As a Caribbean Content Creator, I’ve worked for free for a very long time. Since 2008 I’ve steadily created content. I wrote a book. Published two for Michael Cozier. Helped more than 25 Caribbean writers get published for the first time. In 2018 I stumbled back into video content to promote my books. Inspired by Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, I started RedwallNews. The point isn’t to boast but to show a commitment to process. To doing. I did it because I love it but… oh yeah, there’s a but.
Somewhere in 2022 I got distracted from the process and started focusing on business and money that wasn’t coming in from content creation. It happened when I started working with Mr Bat and Farmer Harry. Something inside me broke when Mr Bat died. I felt like he had contributed so much of his time, skill and energy; and although he constantly reassured me that he wasn’t doing it for the money I felt bad that he wasn’t able to benefit more than he did financially. Maybe I’m wrong to feel this way. I’m merely telling you how I feel. I said it early: as a Caribbean Content Creator I’ve worked for free for a very long time, and while that’s ok I’d love to be in a position to do more for the people I’m privileged to work with on an ongoing basis.
After Mr Bat died, everything became hard for me. I stopped focusing on the process and concentrated on outcomes and rewards that weren’t forthcoming. This goes all the way back to my early days as a self-published writer. What’s it called? Burnout? By shifting my focus to rewards and outcomes I crashed. Simple processes became hard. When you’re deflated do you know how hard it is to take a memory card out of a camera and plug it into a computer to transfer files?
As a new or experienced content creator there’s a possibility you’re going to work for free for a long time. At any point in your journey, if you prioritize the outcome or rewards over your creative process you’re going to become an unhappy creator. Then you’re going to become useless to yourself and your audience.
As I look forward to 2024 my mission is to reclaim the joy of the creative process, focus on the people I serve and build a business I’m proud of.