18 June 2020 | 10 Comments
Over the last week after posting the Stonemaier Games declaration of action in support of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), I’ve spent a considerable amount of time reaching out to, corresponding with, and finding ways to support BIPOC content creators who filled out the form at that link.
A few of those conversations reminded me of some advice I’ve given to various content creators in the past. I can’t recall writing specifically about this topic on my blog before, so I thought I’d share it today.
It can be daunting to post your first podcast, blog entry, or YouTube video, just as it’s scary to get your prototype to the table for the first time. I’ve heard from a decent number of content creators who are waiting for the right moment or until they have a certain number of episodes recorded or until they’re fully geared up or you’re worried if you can sustain it. Perhaps you can relate to this–you don’t want to start off on the wrong foot.
In the meantime, though, they aren’t posting anything. They haven’t even started yet.
What I’ve learned through personal experience and by watching other creators go through this process is that the first post is the biggest barrier. In fact, if you don’t make that first post, there is a significant chance you’ll never post it. Conversely, after you post for the first time, it is significantly easier to post a second time, a third, and so on.
One of the creators I spoke with recently talked about the impact of the coronavirus and how he can’t get together with his friends to post the first video. I talked to him about the “first post barrier,” and I suggested that they simply sync up for a Zoom call and record it as their first episode (we sponsored a few months of Zoom Pro for them to remove the financial barrier). The conditions don’t need to be perfect to create and post something.
By recording/writing and posting a few times, you’ll realize firsthand what you need to do this right and to keep it going for the next 10 weeks and beyond. We tend to get caught up in hypotheticals, but you don’t know 90% of what you need to know until you actually try it. I experience this every time I get a new prototype to the table.
The entire concept of your content is flexible too. You might have a great idea for a series of videos about medium-weight Euro game strategies, but you may find that you have a lot of fun filming your cat push pieces off your gaming table. But it’s all theory and guesswork until you film and post that first video.
If it helps, rest assured that hardly anyone will see/hear/watch your first post. You won’t know who your audience is until you’ve posted a number of times. There’s a certain sense of creative freedom in talking at the void.
And if you’re not able to make that first post, one consideration is you don’t actually care about it as you thought you did (see this post). This is perfectly fine. Sometimes the idea is much more exciting than the actual execution, and if you’re not into it, there’s no need to stress about it. There are plenty of ways to express your creativity.
For the record, I’ve experienced all sides of this. I was very hesitant to start an Instagram account, but then I made my first post a few years ago, and it was so much easier to post again after that. Same with this blog, my personal blog, my YouTube channel, and so on. For every one of them, the first post is me basically saying, “Okay, I’m just going to give this a try and see how it goes.” Those first posts are really rough around the edges, but that’s okay.
I’d love to hear your experiences with posting for the first time in any format. Or if you want to create some kind of content but haven’t done so yet, make your first post today and share it in the comments here.
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