Hot-Feet Creators

Darlene has been a creator since before the term was cool. She’s grown multiple five-figure followings across various social platforms, but she’s not happy on any of them. Every few months, she finds something new to gripe about. One time, it’s the algorithm. Another, it’s the company ignoring her requests.

Regardless of that month’s flavor of crisis, whenever the waters get tough, Darlene starts venting her frustration. She posts a few rants, interspersed by a few silver linings. “This isn’t working, and I hate it.” “This is better now, I think we’re over the hill.” Inevitably, the crisis doesn’t magically resolve, or at least not the way Darlene hoped it would. The result? Darlene dramatically quits, proclaiming her future now lies with another, newer, perhaps currently a little shinier platform…and the cycle begins anew.

Platforms, like people, change — and not always for the better. Can you accept changes you don’t like? Can you adjust to them? You change too, you know? Why should Facebook make sure your stuff is always popular? Does Twitter owe you an audience? As a creator, it’s easy to believe your chosen theater should compensate for your failures, but then you, too, must compensate for the platform’s mistakes.

You can also yell and leave, of course, but as in any relationship, what good is that going to do? What better thing might follow? I’ve made the mistake of giving up too early several times, but I’ve never written off any one place with a scathing public letter. You never know. If you keep oiling a heavy door, one day, it might reopen. A forest turns into a desert, only to bloom once more as soon as it rains. Opportunities can reappear, but if you’ve burned the bridge, you’ll no longer have access to them.

If you find scorched earth wherever you go, perhaps your feet are just too hot. Cool down, my friend. Not every slow day is a personal slight designed to make you angry. Don’t up and leave over one botched conversation. Settle in. Figure out what’s not working. Adjust. Be the focused paladin riding out the storm, not the leaf getting blown away by the first gust of wind.

You might be a digital nomad, but if, inside your screen, you don’t choose a hill and take a stand, your hard work will never compound into the creative freedom you so desperately crave.