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6 tips about self-care from creators at VidCon 2019

It’s a wrap! The Patreon team recently got back from spending a weekend with video creators and their fans at VidCon in Anaheim, California. We’re happy to report that we lost no luggage in transit, and jet lag is at a minimal (nothing coffee won’t fix).

There was a ton to learn from video creators this year at VidCon. While creators discussed many topics, from equipment buying to community building, one theme seemed to reappear often — self-care.

Since video creators work hard and work often, it’s no wonder that self-care came up so much at VidCon. Having a Youtube or Twitch channel is like running an entire business — by yourself. Whether it’s marketing, communicating with fans, or creating your videos, you do it all. Without proper self-care, all that work can take a toll and can even lead to burnout.

Because not everyone could make it out to Anaheim, our social media team captured a ton of great advice from video creators at VidCon. We thought we'd consolidate all those useful tweets here, so next time burnout hits, you won't have to face it on your own.

Because we know how important self-care is (we struggle with it, too), here are 6 tips from creators at VidCon:

1. How to deal with negativity online

Embedded content: https://twitter.com/Patreon/status/1150114445089107968?s=20

Unless you're totally unplugged, online negativity is something most of us deal with at one point or another. And it can be a real drain. At the "Finding Your People" panel at VidCon, video creator Rebecca Zamolo said she deals with negativity online by shifting her focus. Instead of focusing on negative comments, she looks to ones that are positive and supportive. This helps her ignore the haters, so she can get back to creating in a positive state of mind.

Since negativity is part of online life, and it can be difficult to ignore, here are some blog posts to help you deal with it:

“If you’re not cheering me on, why would I care what you think? I’ve got no time for that. I’ve got 95,000 people who do care about what I’m doing, so why am I going to care about a few people that are are being mean? I’m open to criticism, but there’s a difference between criticism and being just plain rude.”

2. How to balance life with being a creator

Embedded content: https://twitter.com/Patreon/status/1149391178887884800?s=20

As excited as you are to work on your next project, life happens. It doesn't stop because you had an exciting visit from the muse, and it never will. Because of this fact, it's important to find balance between life and art, and that means taking a break to recharge when needed.

At VidCon, creators Louie Castro and Illymation talked about how spending time with friends, and making a realistic schedule, helps them stay ahead of creator burnout.

Since creative careers are a lot to manage, here are a couple blog posts to help you get some of that work/life balance back:

“I keep a red notebook on my desk with printouts of reviews, letters, notes from readers and patrons. That notebook is a little thicker every month, and there are words in there that make me tear up. So I read that.”

3. Not living and dying by the numbers

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Creators need to make a living just like everyone else. Maybe they want to expand their creative business. Or perhaps they want to quit their day job so they can focus on creating full time. Whatever your need for income is, every business has slow months, and if your creative confidence is tied to your earnings, those fluxuations can be an emotional roller coaster ride.

Or, as Nyma Tang said at VidCon, living by the numbers can make you, "really, really sad."

Since income is important, but so is internal motivation, here are a couple blog articles to help you find your “why”:

4. Picking your tiers and benefits

Embedded content: https://twitter.com/Patreon/status/1149471995806961664

Figuring out what benefits to offer your patrons can be challenging. When you're picking what to offer with your Patreon membership, take care not to offer benefits that cause you too much stress. At the "How to Run a Membership for Fans" panel, Kati Morton talked about how physical benefits, like t-shirts, are awesome, but also time consuming and resource heavy.

Since picking manageable tiers and benefits can be tricky, here are a couple blog posts to help you find what’s right for your patrons (and for you):

5. Battling creator burnout**

Embedded content: https://twitter.com/Patreon/status/1149439080465178624?s=20

At a mental health panel at VidCon, Gabbie Hanna said she dealt with creator burnout by flipping the script. Gabbie said that when she's faced with difficult times, it's important to remind yourself that it's not a failure — it's a learning expererience. By reframing the experience in a more positive way, Gabbie is able to get through the experience (and learn something along the way).

Since burnout is real, and pretty much all creators deal with it, here are a couple blog posts to help you when the going gets tough:

6. Getting deep with your fans

Embedded content: https://twitter.com/Patreon/status/1149473992870227969

Sometimes. due to algorithms and short attention spans, putting out content can feel like shouting into the void. At the "How to Run a Membership for Your Fans" panel, Glen Henry from Beleaf in Fatherhood talked about how he gets relief by challenging the need to post constantly on social media — instead, he makes sure to take some time to post for just his most loyal fans.

Since social media can be overwhelming, here are a couple blog articles about anchoring your career in the group that matters most (your fans):