Hello, Rebel, and welcome back to my life, and also welcome to July.
Today I want to ask you not to make money.
When I was at VidCon, I heard some REALLY BIG YouTubers make comments that totally shocked me.
Not because I’d never heard them before, but because I’d only ever heard them about writing, which is my “main” industry.
They talked about some YouTubers through the years who had started YouTube and built channels by doing what was successful or popular.
Some of these YouTubers had achieved tremendous success…and then they quit. They just walked away from their channels.
They quit because they didn’t like what they were doing. They didn’t like creating their content.
Their success and fame meant nothing, because they weren’t happy, because they hadn’t started out doing what they’d really wanted to do.
The reason I was so surprised by this is because I’ve heard this story over and over again about the indie publishing field. This happens ALL the time, so much so that it’s almost a cliche.
I’ve heard it most often with romance. Romance readers are voracious and fiercely loyal, and to the beginning author, it SEEMS really easy to write a romance.
Person meets person, person and person fall in love, some silly misunderstanding drives them apart, they reconcile and do the bad thing on the good foot.
Well, hell, you can just write that story over and over again and boom, you’ve got a million-dollar author career on your hands.
Yeah, that’s not how it works. Or sometimes, that IS how it works…but so what?
I have never met a single author who was happy with their career because of how much money they make.
Happiness as a writer—or any artist, really—comes from a sense of personal fulfillment about your work.
If what you’re writing has no PURPOSE, then why are you doing it?
There are so many jobs out there with no purpose, but they at least come with steady paychecks.
So you shouldn’t start YouTube to make money. You shouldn’t write to make money. You shouldn’t be a filmmaker to make money.
You should do them because you think they’re worthwhile. Because you think that what you’re doing means something, and has a PURPOSE.
Yes, even when you’re filled with existential doubt of your worth as a writer, or, really, even a human being, because we all go through that.
THEN, once you’ve got the best possible book or vlog or film that you can make, THEN you figure out how to turn that into a living and a career.
And I should stress that. I don’t know any authors who are happy because of how much money they make, but I do know a few authors who are unhappy because of how little money they make.
But that’s even more of a reason money needs to be a secondary consideration. If you’re thinking of money first and writing second…boy, you’re just not going to enjoy yourself or what you do or even your fans.
That’s another thing I don’t have time to fully unpack in this video, but: every author I know who’s doing it for the money has the most ATROCIOUS disdain for their fans.
Don’t…please don’t be that person.
I know I sound all super serious about this. And I kind of am. For one thing, I want you, Rebel, to be happy. And you will not be happy if you get into a creative career to make money.
But for another perspective, let me get selfish for a moment.
The arts are filled with people who genuinely care about what we’re doing. We think our work is important.
No, not as important as solving world hunger or curing disease, but still, important in some way. It helps us, and hopefully it helps our audience.
But we live in a world where there is infinite content and only so many eyeballs to consume it. And the people who step into this space to make money are cluttering it up for the people who actually care.
If you’re a kick-ass marketer—fine. Be a marketer. Market content that’s worth marketing. And get paid for it. You should, if you’re making money for the creator. But don’t pretend to be a creator just because you can make money off of it.
That’s it for today, Rebel. I hope this made sense and was maybe helpful to you.
Go ahead and do the usual, give it a like and PLEASE comment with your thoughts. If this is your first time here, maybe tickle that Subscribe button.
By the way, I recently guested over on the Nerdfightersinfo Collab channel. That’s a bunch of nerdfighters who ONLY create videos because they love doing it. There’s a link to that in the doobly-doo. You should go check it out!
Thank you so much for watching, and I will see you tomorrow. Byyye.