< Go back to blogThe Reality of Creator Burnout: A Candid Conversation with Elle Mills

The Reality of Creator Burnout: A Candid Conversation with Elle Mills

Published: December 2, 2020

Imagine a vibrant, funny, charismatic filmmaker achieving great success. That’s Elle Mills. However, the topic that she has been most associated with lately is the phenomenon of creator burnout and the importance of well-being for content creators.

An Eye-Opening Experience

A colleague introduced me to Elle’s impactful video titled ‘Burnt Out At 19’. It was a revelation – not only did it bring the issue of creator burnout to the forefront, but it did so by capturing the raw reality of its effects. Elle’s ascent was rapid; a whirlwind of dizzying milestones accumulating a million subscribers, coupled with a relentless schedule of tours, conventions, and meet-and-greets. It was an unsustainable pace that left her with no time at home, culminating in an emotional collapse.

In her time away from the digital world, a period marked by intense anxiety and a deepening depression, Elle chose to create a candid video that laid bare the struggles she faced.

Responsibility & Control

The discussion then shifted to who bears the responsibility for preventing creator burnout and what measures could be taken. Is the onus entirely on the creator, or does YouTube, as the platform, share in this? Suggestions have been proposed for the implementation of features that alert creators when they have been active for extended periods, akin to the reminders sent to viewers.

The consensus is that creators are often caught in the glare of the spotlight for too long, risking their well-being—prompting the question of whether interventions are necessary. Fame undoubtedly introduces new pressures, and thus, having a supportive network to remain grounded is vital in the face of swift and substantial recognition.

However, it’s not only up to the platforms; creators themselves must practice restraint. This involves managing their schedules responsibly and being mindful of the undue pressures they might be self-imposing. Platforms can offer tools and resources, but they have their limits.

Moving forward, there is an emphasis on education as a means of prevention. Renowned mental health expert Kati Morton, in her Master Class session for creators at YouTube’s Creator Academy, provided invaluable insights into recognizing the onsets of burnout and adopting strategies to cope with and stave off its debilitating effects.

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