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Mindsets of Let's Players - Active Improvement
Posted by ZeVanillaBear: 19th Nov 2015 at 20:00pm

We discuss the mindsets of Let's Players and possible limitations towards towards a creators personal growth.

Growth in a YouTube channel is something that all creators strive towards and a high majority achieve this, be it a slow trickle or an explosive burst of subscribers. A spontaneously viral video or consistent quality content.

I would argue that consistent quality content is what everyone should strive towards instead of sporadic attempts to create potential viral videos that may vary in quality and content. Yet you don't start out at the top of your game quality wise.

There is a famous quote by Ira Glass which has been retold a few times into videos that makes its' rounds every now and again about how you will make things that aren't great for years but by making more and more you will eventually bridge that gap until it's what you envisioned.

So how do you get better? You improve

Sounds simple right? Wrong. This is a lot of work. A lot of trial and error. A lot of failure and a lot of struggle. One of the most important things you can do is to listen to constructive criticism and act upon it. If people are willing to give you informative feedback on how to improve then it makes sense to act upon it as they're the people that watch you.

Now obviously this isn't always applicable, if you act upon every single piece of feedback for every person then what your content won't know what it is and you may end up not enjoying yourself whilst creating it.
The key thing with all of this is common sense. Have a few people suggested the same thing? Then that's something you may want to act upon.

The main thing that I want to discuss is something that I've only recently learned about through my University work and has helped me identify what I need to change about myself to improve my work and hopefully you will learn something to help your own work.

C S Dweck of Stanford University writes about Fixed and Growth mindsets people adopt. These aren't binary groups for a person as a whole but for different aspects of a persons life and she concludes that these mindsets directly relate to a person's success in such areas as maintaining/finding a job and improvements of creative work.
What is meant by Fixed and Growth mindsets?

Fixed refers to when you close off advancements in an aspect of your life. If you try something and experience failure you conclude you are just not good at it and do not revisit it. Similarly, if you're good at something but you don't attempt to improve on it with the mentality of "I'm good at it already, why should I improve" or "It's working well already, no need to change it".
This leads to stagnation and often dismissal of constructive criticism as you may feel you know best and little else is to be learned from others.

Growth is more or less the opposite. You are open to help and advice and actively work and develop your skills and work. The mentality of "This could be better if..." and wanting to constantly improve your skills.

I like to simplify this idea to a base concept of having either an Open or Closed mind to your craft.
After identifying aspects of your life that is either Fixed or Growth you can discover what areas you can improve upon.

As creators we strive to make the best we can and push ourselves to create greater things. If this is not the case then you need to reevaluate why you create and for what purpose. Failure is a part of this and should not be seen as a dead end but something to learn from.

Here are a few quotes that really sum up a good mentality towards failure:

An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail. - Edwin Land

Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success. - C. S. Lewis

I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying. - Michael Jordan

This translates to all aspects of life but in regards to Let's Players I feel that a high majority of people are stuck in a Fixed mindset towards their content and even pretending to care about improvement.
There are tens of thousands of Let's Play channels on YouTube if not substantially more but only a small percentage of them are considered successful. What makes a successful channel is largely open to debate and is something I will discuss in an upcoming article but in my opinion, the majority of people do not actively improve upon their work or turn away at the first sign of failure and this is why so many channels aren't larger than they already are.

What kind of mindset do you have towards Let's Playing or your creative work?
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