Skip to content

Hating the Best Job on Earth: Mental Health as a Content Creator

For my last post of the week, I want to cover something important. It’s a bit more somber and a lot less concrete than my usual blog content. Content creation, whether you’re a blogger, a podcaster, a streamer, a YouTuber, a writer, a photographer, or whatever you are, is the best job on Earth. You get paid to make things that you enjoy making and others enjoy watching, reading, or listening to. However, just like any other job, content creation is still a job. You’ll still have long days, bad days, and need breaks. Often, others will tell you that you’re lucky to have your job, which you are, but that you’re taking it for granted to ever complain about. Sometimes that “other” voice can even come from within, condemning yourself for wanting rest. In today’s blog, I want to talk about how to balance content creation and mental health, and how to counter the voices that tell you that you don’t need a break.

Content creation is an amazing job, as I’ve said previously. At peak success, not only does it pay very well, but it is also fun, creatively enriching, and benefits others. It has everything a dream job should, but even a dream job is a job. I want to create content of some kind, regardless of medium, for the rest of my working life. However, I also want to stay sane and not grow to resent the things I once loved. Notable content creators like Jacksepticeye, real name Sean Mcloughlin discussed the impact content creation has on mental health when unchecked. Mcloughlin was, in his early years, notable for his daily uploads. He would create at least one, if not multiple, videos a day, every day, for well over five years. In his own videos, he later stated that while this helped build the brand, it devastated his enjoyment and mental health. Years later, he took his first-ever break, over a month without uploads. When he returned, the videos were no longer uploaded daily, to give him more time to rest. Most other YouTubers have fallen into this mindset, with most of the largest creators on the platform having either taken extended breaks, cut uploads to five or fewer videos a week, or both.

So, following the lead of many major creators, the first advice I have for you is to not work every day. There’s a feeling in your gut, which is often perpetuated by commenters, that because your job is both fun-to-do and irregular, you should work all hours of every day. This is not true. For your mental health, I beg you to, at the very least, take the weekends off writing, filming, recording, or posting. With the added time of editing, uploading, and the background work people forget about like thumbnails & social media management, as well as any sort of branding/corporate work, working all week can genuinely kill you. I recommend working four days if you can afford to. Content creation is mentally taxing, something you put a lot of heart, soul, and time into. The most irreparable damage has been done to budding content creators by the word “hustle.” The drive to work and improve is admirable and encouraged, but the drive to work yourself to death and surpass all others is a dangerous bridge to walk across.

Speaking of surpassing others, numbers are another danger to the minds of creators. What numbers do I mean? Subscribers, followers, shares, likes, comments, dollars, minutes – if you can count it, stop counting it as often. Content creators work themselves into a self-loathing hole, or become desperate sell-outs, whenever they occupy too much of their minds with growth. The drive to grow and improve is a good thing. However, it becomes a bad thing whenever you spend each upload thinking about the 2% follower decrease since last week. Stop killing yourself thinking about numbers all the time. It’s important to know and track these things to an extent, even celebrate successes like 10K digital streams or 1K concurrent listeners or something, but do not drive yourself crazy over “reaching 100K by Christmas” or “getting back those 14 followers.”

The last major piece of advice I have is a tough one because it directly battles against an important duty of a content creator. Comments are a double-edged sword. They are your best friend and a venomous knife stabbed into your back. As a smaller content creator especially, it is recommended to listen to as much feedback as possible from viewers. This is a good idea, in moderation. Listening to criticism is nearly always a good idea. If you’re getting comments about audio quality, length of videos, camera placement, or even an ethical situation, I advise considering the comments’ opinions. You never want to ignore and box out your viewers. The greatest benefit of the modern content creator, to a viewer, is that they feel less distant from you than traditional media like film and television. However, I’ve read that Osama Bin Laden had a YouTube account. There are a lot of nasty people online. These people are often called “Trolls” (though this term is a bit too aged for most modern crowds to not cringe hearing it. Factoring trolls as well as children with unfettered device access, spam bots, scammers, and misinformed people trying to “help,” the internet is full of people’s opinions and words that can negatively affect you. Do not become a slave to comments. The comments may say terrible, awful things about you. They may be filled with garbage and nonsense. The comments may disguise themselves as criticism or appreciation, only to subtly slide into an unhelpful insult. If your self-worth is sinking, or if you believe your comment section to be especially toxic now, step away. Stop reading the comments for a day, a week, a month, forever if they’re truly unsalvageable. In a future blog post, I do plan on discussing how to moderate comments and deal with viewers on your preferred platform(s.) However, sometimes it is necessary to take a step back and tell yourself that that comment doesn’t matter and shouldn’t affect you.

This was a very personal topic to me. I have battled with mental exhaustion and burnout throughout my life, primarily due to my terrible work habits and pre-existing conditions, like ADHD. Many of my favorite content creators over the years have battled these situations. I felt safe, hearing about this stuff for the first time a few years ago. I had always dreamt of doing this kind of work but felt someone like me could never accomplish it. Knowing that everyone struggles to stay motivated and confident can be validating. I want you to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that everybody deserves a rest, deserves a day off, and deserves to be frustrated with a bad day at work. With that, I’m taking my day off from blogging tomorrow. It has been an especially challenging week for me, personally, and I would like my work not to take a hit from me being exhausted or stressed. While I’ve still got class and my part-time job, it’ll at least be a mental shake-up from my usual week. What are you doing on your next day off? Leave a comment below telling me about it, I’d love to hear how you unwind. If you or someone you know plans on starting content creation, I hope you share this post with them. Thanks for reading folks, have a great weekend.

Published inUncategorized

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar