Tips On Managing Negative Emotions For Content Creators

lego faces showing sad or angry faces

Freedom. Flexibility. Passion. Just a couple of words associated with the profession of freelancing. Working as a content creator provides me the opportunity to not only work on my own time but also develop my passion for writing. However, as with any profession, content creators can face some difficulties. One of which is the negative emotions one has to manage while attempting to create engaging content. Things like imposter syndrome, depressive episodes, and writer’s block can present challenges. When your profession relies on your creative output which can be affected by your mental state, it becomes imperative that you learn how to manage your emotions.

Imposter Syndrome

In the writing community, a common problem that comes in conversations is imposter syndrome and how it inhibits content creators. Imposter syndrome is the belief that you are not as competent as people believe you to be. Even if you are qualified you feel as if you are a fraud. I’ve had conversations with other content creators that I felt wrote much better than I did and they felt the same about me. While that is not inherently bad and you might be thinking that mindset will keep one humble, imposter syndrome can stifle writers. The idea that you’re not good enough or that you’re not a real writer (or artist, or YouTuber) can weigh down on you. This lack of confidence can lead to a lack of motivation and thus a lack of written work.

Recommendation for Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome relies on your belief about yourself. In order to combat it, you have to change your perspective about yourself and your work. You have to validate yourself and make peace with your insecurity.

  • Talk To Yourself: Look in the mirror. Tell yourself: “I am a great _____” (writer, artist, etc.) Say it anytime you see yourself. Multiple times a day and especially when the doubt creeps up.

  • Strive To Improve: Your craft is only limited by your knowledge and experiences. As long as you’re always striving to better yourself and your craft, you can refute feelings of incompetency with facts. Read books on your genre, take courses, improve your skills. That way when that voice says “you’re not a real content creator. You’re not smart enough”, you can tell them to kick rocks. You have a new mantra: “I am valid right now as I am and I am always growing.”

scrabble pieces that spell out depression

Depression in Content Creators

It has been commonly said that writers are prone to depression and other ailments. However, a 2007 study determined that there was not a correlation between creatives and mental health. Content creators are just like any other human. A combination of complex emotions, desires, and behaviors. Everyone is prone to depressive episodes. That being said, there are a number of personal accounts of content creators dealing with bouts of depression and anxiety. One of the reasons that myth exists is that creative professions tend to draw passionate people who use their feelings and emotions in their work. Writers and artists especially convey feeling through their art. Keep in mind. Feelings are not bad. They aren’t good. They just are. In fact, a lot of time, negative emotions can produce the most beautiful art.

The problem arises when those depressive and negative emotions are so grand, it drives you to inaction. It can be hard finding the motivation to write when you are depressed. Being a little down every now and again is healthy and a part of the human experience. However, spending days upon days in bed is not only detrimental to your health but also to your dream. That being said, please seek help if your negative feelings are too overwhelming.

Recommendation for Managing Depressive Emotions

I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder in 2011 and one thing that I’ve learned is that there is no one way to dealing with depression. Things like therapy, cognitive-behavioral techniques, kink, medication, and even writing can help combat and keep negative emotions in check. Some other things that worked well.

  • Meditate: Even if you spend 5 minutes, I meditate daily. Mediation is time set aside to let my mind settle. It was not easy at the beginning and some days my mind wanders a lot but having that time to sit quietly helps me cultivate peace. The more I practice, the easier it gets to relax and clear my head. By carving that time out, I am incorporating peace into my life.

  • Self-love is Mandatory: I am a person and all people need love but the only one who is responsible for loving me is me. Being in abusive and toxic situations has taught me that I owe it to myself to love me better than anyone. By investing in things that make me happy, taking care of myself, setting boundaries, and taking it easier on myself I am making great strides in my mental health. Even if I have a really bad day and couldn’t meet a deadline or finish a story I am eliminating the negative self-talk. I remind myself that relatively nothing is that serious to warrant bullying myself.

woman doing work on her laptop

Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is the bane of so many content creator’s professional existences. It’s a state where a writer (or artist) can’t create new work or experiences stifled creativity. You may feel as if you’ve lost your muse. Having writer’s block is no reflection on your writing skills or level of commitment to your craft. It’s just something that comes and goes.

Writer’s Block with New Work

  • Utilize prompts: If you are at the beginning stages and struggling, consider looking up prompts if you find yourself struggling to come up with an idea. You don’t always have to come up with an original prompt off the top of your head.

  • Keep an observation journal: There is inspiration all around you. A shoe you passed by on the sidewalk. A particularly bright flower that caught your eye. A woman with a wide-brimmed hat. We see, hear, smell, feel, and taste so many things on a daily basis. Keep a little journal and bring awareness to your surroundings at least once a day. Write a word or even a sentence about something you notice. At the end of the week, pick out a few of your observations to use in a poem or story.

Writer’s Block with Current Work

  • Look at the big picture: When I am stuck on a scene and am not sure where to go, I try looking at other things outside of the scene. What’s going on around the other characters? What’s happening just a mile away? What happens in the morning? Sometimes by “zooming out” it gives me enough perspective to continue writing.

  • Cast a wide net. When I’m super stuck I ask myself: What are all the ways this scene could go down? What could go right? What could go wrong? What could go horribly wrong? Asking myself engaging questions get the gears turning in my head. The more curious I am, the more I am thinking about answers.

a string that has a picture of a heart clipped to it

Tell Yourself That It’s Okay

Sometimes I have to have a hard talk with myself. It is normal to have emotions and reactions. It is a part of what makes us human. Emotions are complex and holding onto negative ones only amplifies the problem. I’m learning to relax. I am going to make mistakes, and feel the things, and strive to better myself and all the other things that come with humanity. However, I don’t have to do everything myself and stretch myself so thin. Finding ways to manage my time, delegate tasks whenever possible, and changing my inner dialogue can help keep my headspace clear and workflow flowing.

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