps me be less stressed about making content, and it ultimately leaves a sense of satisfaction with my work once I finish, even if I don’t think the work itself is particularly good in my opinion. Sometimes though, my mind goes the other way and I search for validation from other people of course, but even when those are one of my biggest goals, I always try to make sure it’s not my MAIN goal, y’know? At the end of the day, I do this stuff for myself just as much if not more so than for other people. This post reminded me of that, and it helped motivate me to work on my scripts, my book manuscripts, or even just another blog post. Thanks fam! Keep up the good work! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘

    (PS: Don’t think I forgot about the 40 shitty anime challenge ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This post exactly explains where my mind has always been when juggling things I do that are published to a public audience. On the one hand, its fun and so I do it, but on the other hand it is only natural for anyone to want to feel rewarded for putting in any form of effort, and so having fun and seeing tangible results becomes something we long for to go hand in hand.

    Writing the good stuff is way more fun AND rewarding than writing just because, so we’re stuck in this never-ending cycle of trying to put out “good” content. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I completely get that feeling, and I treat all my writing online the same way, as something fun. If I obsessed over it too much like I do over my actual work, it would become work as well. Even if I hoped to get paid for my blogging through Adsense or some other pay-per-click thing, I’d feel too pressured to write about what’s popular now instead of whatever I want to write about.

    As for “good” content, since everyone has a different definition of “good” I guess it’s no good worrying about it. As long as it’s good to you, that’s enough, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nope, you’re 100% right here. Saying that you strive to create “good content” (STOP DEVALUING WHAT YOU DO BY CALLING IT “CONTENT”, YOU ARE A WRITER and yes I will bang this drum forevermore) is all very well and good… but for most people it’s a victory to just put pen to paper and produce something, whether that’s a blog post, a chapter of a novel, a video script or the video itself.

    Getting into the habit of doing stuff is the most important thing… assuming it’s what you really want to do. Worrying about it being “good” can come later — because you can’t get good without practice!

    For me, the thing that helped me the most was the #oneaday project I did on my old blog angryjedi.wordpress.com. The original intention of that collective effort was to write something — anything — every day for a year. I persisted for 2,541 days in the end. The people who launched the “project” didn’t last until the end of January, and at least two of them have coincidentally become insufferable wankers in the last couple of years. (One of them is Matt Lees, if you’re familiar with him.)

    Meanwhile, pushing any old thing out every day — even if I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired at the time — taught me lots of things: tenacity, stubbornness and, perhaps, most importantly, where to pluck “inspiration” from if it doesn’t seem to be coming directly to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We all write for different reasons. Unless your reason is to harm others, each reason is equally valid.

    Is your goal to drive massive traffic to your site? Then yeah, you need to worry about what others think.

    If that’s not your goal, then, at the risk of earning the title Captain Obvious, it’s not your goal. Instead, your goal is your goal.

    Like you said, ” itโ€™s okay to just let loose and have fun as a creator.” Heck, maybe it’s more than okay. Maybe it’s the whole point! I don’t want to read what you think I want to read. I want to write what you create.

    If that makes sense. Which it might. It’s hard to tell…

    Like

  6. Hypothetically, if you make one “good” post and strive to make each post “better” than the last…then what happens when, one day, you hit the bit of the chart where your level of “good” goes so off the chart, it’s not achievable…? That’s one reason people abandon their blogs.

    Like

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