Big name YouTubers are starting to crack. PewDiePie, Casey Neistat, and Jacksepticeye are just three among many who have expressed stress over the pressure to maintain their video schedule.
It’s not surprising. Casey Neistat was effectively working alone to create a five to 10 minute short documentary every day for over a year. He made a lot of money doing it, but that lifestyle isn’t sustainable.
It’s not even necessarily about the schedule. Countless CEOs work 60+ hours a week for years and do quite well. Rather, among these YouTubers, a common reason cited for burnout is creativity-induced stress.
Their creativity is often why these YouTubers attain such a high level of popularity to begin with. Their personalities are compelling or they live generally interesting lives. But what other medium demands so much of an individual? Certainly, no author, musician or filmmaker would be expected to put out complete creative works every day or every week. Even daily television hosts like Stephen Colbert rely on a team of creative writers to share the burden.
Without a doubt, becoming your own boss by running a YouTube channel is appealing. But what many aspiring YouTubers don’t consider is the potential detriment to their mental health. Those currently in the process of building a career on YouTube should take heed and adjust their plans if it looks like those plans are unsustainable.
It’s easy to predict how many hours a week you’ll need to dedicate to your channel. It’s even relatively easy to project growth and ad revenue. It’s far more difficult to predict when you’ll run out of ideas and what kind of impact that will have on your channel and your life.
Writer’s block is real, and it’s stressful even with a far less demanding schedule. If your schedule demands a video a day, and writer’s block slows your output to a video every other day, your personal income will decline by 50% — a hard pill to swallow.
The best solution is to develop a strategy that either allows for a flexible schedule, relies less on constant creativity or has the ability to support a small staff of creatives to help.