Fame Has a Shadow
I had a somewhat "generic" prologue for this issue ready to go ...
Then I got news that blogger Heather B. Armstrong, known to millions as Dooce, died by suicide.
You can read about Heather here.
But let's talk about you ...
What we do as podcasters can be difficult. Every time we publish an episode, we open ourselves up to criticism from people, most of whom we don't even know. As Heather mentioned in her final blog post (talking about sobriety), it can feel like "living life as a clam without its shell."
This "rawness" is a big reason why people love listening to podcasts. It feels good, and it's helpful, to know there are other people in the world going through the same things you are – not just "bad" things, but also exciting things. And happy things.
But creating this kind of content has a price. It's very easy to become overextended as far as how much of your life you share with others.
I don't have all the answers when it comes to how much of yourself you should share with the world, but I do know this:
- If you want longevity, you need to operate at a pace that's sustainable.
- You will benefit from solid boundaries regarding what you share with the public and it's easier to establish these boundaries before you get a big audience.
- If you live off the praise of others, you will die by their criticism.
YouTube is a great opportunity for some. And there are different ways of how you can take advantage of its power, including anonymous options.
But just because "everybody else" is there, doesn't mean you need to be there as well. There are plenty of people who have had successful online careers without ever putting a video on YouTube.
Pace yourself and work at your own level. If you don't take care of yourself, you won't be able to help others.
Having thoughts of suicide? Please call 988 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources is also a helpful resource.
We need you here.