How to Handle Pressure from Your Audience / Fans

It’s difficult to navigate realms in which your work is consumed by passive onlookers. Creative pursuits can bring forth unique struggles between the desires of the creator and his / her fans. A dissonance between a creator’s interests and their fans’ is an especially stressful time. The creator is trapped when they lose motivation to continue working on something many people yearn for and enjoy. 

Creativity seems to dislike being forcefully pulled in specific directions. 

As you’re pulled by your audience to continue directing your creativity in a manner which they’re used to, you’ll begin noticing your motivation to create lose momentum. 

Soon after an external party attempts to lasso the creativity they’ve grown accustomed to from someone else, they’ll be doing their part to kill it

This article is written to help you navigate a context in which your creativity is deviating from what your audience is used to. Specifically, this article hopes to mention how critical it is to not cave into the desires of others in your creative pursuits. 


Scurrying to Satisfy Will Leave Your Fans Perpetually Unsatisfied

The attainment, and expression of interest from fans who enjoy the work you put out is predictable in nature. There seem to be distinct phases to the relationships your fans develop with you and your work. Early on, they’re loving, and are likely to express their loving interest in your work. 

You’ll get complimented, you’ll get good reviews, and others’ acts of being pleasantly surprised with your work will entice them to share it with their friends. 

As these fans stick around to follow your work for a while, some will become increasingly entitled to an opinion about it. Their entitlement may very well be justifiable, as they may have done their part to ensure your success in the field you’re in. 

They’ll begin to give you pointers, voice critiques, and present advice regarding your future work and actions. They’ll preface their comments by saying that they’ve been longtime fans, and that they love the work that you typically put out. 

The inevitable “but” is sure to come however, and their “buts” can be seen from a ways away. They’ll voice an innocent critique. They’ll make a small suggestion, and they’ll tell you that things are fine the way they are but that they can be better if you follow their advice.

The insignificance of the pointers you receive from these loving fans does well to entice your willingness to change. You’ll thank them for their suggestions and seriously consider what they’ve told you. 

You likely pride yourself on being respectful toward those who’ve shown your creativity respect. Since they’ve accepted your creativity for what it was before, maybe their educated opinion today is worth seriously considering. 

As you make adjustments to your output based on that early feedback, you’ll come across more and more of it. You’ll continue working and continue growing. While you do, your fans will continue hoping to have their opinions heard. 

That ride gets rough however.

You’ll come to realize that any formidable amount of growth in the size of your audience is not conducive to your habit of scurrying to meet the demands of each person. You’ll be pulled in every direction, you’ll witness loyal fans becoming contradictory of one another, and you’ll lose agency over your own creativity. 

Even if a loss of a sense of purity behind your creativity is worth it, know that your audience will never be satisfied with your attempts to satisfy them. They’ll perpetually keep tweaking, asking for more, and suggesting that you make changes to satisfy them. Your act of doing abiding to their demands will only encourage their act of requesting that you do. You’ll be stuck in a cycle which sucks away at your creative growth, which will inevitably result in a worsened product for your audience to perceive. 

The Fans You Have Today Liked Yesterday’s Work

A tough realization to make is one which consistently points at you being alone in your pursuit toward creative output. 

Notwithstanding the numbers of followers, viewers, and subscribers you have, you’ll always be left alone to dig in the pits of creativity for the next idea / creation. It’ll just be you in there with a hatchet and a shovel, while those who’ve liked what you came up with previously cheer from the surface. 

Make it a point to remember that any fans you have today are here because they liked the work you put out prior. They were hooked on a certain gem you dug up a week, a month, or a year before. They’ll cheer you on while you continue digging. They’ll hope the gems you bring up to the surface today look and glisten like the ones which initially caught their eye. 

Sometimes, these loyal fans will not like what they see. 

Your creative conscience will sometimes pull you in directions which differ to what your fans have become accustomed to. The fans you have today may not have signed up to enjoy the work you put out tomorrow. 

They may question your decisions to follow your creative visions toward something which deviates from the track record you’ve predictably established. They won’t hold your satisfaction in your own work as highly as they hold their satisfaction in it. They’ll assume a consumer role in the relationship you have with them.  

What may entail creative growth in your own mind, can very much look like regression from the perspective of those who’ve enjoyed your previous output. To them, any deviation would mean regression. 

They will voice their displeasure, and will tell you how much worse you’ve gotten. Remember though, if your creativity is driving the movement which they’re perceiving as regression, it is best to flow with where your desires take you. 

Know that your fans’ responses to your growth simply stem from a disdain for change and alteration. They have expectations they want you to uphold. Their expectations, though, seldom account for, and entice your creative growth. 

The Tough Exchange You Have to Make

As you push through the barriers which your fans’ expectations put up, you’ll notice it harder and harder for your fans to change their tastes to match with yours. 

You’ll lose old fans as you allow your creativity to roam free, and you’ll gain new ones which enter this cycle not knowing about the heartbreak that’s yet to come. As you push the boundaries of your creative growth, expect followers to fall by the wayside. 

The belief you’re obligated to adopt in such cases, is one which trusts your future creative outputs more than yesterday’s. 

In putting the fickle subsets of your fans through a series of crises by way of change and growth, you’ll be electing to choose the path of creative freedom over them. 

It is a tragic instance in some cases, as these people may have encouraged you to keep growing early on. Remember that your creativity is the breathing life force of all success you see however. In the realm of important exchanges, exchanging old fans for your creative freedom is a tough, but necessary exchange to green-light.  

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Disclaimer of Opinion: This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims. Please critically analyze all claims made and independently decide on its validity.