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Terrified To Create – The Pressure Of Making YouTube Videos

This is something that has been bothering me for quite some time now, and even though there are many others who have talked about it before, I still need to get it off my chest.

Making YouTube videos is a hard thing the longer you do, or try to do it. To me, the hardest part about it is the pressure. The pressure to create outstanding content on YouTube. I feel this pressure so much that I can’t bring out more regular videos simply because I’m working so hard to make them the best of my ability. I see all those musicians on YouTube creating brilliant content and I’m feeling that in order to compete in this playing field, I am going to have to produce at the same level as them, even though I’ve got a much smaller audience supporting me in this. Back in the days when YouTube consisted of a bunch of amateurs, turning on their webcams and start singing and scratching their guitars, this competition didn’t exist, at least not to this extent. There was no need for high quality items to produce videos. (How I miss the good old days!) Besides nowadays, there are big production companies and networks supporting YouTubers. There are even channels that just started out who, with the help of a network, have gained more subscribers than channels that have been working hard on their own for three or more years. The smaller content creators are intimidated by larger YouTubers. The big ones get even bigger and the small ones stay small. If you haven’t started a channel until this point, you’re screwed. You won’t get big without the help of a network or a company. Whilst "getting big" should always have the right intentions, there are two different perspectives: Get attention to become rich and famous or get attention to spread your message and to reach and/or touch people with what you do. I don’t need to tell you which side I’m on, do I?

Personally, I’ve always been sceptical when it comes to business and money, the serious side of music, but it seems like I need to take that step to achieve this goal of getting my music out there, to people who may like it or get comfort, joy, entertainment, just anything out of it. This decision, however, doesn’t help me coping with the pressure and anxiety I feel about producing high quality content. I’ve always been a perfectionist, I’m never content with myself and with what I create, so I always try to get it as close to perfection as my capabilities allow me to. I don’t stop when there is nothing left to add, I stop when there is nothing left to take away. If it doesn’t get to that level, I simply throw the whole thing away. Lauren O’Connell so magnificently put it: "It's easy to get consumed by the technical stuff, and then you spend a month chasing the perfect digital reverb for a cowbell that has a two-bar solo on a song you're just going to cut anyway."

On the other hand, music is and will always be the most emotional thing in my life. So, as a sensitive person of the heart, I also want my singing and playing to be as pure and natural as it can be. To maintain the balance between passion and reason is not always easy to handle.

The ambitions of progressing music- and video-wise are still there, they even grow, but ultimately, they hold me back from actually starting somewhere, they cause a serious block inside my head and I only procrastinate, I’m terrified to create. Every time I start writing a song or try out a new cover, I catch myself worrying about what people will think about it once it’s up on YouTube. Since every human being wants to be loved, it’s just a natural thing for everybody to do something in order to impress someone. So, my anticipation is: If you don’t like what I do, you eventually don’t like me. And that is basically what I want to attain though, because I’m not playing music for myself only. Maybe it’s too much to ask, maybe it’s a naiv thing to say and maybe I’m thinking too big, but: In my life, I want to make other people happy and make a difference in this world, leave a trace with whatever I can do. And in my eyes, that is any kind of art, whether it’d be music, poetry, movies, theater or… YouTube videos.

All I can do is hope that my YouTube audience and true listeners accept the perfectionist that I am and will support me no matter how irregular my uploading schedule might be or how long it will take me to produce a new video. I'm holding on to the assumption that as much as courage helps me to put something out there, fear will protect me from bad decisions or taking the wrong path in the music business. And possibly, my doubts will only lead me to better results. Just as Leonardo da Vinci said: “The worst evil which can befall the artist is that his work should appear good in his own eyes.“

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