Over the last few months, I’ve had the opportunity to work on a number of content projects, from the writing to podcasts to video. I’ve worked both independently and as part of a team.
There have been some interesting learnings surrounding the process of creating content, as well as a number of revelations with regards to the types and parts of content creation that I’ve found most energizing and fulfilling.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, when I first added ‘Content Creator’ to my list of careers to explore, I was mostly inspired by my favorite YouTube channels; thus, I had the medium of video in mind. It’s the type of content that I consume most often, so when I put myself in the creator’s shoes, it only seemed natural that I’d gravitate toward video. However, I’ve also worked on other content formats.
I’ve had the opportunity to be part of the crew for a number of short films, and I always find those days invigorating and great learning experience. I’ve even tried my hand at producing a couple of videos myself. However, I got stalled during the editing phase and haven’t found myself compelled to finish.
This has me a little surprised. Am I not passionate about video creation? Am I hitting a mental roadblock because it’s so new to me? I want to see my independent video projects through to the end and assess once I look at the final product. But I also need to prepare myself for the fact that video may just not be my preferred medium.
Podcasting was not a content format I expected to explore. While I listen to podcasts, I’ve never seriously pursued making one myself. It was really by chance that I got involved with my friends’ podcast.
And it’s been so fun to work on! I think it’s a really interesting medium — a great way to reach a wide audience and a compelling storytelling and entertainment mechanism. I’m not in a hurry to create and host my own podcast, but I really enjoy working as a larger team to produce one.
What has been so unexpected during this sabbatical is how energizing and fulfilling writing has been.
Those who know me well might be surprised by that statement. “But Laura, you’ve always been such a good writer!” Yes, I agree that I have a talent for writing. In fact, a lot of my former jobs involved a lot of writing.
But I always felt like writing was such a drawn out and laborious process for me. It took me a long time to even get started on each writing assignment. I obsessed over the right wording. I second guessed whether the final product was good enough.
However, throughout this sabbatical, I’ve had the opportunity to do true creative writing. I get to own the topic. I get to choose the style. Essentially, my writing during this time has reflected my true self. And the words have just flowed.
Independent vs. Team
My initial vision of the career Content Creator was a very solitary, independent role. I imagined conceiving, planning, filming and editing original videos all on my own. It’s not that I prefer to work alone; quite the opposite — in my past jobs, I always relished team projects. But I assumed I would gravitate toward solo content projects for the complete creative control it offers.
In practice, however, I’ve had a lot of revelations when it comes to the team dynamic with content creation. First, media like video and podcasts are almost impossible to do 100% alone. For my videos, for example, while I planned, scripted, organized and even edited on my own, when it came to filming, I needed to enlist Ryan as my cameraman. Of course, there are certain styles of videos I could do alone, but more sophisticated videos require some sort of crew.
But more than what can or cannot be done alone, there’s also the question of how I enjoy working. And in general, I feel like I’ve had a lot more fun working on content projects as part of a team. The podcast has been an absolute thrill to work on. We all have our separate specialties but aren’t so strict with the duties, and we all come together to get the work done.
I think one exception to this dynamic is writing. Maybe because there are a lot less moving pieces, but for the writing projects I’ve done, I find it easier to work alone.
Parts of the Process
Content projects like videos and podcasts have a lot of steps in the process, and I’ve had exposure to all of those phases. So, it’s been interesting to reflect on the aspects I’ve found most fulfilling to work on.
And I almost begrudgingly admit that I actually really enjoy … the planning process!
It’s probably the least sexy, driest part of content creation, so I assumed this would be stage I enjoyed the least. But I get such satisfaction out of finding order in the many things that need to get done. I’ve always been good at organizing and putting together plan, and it’s been interesting to realize how energizing I find it.
Given my fulfillment from planning and the energy I get from working with a team, I think I will seek out more opportunities to work as a producer on creative projects.
Additionally, whether or not it ends up being a career, I want to continue to explore writing. Maybe a feature-length script is in my future. Or even a book!