Tal Hacmon
January 16, 2022

The Reality of Burnout: How Creators are Struggling to manage

Creators are struggling. From writers to artists to YouTubers, creators are feeling burnout. They're overworked, underpaid, as shown by a recent complaint about Tiktok's creator fund low payment compared to other platforms, and struggling to keep up with the demands of their industry. This isn't a new problem, but it's one that is only getting worse. Why? Because creators are constantly told that they need to create more content, work harder, and push themselves to the limit. But this isn't sustainable! 

Burnout is a real thing

The number of creators is growing exponentially as the creator economy continues to grow. In fact, the number of creators has doubled in the last three years. This rapid growth is due to the increasing demand for content and the proliferation of new platforms that make it easier for creators to share their work. The growth of the creator economy is good news for creators, but it also creates a lot of pressure to constantly produce new content. This can lead to burnout and health problems. According to Vibely’s recent Creator Burnout Report, 90% of creators say they’ve experienced burnout, and 71% say they’ve considered quitting social media and, in turn, the business they worked so hard to build. Creators can experience burnout for a variety of reasons. When creators are constantly pushed to produce new content, oftentimes they can end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed. This can lead to a number of negative consequences, including decreased productivity, health problems, and even depression. In recent years, creators have started openly discussing burnout and sharing their stories.  Among the creators who have experienced burnout is YouTuber PewDiePie. PewDiePie has spoken out about his struggles with burnout, and how it's caused him to take a break from making videos. He's also said that he's been struggling with depression and anxiety. It's an issue that extends well beyond YouTube to the entire nascent world of the influencer economy. Another example of a creator who has experienced burnout is Instagrammer Essena O'Neill. Essena abruptly quit Instagram in October of 2016, and she later revealed that she had been struggling with burnout for a long time. In an interview with ABC News, she said that "Creators are put under so much pressure to be perfect and to constantly produce new content. It's really hard to keep up with that kind of pace, and it can lead to a lot of stress and unhappiness."

What are the Consequences

Burnout is clinically defined as a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It presents itself as a feeling of overwhelm, being emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.

Creator burnout can have a number of negative consequences, including decreased productivity and health problems. In some cases, creators may even experience depression or anxiety. Burnout can also lead to a loss of motivation, and creators may feel like they're not making any progress. Finally, burnout can cause relationship problems and reduce work performance. Creators are increasingly saying their work is having an adverse effect on their lives due to burnout.  For example, nearly half of the creatives surveyed in the Adobe Digital Trends Report 2016 state that burnout is negatively impacting their relationships with family and friends, while one in five is neglecting their mental or physical health. Rob Hardy, the creator behind Ungated, describes some of his experiences with burnout as wanting to run away and live in the woods, but no one knew it since he had put on a great mask. But he adds, “Other times, the burnout would hit me like a depressive tidal wave. I’d disappear off the face of the earth for weeks at a time—buried beneath takeout boxes while binging The Office for the sixteenth time.” According to Elise Darma, an Instagram business coach, it was a lack of energy and focus. “I was chugging coffee and it wasn’t doing anything for me. I felt more tired after coffee. I also couldn’t focus and had no energy until 2 pm. At meetings, I was being grumpy, even when it was with consultants I was paying,” she explains in a video. Being a creator means earning a living online doing what you love and in many ways, the creator economy consists of people performing their dream job, but the above experiences show the darker side of the creator economy and the potential risk of being a creator.

Is it better to take breaks or not?

In YouTube's most recent quarterly letter to creators, published in late November, the CEO addressed this concern. "I've heard some creators say they feel like they can't take a break from filming because they're concerned their channel will suffer," Wojcicki wrote in the letter. "If you need to take some time off, your fans will understand. After all, they tune into your channel because of you." Additionally, Wojcicki said the YouTube product team looked back at six years of data. The team tested "millions" of channels and hundreds of different time frames for breaks, and found that on average, channels had more views after they returned than they had just before they left. Drake McWhorter, however, did not have that experience. The YouTube creator, who has more than 268,000 subscribers, took a month off in 2016. He said it took him a year to attract the level of viewers he had before taking the break, so it doesn't make sense for him to take a break again. Many creators blamed YouTube's algorithm for penalizing them for not uploading frequently, but YouTube denied those allegations.  Indeed, some YouTubers have said their channels didn't suffer when they took breaks, including Morton, who now uploads one video a week. There are even creators who seem to be succeeding with this approach -- at least creatively. YouTube creator Alex Wassabi also told his fans that his new reduced upload schedule will allow him to make better videos. To encourage his fans to keep coming back to his channel, he said he might upload surprise videos on Fridays.

Preventing and treating burnout

Creators can take steps to prevent burnout from happening in the first place. Some ways to do this include taking breaks, focusing on self-care, and having a support system. Although I am not a therapist or anything, the startup day to day life can also lead to burnout, so here are some tips that creators can take to prevent burnout: - Setting boundaries: This means that creators can set how much time and effort they want to put into creative work. Creators need to be realistic with themselves about what they can do, and not push themselves too hard. - Scheduling time for themselves: Creators should also schedule time for themselves. This could be taking a day off or just taking an hour out of the day for themselves. This is important so creators can relax and recharge. - Focusing on their mental and physical health: It's important for creators to focus on their well-being when they're feeling overwhelmed or stressed. This includes things like getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly.  - taking a break from creating content: ​​If creators are feeling overwhelmed or stressed, it's good for them to take a break from creative work. This could be taking a day off or even just taking an hour out of the day for themselves. It’s not a shame. -  Use AI tools to create content and simplify your process: AI tools can support many creative tasks, from generating ideas to assisting in scripts and visual designs. You can already use tools like Jarvis for your writing, Canva for design, and Veed new tool to create ideas for your youtube videos, and you will soon be able to use Supercreator which will allow you to go from ideation to creation in minutes.  We all want to do well and make a difference in the world. But it's important not to forget about ourselves and our own needs, just remember that taking care of yourself will ultimately allow you to be more effective when creating art on behalf of others!  Thank you for reading my blog post! Supercreator is on a mission to provide news, insights, and tools for creators that will help them grow and reach new heights! Subscribe to our newsletter here and help us continue our mission!