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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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…?
…God fucking dammit.