I believe that journaling is an art form. And like all art forms it requires patience, skill, and commitment. I also believe that art is about showcasing your reality. Now is art meant to shared publicly? Or is meant to be stored privately? I can’t say, and not even scholars can agree. What I can say with confidence is that in this time of social distancing and stay home orders, creating art is more essential than ever.
I’ve seen a constant flow of influencers, actors, and everyday people going live. Daily vlogs and blogs are the new normal for content creators. But why do many of us think that we need an audience of at least 10k to pay attention to consider ourselves content creators? During this time I’ve noticed myself actually spending more time on YouTube and listening to podcasts than I did before the pandemic. Rather than having these things playing as filler noise, I’ve noticed that I’m actually listening to them.
Through random content I’ve consumed I’ve grown to understand something. Everyone can be a content creator. Especially in a time of social distancing, content bridges the gap between where we are and the people we want to connect with.
Before I continue, I’d like to offer a definition of content. The Merriam Webster definition for content has 4 entries, I’ll be choosing the second. I like the second definition because it dictates this Noun as, “the events, physical detail, and information in a work of art.” (Merriam Webster) I’m treating content as the works of art that an individual produces. Whether it’s on YouTube, TikTok, Spotify, or a watercolor painting you made, I argue that all of that is content. It’s an event, or experience, that you captured in a sensory form. If you can make something visual, textual, audible, then you just made content.
Through the various kinds of content I’ve engaged with I’ve been able to tolerate social distancing. Trust me, I too long for the day I can visit a crowded coffee shop. Id welcome the tired indie playlist and cacophony of chatter that swirls around a neighborhood Starbucks. That sense of company was something I took for granted then.
I mentioned earlier that now Im genuinely listening to the things Id normally tune out . Through observing the content that’s proliferated I noticed that I was not alone. Most content creators are longing for the the daily beats that were taken for granted. The mundane and boring has left the zeitgeist or normal for most of us. From morning workouts, to afternoon coffee runs, or dinner reservations, the everyday seems like a forever ago.
It does seem easy to feel bitter or bored during this pandemic. The truth is that this is our new normal. We have to understand that learning to cope with social distancing is a responsibility we have. The pressure during this pandemic to stay alert of the news and our environment is daunting. I would even say at times it can be overwhelming. That’s why I think that it matters that you attempt to make content.
No matter what way you look at it, human connection enriches our souls. When I start to feel drained I engage with some sort of content. In place of heading to a coffee shop, I play a podcast out loud while sipping on a home made latte and reading emails.
Through a strangers art I’ve been granted a sense of familiarity. Now I’ve never been a person who likes calls. Opting for an in person connection is more my style. However, setting up a FaceTime with a friend does suffice. I would say that crafting a video call is content creation. Consider all the effort it took to create that experience. After having set up a camera and organizing a time, you managed to produce a rich conversation.
While you don’t have a million followers chiming into your chat, you created something that could enrich you and the other person involved. Isn’t that what a work of art is all about?
In my experience, being comfortable in quarantine means maintaining a routine. My daily routine involves both the beats of work and my daily goals. One goal that I actually pushed aside for a long time was creating content.
I define myself as a writer. In college I studied composition. In my professional life, I am a communicator. To my family and friends I am the talker. In all aspects of my life I love to use language to connect with people. That relationship that I forge with language, my building block of choice being written text, is my art. It was through seeing creators push out content that I realized the kairos of this moment.
We should make our own works of art to bridge the gap with the people we miss. Reading home work-out guides reminds me of my affinity for a group class. Watching vlogs about organization helps me get creative in fixing my closet. Interacting with other people’s content gives me a preview of what they miss and what they love. Understanding a person through their art meets a lot of my criteria as a face to face impression.
Creating content should be an avenue that lets you showcase your passion and practice it. Producing your own art can be something simple or as elaborate as you wish. Maybe you have a puzzle somewhere in your house? Well you can capture pics following your progress. Or do you feel inclined to express order a fancy Nikon and start a vlog channel? I say do whatever feels right to you! Just make sure that you do it with a commitment to follow through
Maintaining a daily journal was something I started, and then didn’t do for a few days. I didn’t feel fulfilled keeping my thoughts confined to the leather bound pages under my desk. The content I enjoyed had an audience of more than just 1. Thus, I started blogging again regularly. My form of content is rooted in written text and I understand that’s not the case for everyone.
My hope is that you start to tap into discovering your art form. Right now is the time to most importantly persevere, that being our relationships, our health, and our careers. If you feel overwhelmed by this pandemic then I urge you to turn that fear into inspiration. I believe that inspiration shouldn’t always come from external forces but from the experiences we have inside as fuel. Hopefully, this post provides you with a framework of looking at content creation as less daunting as the polished podcast and videos we’ve seen as standard.
I hope you discover your art form and share with those you want to connect with. While we stay home and social distance we can still maintain the relationships that matter to us.
Author William Samayoa
Marketer by profession and storyteller by passion. L.A. raised, proud Latino, and pop culture enthusiast.