Authenticity v. Inauthenticity and Creator Burnout

It seems like everyone today wants to be a content creator. With this, there are also bombardments of ads capitalizing on this fact. But at the same time, it seems like a lot of content creators are experiencing burnout and are not enjoying their art anymore.

Creativity: Where does art come from?

Toward a psychology of the artist” by Nietzsche, p. 518 in The Portable Nietzsche 

[8] “If there is to be art, if there is to be any aesthetic doing and seeing, one physiological condition is indispensable: frenzy. Frenzy must first have enhanced the excitability of the whole machine; else there is no art. All kinds of frenzy, however diversely conditioned, have the strength to accomplish this: above all, the frenzy of sexual excitement, this most ancient and original form of frenzy. Also the frenzy that follows great cravings, all strong affects; the frenzy of feasts, contests, feats of daring, victory, all extreme movement; the frenzy of cruelty; the frenzy in destruction; the frenzy under certain meteorological influences, as for example the frenzy of spring; or under the influence of narcotics; and finally the frenzy of will, the frenzy of an overcharged and swollen will. What is essential in such frenzy is the feeling of increased strength and fullness.”  [ … ]

[9] “In this state one enriches everything out of one’s own fullness: whatever one sees, whatever one wills, is swelled, taut, strong, overloaded with strength. A man in this state transforms things until they mirror his power – until they are reflections of his perfection. This having to transform into perfection is – art. Even everything that he is not yet, becomes for him an occasion of joy in himself; in art man enjoys himself as perfection. It would be permissible to imagine an opposite state, a specific anti-artistry by instinct – a mode of being which would impoverish all things, making them thin and consumptive. And, as a matter of fact, history is rich in such anti-artists, in such people who are starved by life and must of necessity grab things, eat them out, and make them more meager.”

Will-swollen artists create out of confidence and push strength in authenticity – creating from their own will and self-influenced decision-making. “The frenzy of will, the frenzy of an overcharged and swollen will” may come from boredom; this turns to seeing artistic value in anything. 

Anti-artists create in a sense of imitation and repetition and consumption. Creators who are funneled into a niche, or follow the non-exhaustive pipeline of trendy topics online. Anti-artists may be consumptive from being in a state of fear or ressentiment of other creators as well as financial security, and, of course, The Algorithm.

  • How to make videos to fit The Algorithm? 
    • Creating videos (art) that you think other people will like 
    • Creating art because the content is trendy and you may gain popularity 
    • Jumping on the bandwagon for “clout” or for gaining views, follows, money

With this view on art, it can be understood that Nietzsche’s “artist” and “anti-artist” can be turned to creators that seem authentic and inauthentic. Will-swollen art and strength in confidence comes from being excited about sharing topics/ art/ opinions

Amanda from Swell Entertainment, Tiffanyferg, and many other creators would be an amazing examples of this. Both of their content always feels authentic because they take topics and bring their own bright energy to them. 

Content can seem un-authentic when a creator does not bring their own excitement and confidence to the topic. Or in other words, if it is apparent that there is no will or drive in the work. This can be seen in works of art from an artist versus their commissioned work – there can be obvious differences when artists feel free versus when they feel constricted. 

In a video on Jenna Marbles, Cancel Culture, and Creator Authenticity, Donna from Psych IRL, says from her research, authenticity comes from change and growing as a person, rather than stagnation. And so a Youtube channel can be seen as a diary of someone growing. Donna also points out that we view our close friends as a person who is in a process but how social media creates a forever-you and how the process can disappear if people don’t pay attention or at least respect the process of growing as a human being. Rather than seeing time “in a linear fashion” as Donna says, we have a sort of digital timeline that appears to be stagnant and never-changing. It just is. And this breaks us away from seeing people as people, and especially and most importantly, as growing people.

I believe this fits very well into the model we are working with, as a swollen will will also look beyond its current self; to learn, to grow, to expand abilities, to reach new heights. When our will excites us, this will utterly feel like the opposite to stagnation as we are driven to move and create.

Again: “Frenzy must first have enhanced the excitability of the whole machine; else there is no art.” All creators may experience burnout but, as Amanda said, doing what you want and being authentic in your art more than definitely adds to the ability to create. 

The creator Mina Le, in a video on capitalism, fast fashion, trends, and consumption, we can also see the same argument being made on authentic and inauthentic creation. Fast content is made using trends that originated somewhere as an original idea that may have gone viral. Many forms of social media approve of following trends and making what most creators are making because people enjoy differing experiences or perspectives.

While there is a large “environmental impact” with “fast fashion” – “fast content” creates a largely negative impact on creators creativitally. What is harmful in these events is that content can be made too quickly and this is making it harder for creators to create outside of trends. Because there is a large sense of financial security in following what is trendy, aka what gets views, watch time, and creates revenue. 

What is also harmful, is the existence of “micro-trends” as people will feel pressured to produce content as quickly as possible – within days/hours of an event – or else they are in the dust of other creators who are able to produce this. 

What Mina suggests, in the world of fashion but we can also expand this outward to all creators, is to find a community or aesthetic to “side-step micro-trends and overconsumption”. In communities, people are generally themselves and are able to create freely because their brand is not based around trends, it is based around a characteristic that other people share. 

Differences in Content Creating Star Wars Style

The Light Side

  • Finds strength in wisdom
    • Loyalty
    • Compassion
    • Peace


  • Creates content if, when, how, and what they want to
  • Takes time for their [he]art
    • Ensures truth
    • Enjoys the art and community aspect

The Dark Side

  • Finds strength in emotions / passion
    • Jealousy 
    • Hatred 
    • Fear (of loss)


  • Creates content that will gain in monetary values 
  • Takes topics and flips out content
    • Ensures a set schedule
    • Enjoys the popularity and financial aspect

What does “art” mean?

L’art pour l’art” by Nietzsche, p. 529-530 in The Portable Nietzsche 

[24] L’art pour l’art [ … ] “A psychologist, on the other hand, asks: what does all art do? does it not praise? glorify? choose? perfer? With all this it strengthens or weakens certain valuations. Is this merely a “moreover”? an accident? something in which the artist’s instich had no share? Or is it not the very presupposition of the artist’s ability? Does his basic instinct aim at art, or rather the sense of art, at life? at a desirability of life? Art is the great stimulus to life: how could one understand it as purposeless, as aimless, as l’art pour l’art?

One question remains: art also makes apparent much that is ugly, hard, and questionable in life; does it not thereby spoil life for us? And indeed there have been philosophers who attributed this sense to it: “liberation from the will” was what Schopenhauer taught as the over-all end of art; and with admiration he found the great utility of tragedy in its “evoking resignation.” But this, as I have already suggested, is the pessimist’s perspective and “evil eye.” We must appeal to the artists themselves. What does the tragic artist communicate of himself? Is it not precisely the state without fear in the face of the fearful and questionable that he is showing? This state itself is a great desideratum; whoever knows it, honors it with the greatest honors. He communicates it – must communicate it, provided he is an artist, a genius of communication. Courage and freedom of feeling before a problem that arouses dread – this triumphant state is what the tragic artist chooses, what he glorifies.”

According to Nietzsche, there is no “art for art’s sake” as art always holds a political stance / an opinion on the subject matter. And this stimulates us and helps us understand everything within and around us. 

Schopenhauer believes art allows us to escape from our own will and desires. To this, Neitzsche argues that artists cannot not communicate who they are in their art and artists grow from this. Confronting our own opinions on things forces us to choose an opinion and reflect on our own thoughts. In art, and the time art takes, this reflection period cannot remove us away from our own will but in all actuality, we reach further into our own will. 

From here, in Heidegger’s work, we all know that art moves us from points of autopilot and analysis. And in analysis, we can find authenticity. When in the mode of analysis, we look within ourselves for what we believe to be true, for the least influenced points of opinion. In art, for me, I can become anxious to go from normal life to … art. And this is because I know that I will, more or less, leave this world. Everything else does not exist. It may feel like autopilot when hours move past me, but I think about every action that I do with great intention. 

From the “Iced Coffee Hour” podcast, Jennette McCurdy shared that you have to have all of yourself and your passion in your art, otherwise the end results will not be the same, or worse, the end results will not occur. With this, our self is completely found within our art and it shows when we are missing from our work. 

One host says that he is deeply emotional about his work but also creates for his audience. In a very real way, learning from your audience on what topics to cover can be interesting and eye-opening. In general, I would suggest creating art in ways that inspire rather than in ways that will bring in the big bucks. 

Overall, “Art is the great stimulus to life” as it allows us to manifest our own opinions. Take for example, if you create a piece of art and find slowly that it doesn’t agree with you (your gut feeling), then you may find it is because your opinion is changing on the subject matter. 

One interesting thought that Donna from Psych IRL shared is that Jenna Marbles deleting her art “is the end of authenticity.” This is because viewers are able to watch Youtube channels like a diary of a person, growing as a person. And by Jenna Marbles deleting her past actions and opinions on things, the ability to watch her grow as a human is gone. 

As I said before, your reflected opinion is what is authentic to you. As it stands, this would make Jenna’s channel in its entirety an authentic version of her current self. But why is this “the end of authenticity”? Because your current self does not exist. And after creating authentic art endlessly, your opinions on topics will change very often. 

Creator Burnout

If “Art is the great stimulus to life” then how does creator burnout happen? The short answer is that this is when creators lose their passion for their art; their content is no longer art or authentic, or they are stretching themselves too thin.

Creators that look to shoot out as much content as possible will more than likely experience creator burnout. And this is easier in the case of inauthentic content that follows trends with pre-done research. Creating and enjoying art as art should not cause creator burnout if it is done in moderation to everything else in life. 

Creator burnout comes from wanting to do as much as possible with only so much available time. Amanda from Swell Entertainment calls this on being “on” all the time. Or, not enough time is focused on the art and too much is turned to pushing out content on multiple social media platforms, networking, and communication in general. Tiffanyferg has also mentioned this in her videos. This can also cause a lot of social anxiety. I know that I experience this when my videos gain traction but I also try my best to not let it affect me. 

Amazingly enough, Amanda said the same thing in the context of her channel gaining traction. And in regards to creator burnout, she said that she will just keep going with her planned videos and not funnel herself into this niche that gained traction.

Both Amanda and Tiffanyferg have also both suggested: don’t monetize every single part of your life. There is a work-life balance that needs to be present when you, yourself, are the asset. In making a living off of art, and wanting to stay authentic, creator burnout can happen to authentic and inauthentic creators alike when there is no moderation in life and the driven will.

Amanda suggests to “take stalk in your life” and from listening to her story on her experience blowing up on Youtube and then feeling burnt out … The advice here is to look at yourself through the lens of others around you. What would a stranger think if they saw you? 

This is a form of objectifying yourself as a human being, rather than simply thinking of yourself as a content creator who needs to grind. Stepping away from our wills is what Schopenhauer writes as what we find in our own art. But we may also find this sort of meditation in the grind itself as a sort of will that is not our own. This is not meditation, this is capitalizing on your being as a creative person. This is not escaping from wills and desires, this is transforming your wills and desires into that of the audience, the internet, the Youtube trend page, or the algorithm. And in total, this is no longer art but simply a labor-intensive job that takes a toll on your body and mind. Which, of course, turns into burnout. 

Here is my number one suggestion: Let’s just normalize content creator’s taking hiatuses from their platforms. 

Making A Living Off Art Authentically

It has to be mentioned here that people do make a living on creative content and may even have to make enough money to pay their employees. 

And it should be possible to create art in a way that does offer a financial aspect while still staying true to one’s authentic self. Amanda from Swell Entertainment suggests not to choose too-narrow of a niche and I would pretty much agree. 

Choosing a sustainable niche would be the optimal advice in this instance. One of complete authenticity in your person is possible, if your brand is yourself, just as long as the power that comes with fame does not corrupt your moral compass to create for yourself. 

If your art is Youtube, to share your opinion, or to create any sort of digital content, I would suggest to be a trendsetter rather than a trend follower. UNLESS, of course, that trend truly stimulates and inspires you to create. 

In the case of the latter, you are authentic and trendy at the same time! In the former, you are authentic and a trendsetter! And people truly appreciate fresh content! What sells is authenticity, and in this, is passion. And so here is my cheese for today: Just be you and be passionate in what you do.

And so I would like to end us with a question from Donna from Psych IRL, from her Jenna Marbles video: Should we normalize creators deleting content to reflect their current opinions? Or, should we normalize creators having a diary-like channel that shows authentic progression? 

To this, I would say that it really is in the hands of the creator. But even in that video, Donna looks for a Philly D reaction video to himself in the past and was only able to find the original video because Philly D took them down. However, the original was on the internet, as all things are forever on the internet as you post them (especially for people who are well known!). 

And for this reason alone, creators should lean toward the latter, the authentic-diary type of channel as this is the most upfront form of being a creator. The skeletons in the closet will always be there, and people will find them, so just be honest.