When it comes to creators, there are few that take the time to really step back anymore. With YouTube and blogs requiring almost daily content to be considered active and well run, it’s easy to understand. As an audience, we don’t pay attention to people very often unless they’re constantly shoving content in our face.
That’s not really a new thing for me as a creator. I’ve spent a lot of time and online and am well aware of how active I need to be in order to make a project or product really last. I really don’t care to create content on a regular basis to put it out. I’m usually subject to my own whims on when I start or stop a project.
Of course, for some people there is something to live up to. CTFxC, for example, is a great example of this. The channel is about daily vlogs. If they don’t post every day, then there’s not a lot of point to their channel anymore. Their reputation is based on the fact that they are constantly doing things.
There are YouTubers that do things like VEDIF or VEDIM (video every day in [month name here]) and they build up an image that they’re going to be constantly around. Wheezy Waiter was creating videos every weekday for a long time before he took a nice long vacation with his wife.
When content creators take a break, there’s obviously some danger for them. For some, it means that they’ll be making less money. For others, it means losing part of their audience. So what’s a creator supposed to do?
Writers are expected to put out a book every year or so. Those books are months of hard, hard work and even more time spent editing and finalizing all sorts of decisions. There are so many reasons why writers take a lot of time. Sometimes, stories are so complicated that an author needs to take literal time to make sure that all of the details line up just right. George R. R. Martin has been made fun of because he’s been taking years to get out another book for the Game of Thrones series. But with such a complicated story going on, there’s a reason that he’s taking his time.
Creating anything takes time. Writing, editing, videos, comics, painting, and everything between is a lot of work. So why do we give creators such a hard time when they take a break?
I’m convinced that there’s a lot to do with the fact that we expect constant content now. Netflix, Hulu, everything is teaching us that content is always available. And it usually is from larger groups. People that are thinking of ideas, creating them, and editing them are going to take a lot longer when they’re on their own instead of with a whole group of other people taking on some of this responsibility.
I expect different things from different groups depending on what I know about them. I expect tons of content from people like RoosterTeeth because there’s a huge team. Even though Markiplier is popular, I don’t expect as much out of his team because it is smaller.
This goes for every YouTuber I know. There are some that have released information about their schedules. Steven Suptic (from the recently canceled SourceFed channel) talked about the fact that he gets up, works on ideas, spends the rest of the day recording, and then edits late into the night. His whole life revolves around his videos now. That’s a schedule that will wear you out.
For people that produce so much regular content, they’re going to need breaks eventually. These breaks are valuable for a number of reasons.
- They are a chance to recharge from a demanding lifestyle.
- They are a chance to generate ideas, not only just to brainstorm, but to go out and find new things to build off of in the real world.
- They are a time to consume media instead of constantly create it. Getting a chance to consume media can also help a creator think of new ideas.
- They are necessary for peace of mind. No one can constantly be okay while they’re working. People need breaks on a regular basis if they’re going to keep their mental and physical health.
- They allow for a creator to figure out new schedules. Very few creators keep up the same kind of creative schedule forever. People need to change up and streamline their schedules from time to time. A break allows them to get priorities in order and make a new schedule.
I am a fan of people working on creative projects of all kinds. I don’t care what they’re doing. I want people to feel free to pursue creative endeavors, but it’s hard for people to pursue those careers without being pestered by fans and haters about the way that they direct their lives.
If you’re working on creative projects, then I hope that you find time to take off and redirect your energy from time to time.