When you’re a writer or a creator of any media, you have expectations. Of yourself, of others, of your viewers, and of your readers. Being a writer myself, I know that all too well. The pressure inside your head is real. Whether people have the pressure directed at you or not, you tend to pressurize yourself. You set goals that sometimes just don’t happen due to social life, medical reasons, or just being busy in general. You try to push things out that you promised or knew you wanted to get out there at a certain time, but again. Sometimes things just get in the way. Then, you feel like you let your creative base down. Your viewers, your readers, the people who have been sitting patiently waiting for the next part.
I run into this problem a lot. I have two multi-chapter stories going right now, both of which I really love and want to keep running. Between the holiday season and the travel I did with my boyfriend, then meeting up with people and getting back into the groove of my normal life with legal issues, doctors, medications, and food shopping I hadn’t been able to write either stories a new chapter. I had planned on that this weekend. And I wanted to. But every time I opened up Google Docs, I just stared blankly. It’s not that I don’t know what’s going to happen. I have it in my head. I know what I want. But I couldn’t . . . push it out. I couldn’t get it done. Maybe it’s because my head is all crowded and nuts. I was busy on and off. Thinking about this and that. Worrying about one thing or another. I couldn’t focus properly. I felt like my head was all over the place. Usually, writing helps that. Today, not so much. I’m hoping to at least get ONE of the stories done tomorrow. This is where I begin pressuring myself too much.
I think of everyone reading. I think of people I know who read. I think of myself as a reader/viewer. I’m impatient, generally with things sometimes. And I try not to be too much so. I know that people have things come up, life happens, and people get sick or mentally discouraged to do anything. And I would love to hope and know that people who read my content feel the same. Things happen. You lose the willpower, the inspiration, the attention, or things unexpectedly come up. As much as I would have loved to crank something out today, it just didn’t happen. And yes, I feel bad about that. I feel disappointed in myself, and I feel like I let people down who were waiting so patiently since the craziness at Xmas and my traveling. I can apologize all I want, but that doesn’t mean people may or may not be disappointed nothing came out. Still, there’s a day left of this weekend and all I hope is that maybe at least one of the fics get something.
I have a lot on my plate right now, and that’s not an excuse. I am aware of that. But I’m still battling legal problems, medical problems, daily and hourly pain, a life back and forth with taking care of this, that, and the other thing. I have a cat to take care of, my boyfriend is visiting, I’m still looking for a place to live, I have friends I may see on and off, and a new project that’s come up for next month that I’m super excited for I have to prepare for. Life will get in the way of updates, but I will do my absolute best in spare times and times of manageable pain and okay-ish moods to get writing done. This is why I don’t have a set schedule for my writing, as so often many writers do. I wish I could say there would be an update every Saturday or Wednesday or something. But I cannot. I write when it happens and when there’s a slot open for me. And even then, sometimes it just doesn’t work out the way I had hoped or wanted.
I hear a lot of content creators say those same things so often. From writers, to YouTubers, to artists, to Twitch streamers and musicians. They know their audience is waiting patiently and expecting something new all the time. But things happen, and more often than not, audiences get really rude and livid about not getting what they want. I hope that never comes out of the writing community, at least not for myself personally. It’s okay to ask me when the next this or that will come out, or if I will have an idea for X, Y, Z. But I hope that nobody gets cross with me about not delivering something when they want it. I can’t force myself to do something if I am unable. It would be shitty writing and execution. I don’t want that for my stories and content. And I should hope nobody else would, either.
If you’re a content creator of the creative kind, don’t push yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself, don’t pressurize yourself. It stresses you out, believe me. Do what you can, when you can, and make sure you’re enjoying it. Make sure your audience/viewers understand that you are only one person. You are only human. You can’t push things on their terms. Some days you need a break or a you day. Some days you need friend days. Some days you can create. It changes, and as much as you either have or would like a set schedule, it can break. Like I said, life happens. Things come up. Your creations shouldn’t revolve around others. It should revolve around you, your time, and your love for it. Everything else will work out itself soon enough.
Yes, there are always expectations. From and for yourself, from and of others. But try not to pressure yourself too much from those expectations. It’s okay to feel disappointed in the lack of creating when you planned for it. If you’re like me, it makes you feel like you let your audience down. And it’s okay to feel that, too. I mean, it’s human. But instead of thinking about it and thinking you’re a failure and worrying that you pissed everyone off, try to put your energy into something else for a while. Read someone else’s stuff. Look at other’s art. Watch someone else’s videos. Try to find inspiration again for another hour, or another day even. Relax a little, have some tea or coffee. Try to enjoy yourself and like I said: find inspiration in others’ enjoyment of their work. Support one another. Don’t dwell on just you being the only creator in a genre. Find others, and support them. And maybe, just maybe you’ll find yourself right back on track and overflowing with creativity ♥