One mistake I see many content creators making is believing that they are on an island, separated from anyone else. They’re trying to create a community (well, some of them, anyway) but are struggling to create content on their own. And the internet, especially social media, can be brutal, racist, transphobic, ableist, and sexist to anyone who isn’t thin, white, able-bodied, and cisgender.
It’s easy to burn out when you only see yourself doing the work you want to see. And in many spaces, there are content creators pioneering their field, especially in highly censored fields like sex education or sex work. For some content creators, this can be alienating, and the struggle becomes not just creating content, but creating some of the first content in this subject area that your community will be seeing. And sometimes the people first interacting with your content aren’t your ideal audience, and there’s a time of transition as the folks you are writing to come join you on this community island that you’re building.
This can be super hard because you have to be brave. I mean, most content creators are already doing the thing, they had an idea, and now they’re creating — or planning to, whether that is: in writing, images, or simply speaking their truth. That’s pretty brave.
The struggle is that as content creators, you can empower one another if given the chance. Stronger together and whatnot. This isn’t to say every creative will agree with or even completely understand your content, that’s sort of the point — the idea that you, as a content creator are making your own mark, because maybe you saw a need, or realize you had a voice and something to share. And you should! You should write the thing, do the thing, say the words.
And I offer you this, in conjunction with that — find your crew. It is not only empowering as a content creator to reach out and find folks who are in the same content as you but inspiring. You might see someone doing a specific series, or offering a different style of interaction you haven’t seen before. This inspiration can help you to take a load off your own plate and jump-start the creative well that may have run dry. To be super clear: it is easier to create your own content P-L-A-N if you see that someone else already has the P-L to get you started.
You deserve not only to make the content that you want to see in the world but to call on a community of creators to have your back. One of the first homework assignments I give to my clients when they come to me for a brand or social media consult is to find three accounts already doing what they want to do. And I usually show up with a few references of my own — because sometimes all you need is to believe and see that someone is out there, doing what you might want to be doing because that means you can do it too.
Instead of an island, I picture myself, as a queer, gender-non-conforming content creator on something of an international spider web. I feel connected to creators around the world because I see them talking about content that is valuable and important to me. I follow folks who care about and create content that is important and applicable to me. I see them, and they inspire me to create. They show me it can be done, and in return, I pay them and thank them for their time, energy, inspiration, and most importantly for being there. For taking up space, for disrupting an otherwise empty web of content, that resonates with me.
I know a spider web maybe isn’t the most glamorous image, but there is something extremely comforting about knowing someone is just a tug away if I need their help or support. And as a matter of mutual benefit, we’re connected in a way to build each other up, call each other out, and most of all, bring content to our communities that is meaningful, and important.
If you need help finding your creative spark, or getting that creator well jump-started again — I’m currently booking brand consults for 2021, and would love to help you get started in the new year! Find me at www.itsjustliz.com