“Start with why”, as Simon Sinek’s famous book on leadership advises. Granted, we’re not talking about management motivation here, but knowing exactly why you do the things you choose to do is powerful, and worth some deep thought to attain. That’s especially true of any creative endeavour, because you can practically guarantee that you’ll face setbacks in all of them. And if you can’t feel the bedrock of motivation and discipline beneath you when the waves of adversity hit, you’re liable to paddle back to the shore and give up.
This is perfectly natural - feeling deflated when something doesn’t work out is part of life, the low you need to feel the high - and hey, maybe giving up is the right choice rather than sticking at something that isn’t for you. The point is: you won’t know whether pushing ahead is the right or wrong choice for you unless you think about it. And so, that’s what we asked our community of content creators to do. Why do you create content and what keeps you on track? Do you still have the burning passion that got you interested in it in the first place? We got some thoughtful, candid responses that’ll make enlightening reading for others, all of which we’ve set out below.
“The blog was still supposed to be the main priority, but I could embed my videos into posts, while also driving traffic from YouTube. I loved every second of this. However, soon the community around the game died out, and so did my blog. With that, the only thing I was left with was the channel, and I still wanted to make content and make something out of it, and it would have felt weird to forget about the channel as well.”
Avrona set himself the goal of turning the channel into “something special”, and despite what he sees as mathematically slow progress of just over 10,000 subscribers since 2013 - hey, everyone’s moving at their own pace - he has founded a whole company and reckons “there’s no reason to stop now.”
“During the pandemic, I was forced to teach online classes. My students and friends said I was great at engaging people in an online space and I should try streaming on Twitch. My friend Courtney taught me some tricks and got me my first dozen or so followers. I have since then found much more success than I could have ever thought was possible for myself, reaching over a couple thousand followers, many subscribers, and a bit of a loyal fan base!”
“Streaming came about because a lot of my friends were all giving it a go and said I would be fantastic at it with my charisma, how naturally funny and witty I am, and the fact that I’m somewhat decent at games. So I gave it a go and had a blast - I didn’t expect anyone to turn up at first, so when I had a somewhat sizable audience for my first stream, I felt motivated to keep going.”
She went on to explain that the reason she carries on to this day is because she’s realised that she - alongside other smaller creators - can inspire and help people. Receiving positive feedback that people “cosy up” while watching her content after an arduous day, or try playing a game outside their comfort zone because she has done so on stream or recommended it, is very moving for Letitia. “I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else with my life now,” she says.
“Eventually I became a raid leader and started streaming our runs. Teaching people how to do the mechanics and telling tales about how the game has changed gave me the same feeling as my guided tours used to, and made me realise how important it is to do something you love, something you’re passionate about.”
“I feel more connected to the community via streaming, and in turn I enjoy playing EVE Online more. There is a slight bias here, as I did also use streaming as a recruitment tactic for my corporation and the NPSI fleets that I run, but it’s not the sole focus or reason.”
Another aspect that appeals to Fun Inc, he reckons, is being able to “share great experiences, understand failures, and celebrate the good times”. Being able to find the old clips from the stream, no matter how long ago the thing happened, is part of why he keeps going, because there’s nothing like sharing fond memories.
Why do you create content? If you want to contribute to this discussion in the future, let us know in the comments, and keep your story in mind for when this bounty happens again!