Protecting Your Creative Health in the Digital Age

photography by @rileytaylor featuring @suedebrooks for Mad Sounds Issue 29: The Self-Made Issue

Don’t Force Your Creativity

One of the biggest and most harmful misconceptions about content creation is that content creators function like a machine. Meaningful, high quality content takes time to develop and likely more time to conceptualize and put into action. You are not a machine and you do not have to function like one. While it may be tempting to constantly post new content, don’t overwork yourself to a point of depersonalized and meaningless content. Take time to work on your craft and enjoy it.

Limit Who You Follow + Know When to Log off

This one might be controversial, but hear me out. Being bombarded with content on a daily basis can be overstimulating and overwhelming, especially when a majority of your news feed is cluttered with content that you don’t truly care about. Follow the people who inspire you and unfollow the ones that no longer serve you or inspire creativity in you. Following fewer accounts is a way to preserve your emotional energy and avoid the consumption of meaningless content—and it might even lead to less time spent on the app and more time creating something new.

Trust in Your Own Ideas

In the creative community especially there’s an immense amount of pressure to create content based solely on performance or searchability. Although there’s a level of importance in making content that is SEO friendly/that will receive high levels of engagement, you should not feel pressured to create “safe” or seemingly inauthentic content in order to emulate the success of other creators. While algorithms and marketing will get you somewhere, content that is made from passion and heart will get you everywhere.

Talk about Your Pitfalls

Talking about your pitfalls and weaknesses is hard, but truthfully, we all have them. Social media is not always an accurate representation of people’s lives, and sometimes, it helps to know that other creators are experiencing the same challenges that you are. Talk to a friend, share your experiences, and allow yourself to demystify the illusion of perfection that we often uphold on social media. Remember that whatever you are going through, you are never truly alone.

How do you protect your creative health? Tweet me @gisellelisabeth and let me know!