There several dozen half-written and probably twice as many fully-written but never published blog posts scattered across my computer, laptop, Google Drive and various Moleskins. They contain thoughts I’ve had on many post production-related topics that I’ve worked countless hours on. And they’re just sitting there in digital purgatory.
“It’s not good enough.”
“Someone could say that you don’t mention ______ method/shortcut/etc.”
“You aren’t really an expert. Who are you to give advice?”
I could think of endless reasons not to ship each one of them.
Today I was watching some random YouTube video from this guy another YouTube guy I routinely watch recommended. His production quality was low. He knew it. But he said something that struck a nerve with me.
He said he knows that his videos lacked flare and cohesiveness and clickbait-y titles and all those other things that make “good content”. And he said this was holding him back from creating any video. But that wasn’t going to stop him anymore. That he knows where he can improve and welcomes constructive criticism but the point is that he creates the videos. His message is what’s important; not necessarily how it’s delivered.
This hit me hard. I’ve literally written two other blog posts this week and nixed them before making it over to WordPress. Creating and shipping your message, whether it’s in the form of the written word or a video, is mightily difficult. I thought I had conquered that fear when I daily blogged for over two years (that blog no longer exists). I rode that wave of confidence for a long time. But that confidence muscle atrophied. I’m now that guy in the YouTube video I watched today. Scared to produce; scared to ship.
I’m sharing this with you because I know how difficult it is to create. As video editors we have to create everyday. Those creations aren’t always perfect. We might not have the time or resources or ability to make our videos exactly how we want them. But we have to deliver.
Sometimes it feels like it is easier when you have a boss or client giving you deadlines or cutting you a paycheck. You know there’s someone you have to please. They sit around the corner from you and could give you a promotion or they could refer you to your next big client.
When you’re creating for the mysterious people of the internet though, without any “real” deadlines or any sort of a paycheck outside of some Adsense pennies, the pressure you feel can seem so much heavier. A video (or blog post) can be worked on to death without you ever really being sure you’re done. And one day you just have to say screw it and hit publish. Or chicken out and leave it to rot in digital purgatory.
If you’re having trouble hitting publish on any piece of work remember that you aren’t alone. We all struggle with this. You just have to keep showing up as often as you can and do the best you can.
This is something I’m still working on and am fully confident I’ll never be completely comfortable releasing my work for the public. A book I’ve found quite helpful in the past is The War of Art. But what I’ve found most helpful is talking about this struggle with like-minded people (aka other video editors / creators) or by putting pen to paper and talking to myself about it (like what I’m doing right now). If you need someone to talk to about the struggles of publishing creative work, I’m all ears.
Until next time,
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