black Fayorit typewriter with printer paper
Photo by Florian Klauer / Unsplash

I'm tired of letting myself feel cornered when it comes to writing my thoughts down. I have a lot of them. I used to express them during my streams, which I'd do for 30 hours or so a week. I used to express them during podcasts and content forays with friends (and failed business ventures). I'm finding my outlets are way more limited, and that's sort of a good thing.

Back when I was very into content creation, time was an illusion. All that mattered was succeeding in the already-overwhelmed content creator and live streamer space. I wasn't doing half-badly either. I had (and to their credit, still do have) a loyal base of community members who took it upon themselves to throw their time and energy into my content. As someone who's never taken compliments well, this was, and honestly still is, the biggest compliment I've ever received. People who I can now safely consider friends still take the time to show up to my limited streams each week. The hell did I do to deserve that? That tangent aside, I did the "grindset" garbage (and it is garbage) and put my health, both mental and physical, and my relationships, both interpersonal and intimate, on the chopping block.

It is because of this chopping block taking small pieces of each away from me, I realized that I was giving up too much to make content. My spouse was unhappy. My dogs were unhappy. I didn't realize it, but I was ultimately unhappy as I was chasing something that was a fever dream. Realistically, an impossibility. Does that mean I regret it? Not on your life. Honestly it is one of the best choices I ever made. Would I do it again? Probably not, especially if I knew then what I knew now.

This roundabout story is my way of saying that I'm trying to ease myself back into content creation, to tackle it on my own terms and not sacrifice anything that makes me the person I am to continue making that content. If it harms me, I will stop, simple as that. And it's this mentality I wish more hobbyist creators would adopt. Not saying that I'm the end-all, be-all for information or facts here, but from my own in-depth experience and extensive self-reflection, grind culture does nothing but reinforce the capitalist tumor (is that too harsh a word? probably) that is more rapidly than not sucking the good out of content creation.

Tangent time! What do I mean by "capitalist tumor?" Yeah, that was pretty harsh terminology, but I feel it's apt. Capitalism's end-goal is to turn a profit, regardless of the inputs and outputs of the capitalist's efforts. This is to say, when capitalism latches onto art, it starts becoming a numbers game and an effort to please the largest audience possible and stops becoming an expression. This, obviously, isn't always the case, but more often than not it seems to suck the joy out of the things that made the creator of that content so valuable in the first place. Let's take a page out of the annals of video game history.

Will Wright's head with several of his largest games represented in superimposed boxes. The games are SimCity on SNES, The Sims on PC, SimFarm on PC, and Spore on PC
Image from

Game creator and visionary Will Wright wanted to make simulations, and was one of the first non-zero-sum games to be released: SimCity. A simple concept with some very not-so-simple mechanics: build and manage a city with all its challenges and difficulties. This includes traffic, policing, health, fire prevention, education, and so much more, right down to natural disasters and how one recovers from those. It's one of the quintessential city simulators, and for good reason: it's the OG. It's the first there, and set the bar for so many games to follow. But Will Wright wasn't content to stop there. He built farm simulations (SimFarm), people simulations (The Sims), and even entire species simulations (Spore). After a while, Maxis, the company Wright founded, was purchased by Electronic Arts.

I know what most will think, that EA is evil and drained the company of any creative value until it stopped producing massive profits and they pulled the plug on the company as a whole. I won't dispute that, as it's pretty much exactly what happened. In an effort to please shareholders (in which it displeased many long-time fans of EA), EA closed Maxis down and cancelled pretty much everything Maxis had going for it with the exception of the money-printing The Sims franchise which is in its fourth major version (excluding console exclusives like The Urbz: Sims in the City and such).

The Disney logo dominates the center of an image with Marvel characters on the left and Star Wars characters on the right
Image from The Direct

The next example is less obvious, but still has a direct impact on me personally: Disney. The House of Mouse is a powerful one, and their recent expansion into non-original IP has impacted me in a huge way. I've been a Star Wars fan since I was a wee lad, and as far as I'm concerned Star Wars has been a prime example of the soul-sucking nature of capitalism on art. Star Wars was never really a non-capitalist enterprise (see the billions in toy sales that Lucas managed to rake in during his ownership of the franchise), but it at least had a heart that made things feel connected and fleshed out. I'm leaving this vague intentionally because I'd like to dive into why Disney has saddened me as much as they have, but Star Wars has been nothing but rocky under Mickey's leadership. Marvel had an amazing run, but it, too, has hit a creative and innovative wall that has really deflated the value and interest I have in their characters and stories. Again, I'll dive into that in a separate post when I have more of a point to make.

What is the point? Burnout sucks, dawg, and most of the joy of creating for me was sucked out because of capitalist notions and "grind culture." Let this be a meandering tale that warns you of the dangers of capitalism when it comes to artistic expression. Focus on making something you can be happy with and manage your health and relationships well, because it can really impact your life just a few short years after you peak, even if that peak was mildly successful.

I'm happy to be back making things, though. I missed the creative hellscape that is the 21st century.

Another attempt at content... creationing?

I'm tired of letting myself feel cornered when it comes to writing my thoughts down. I have a lot of them. I'm finding my outlets are way more limited, and that's sort of a good thing.