In yesterday’s episode of Ordinary Chaos, Chris talked about wanting his writing to make a difference to people, whether he made money on it or not.
He’s not alone in this wish.
I took the mic for a moment to tell listeners—and now I’m telling you, readers—if you are consuming content made by someone else and are enjoying it, let them know. I think this weighs more for small-time, not-famous creators who get substantially less feedback than their famous counterparts. Or maybe just more for anyone who reads their own emails.
After our conversation, I carved out a little bit of time each day the following week and sent emails to people whose work I really enjoy. Some I heard back from, some I didn’t, and that’s OK. Maybe it made their day and maybe it was another email to deal with. You can’t control how people accept gratitude, only whether or not you give it.
(On the flip side, when someone shows you gratitude or pays you a compliment, accept it.)
This is even truer for consuming free content. Because it might be free for you to read/watch/look at/listen to, but at a minimum, it takes time for creators to create. In some cases, it costs money to be able to share it, or costs money to acquire the tools to create with.
It seems like spring and summer 2020, we had a strong appreciation for these folks and that as life has crept towards “back to normal,” the appreciation has waned.
This message is for any of your content creators—writers, musicians, YouTubers, podcasters, visual artists, comedians, dancers. Who is making the stuff that you enjoy? Tell them thank you.
It might feel uncomfortable or vulnerable, but it’s vulnerable to do creative work and put it out there. Have you noticed the internet is not shy with negative opinions? Add some weight to the other side of that scale. Push through your discomfort and tell them their work is meaningful to you.
P.S. Leave a comment with work done by a small and/or local artist so we can help spread the word. Who they are, what they do, maybe how you found them, and where we can find their work. I’ll compile a list once we have one and share it.