Problems arise when you stop living and creating for yourself and start living a lifestyle and create content for your viewers or audience instead of yourself. This is where it stops being about life and a passion for creating and starts becoming a monetization burden if you stop. Creating for what gets the most likes or engagement, can snowball insecurity about your audience leaving you if you stop. This is false, and let me tell you why.
I follow and unfollow content creators all the time. My interests change and my inspirations change all the time. Because I’m growing as a person and as an artist. I’m a living being that moves, loves, learns and grows. This meaning that us creators are never stagnant, we are forever improving ourselves, and part of that is taking in new forms of knowledge. Ergo new inspirations require following and unfollowing. If I kept following the same people for my entire life I would be echo chambering my inspiration & creativity. The prevention of this is to go outside what you already know & get inspiration for other sources. If your a writer learn music. If your a photographer, learn painting. You never know what might come of it. But I assure you if you constantly look at the same artist or genre you will start creating stale boring same, same work (not a typo).
Anxiety is a real thing. It’s a modern life thing. It’s something that we put on our shelves, and it’s all mental that can turn into a physical issue. Anxiety is really just advanced fear-induced by stress. Stress is just the body reaction to change or response to an adjustment. And anxiety is caused by contemplating change. I’m not belittling anxiety it’s a real thing that is hard to deal with. (I’m not a doctor or psychiatrist, don’t take what I say without a grain of salt, seek professional help if needed)
Worrying doesn’t make it so. Contemplation is a waste of time, because it’s just that planning possible scenarios, not doing. Contemplation is internal, not external, and it’s only by doing external things that we find out if they affect us in the real world. Thinking about taking a photo is contemplation. Worrying about if I should take the photo is anxiety. Taking the photo because you know it will get likes is echo chamber boring. Doing it for yourself and no one else is liberating.
Why did we starting doing it in the first place? Because we were passionate, loved learning and trying new things. When did that change for you? Did it change when you start making money? Did it change when you start relying on it for your livelihood? Or did the passion subside when you started thinking about your audience over yourself? For me, it changed when I started contemplating which photograph to post. To rectify this now I just put up whatever I like, and I say fuck the arbitrary number of likes. I like it and that is all that matters. What matters most to you?
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- The Zen Photographer – Leica.com
- Can better gear make you a better photographer? – PetaPixel.com
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- Are you a photographer or, just a camera operator – PetaPixel.com
- Why I got rid of my photography gear – PetaPixel.com
- Finding style and voice in photography – Leica.com
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- Why I only use one lens – PetaPixel.com
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