Creators Discover The Joy of Missing Out

Together with:


Just so you don’t miss it, our next event invitation is at the end of this event recap. I kinda wish you’d read the whole thing, but also recognize many of you won’t, so just a heads up. I usually try to bury cool stuff in these long emails just to force you to read them all, sorry not sorry.

Back in April, I was casually chatting with Shira Lazar, founder of What’s Trending, co-author of The JOMO Journal, and generally one of those online creators who just gets it. She understands the business hustle necessary, she understands what makes for a good story, but most critically, she gets the mental health strain that comes with trying to feed the algorithm day in and day out.

And that’s why, when Shira told me she wanted to pull together an event specifically for creators’ mental health during “Mental Health Month” (which was in May), I kinda told her not to. Well, I didn’t say “don’t do it.” I did say, “don’t do it in May if that timeline is just going to create more stress in your life.”

Who cares what month it happens? Mental Health Month is every day if you’re a creative person, it’s not something we get the luxury of focusing on for just a month out of the year.

And so, on June 11th, over 100 creators gathered at The Kinn in Venice for candid conversations, delicious food and drinks, and an environment where everyone felt safe and free to talk openly about the strains that come with being a public figure on the internet. You can see our photo gallery here, and Passionfruit Patreon members will be able to watch some of the conversations shortly.

One participant (not even a speaker, an audience member) asked a question that had multiple people in the room in tears. It wasn’t a particularly personal subject that got her–and shortly thereafter, others in the room, including me–tearing up. It was that she managed to vocalize a frustration that just about every successful creative person has faced, but we never get to talk about with each other.

The gist was: I’m successful at this content thing. I get paid money to make things by a real company that hires creators to create. I’m “influencing” people and getting paid by a network to share that content with the world.

Except! What the clients want, what the bosses want, and what I want are not in sync. The clients want content that’s “safe” and “fun.” The bosses want whatever the clients want. But I want to talk about something real to me, which may not always be “safe” or “fun” by brand standards. Do I keep making content that I don’t love because it pays my bills, or do I run the risk of getting fired or quitting for putting my honest truth out into the world?

It was a question that shook the room, as if you could see visible waves of catharsis emanating from the audience. If you make stuff, sometimes what people are willing to pay you to make doesn’t perfectly line up with what you want to make. It sounds wildly basic perhaps, but it’s rare to find a room full of people who truly understand the despair that comes from such a position.

The hosts, also visibly moved by the question, gave the only answer you can give in these moments (paraphrasing): Do what you gotta do, but you gotta trust your gut.

Again, a perhaps basic-sounding answer, and my fear is that the gravity of this answer is being lost in my attempt to recount a magical moment that you kind of just needed to be there for. But it was the affirmation we sought that our tears betrayed. The reason we were all so welled up in that room is because in our guts, we know we need to make the things we’re passionate about.

Sometimes we make compromises for checks, but if that’s all we ever do, we’re not really scratching our creative itch. We’re creating, but we’re not being creative. Finding the balance there is the secret to creating sustainably and not losing our minds chasing the clicks and likes, and knowing other creators are struggling with that same problem makes it so much easier to manage.

Anyway. I say all of this because what Shira, Jordana, their team, their volunteers, and a slew of sponsors pulled together was astounding. I’ve been to plenty of creator economy parties and influencer mixers in the past; none had the intentionality, the presence, and the connection that this event offered. I’m so appreciative that Passionfruit got to help enable such a thing to exist, and we very much intend to do more.

As in like, later this month, actually. To wit:

Teachable (who also sponsored Tuesday’s event, and is currently sponsoring this newsletter), BlankaCreator Economy NYC, and some other friends are headed to Anaheim during VidCon later this month, and we’ll be hosting a similarly intimate happy hour for creators.

Want to come? RSVP here, then go subscribe to our Patreon for guaranteed VIP entry.

The theme, appropriately, is “No Cap,” because y’all capture enough content in your daily lives. Instead, we’re inviting you to unwind, connect, commiserate, and collaborate with one another, because creating such powerful catharsis among creative peers is exactly what we’re passionate about creating here at Passionfruit.

Hope to see ya in Anaheim.


The Chaotic Aftermath of Our Story About Lillee Jean, the Faux Influencer

Cartoon Primink in front of "Discord copyright infringment" message

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LinkedIn Unveils New AI Tools: Creator Chat Bots, Brand Campaign Generators, and More

AI is coming for LinkedIn creators, whether they like it or not.

By Grace Stanley, Deputy Editor

linkedin ai tools on phones with linkedin logos in the background


Rest In Peace, X Likes

Likes have died on X. Long live likes. 

By Charlotte Colombo, Passionfruit Contributor



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