This Is What It’s Like To Be A Neurodivergent Content Creator

Draining schedules and coping with events? It’s stressful AF.
d3sign via Getty Images

If you’ve clicked on this article, chances are you’ve seen the uproar of content creators that have flooded our screens post-pandemic. From lifestyle and fitness to blueberry milk nails, the search and demand for dopamine-filled content is at an all-time high.

The truth is, being a content creator in 2023 is hard. From filming for several hours a day, managing content schedules, and liaising with brands and agencies on paid partnerships – it’s a full-time job. Take all of that stress and incorporate neurodivergence into the mix and you’ve got yourself a cocktail of chaos.

Speaking as a neurodivergent content creator myself, I sought to talk to other creators like myself to discuss the ups and downs of being a neurodivergent influencer.

Facing daily struggles as a neurodivergent person

Talking to sustainable fashion and beauty influencer @demicolleen, we discussed the struggles of ADHD she deals with daily.

Finding the motivation to get started is a daily struggle,” said Demi Colleen.

“Even if it’s something I’m excited about, I’ll find it hard not to procrastinate.”

“I also find it hard to come up with ideas because I have a million thoughts and need help figuring out where to start,” she continues. “I always want to jump from task to task, which is a bad idea when your job revolves around being creative - so many projects go unfinished.”

It’s a classic symptom reported by those with conditions like ADHD. The Mini ADHD Coach explains: “Dopamine is a neurochemical in the brain that plays an essential role in our behaviour and actions.

“These neurotransmitters are possibly why we often have difficulty following through with the activities we once started.”

Demi began blogging in 2018, and the expectations to show up socially every day, keep up-to-date with trending topics, and share personal details of her life (all while living as a neurodivergent individual) caused her to experience full-blown burnout every two weeks.

The importance of being diagnosed

In a recent Instagram post, autistic blogger @rubyofmyeye told her followers that being diagnosed with autism changed her life. Having dealt with dyslexia as a child, she explains battling feelings of being less than others.

Fast forward to her later teens and early twenties, she mentions: “It got bad during A Levels, and even worse at university, being surrounded by allistic people.

“I lost so much weight because of my ARFID. I couldn’t be touched, and any noise was a major trigger. My autism diagnosis made me feel like an actual human for the first time in my life.”

A diagnosis allowed Ruby to reach out to support aids that made her life easier.

Since then, Ruby has become an advocate for neurodivergent people on her platform – “I just want to be able to support all autistic people”, she says.

The truth about attending PR events

One pro (and con) of being a content creator is the constant influx of PR events and gifted product packages we get daily. From free products to attending events for several brands, you might be looking at the screen thinking that sounds great.

That might be the case for some neurotypical people, but being neurodivergent (or in my case, autistic) can lead to a series of unfortunate events (sorry).

I spoke to autistic beauty content creator @hollifer about her experience regarding these events.

“I will always need a +1 for an event,” Holly Aldous admits.

“At the beginning of my creator journey, I found it difficult to ask for, especially as a few brands said no.”

Since then, Holly began wording her emails differently, telling brands she needed a +1 as an accessibility need. It was only then that she realised brands responded better.

Demi mentions that there are times when brands aren’t considerate of neurodivergent content creators.

“I was working a job on location recently and had a complete shutdown due to overstimulation,” Demi commented. “The brand didn’t tell me there’d be loud music, nor were there accommodations made to ensure I had a relatively clear space to shoot the content.”

I’m a neurodivergent content creator, how can I make my life easier?

Regarding managing and creating content, Holly declared you don’t need to film, edit and upload content all in one day – you can split it into multiple days.

“You’re no help to yourself or anyone else if you push yourself and burn yourself out,” she mentioned. “For in-person events, ask the brand as many questions you need to – you’re not a burden to anyone.”

“We’re not afforded the head start that neurotypical people have, so we must stop navigating life like we do,” Demi adds. “We thrive on routine but hate starting one; baby steps it is.”

She picks one day for each task, that way the guilt can’t paralyse her executive function.

“Don’t go to PR events for purely socialising; you’ll use up all your energy,” she advises.

She also states the benefits of knowing fellow content creators that are going, so you don’t feel alone – as well as having the brand organise travel to alleviate anxieties regarding arrival and departure times.

Local Government Association estimates that around one in seven people (more than 15 percent of people in the UK) are neurodivergent – and chances are some of them (like me) are going to choose a career of being a content creator.

While the role is already difficult in itself, it doesn’t mean we as neurodivergent people should put extra pressure on ourselves or try and fit the mould of a neurotypical person – it’s just impossible.

Instead, it’s time to set ourselves attainable tasks, listen to our bodies, and not put too much pressure on ourselves. Finding suitable adjustments that work for you, and sticking up for yourself will help you on your way to success in this industry – it’s what I do!