Quality or Quantity

Is it better to have quality content or to have lots of content? Often on YouTube, users that make great videos only have a few of them. While content creators that make mediocre content tend to have an endless amount of videos. For a very long time I thought it was better to have more videos than less high quality videos.

What this means as an artist/content creator is; having high quality work is more valuable than having low quality work. It’s also better to have a larger portfolio than a smaller one. Therefore it’s best to have a large body of work that is high quality. However, it’s extremely difficult to combine the two.

Artist tend to have a problem: we always want better quality work. When we create something that is beautiful and perfect, we want to create something that is more beautiful and more perfect. It doesn’t matter what the previous quality was, as long as the next is better. This drives progress because it forces the creators to motivate themselves to produce better content, thus increasing skill.

However, it often is intermixed with unhappiness and dissatisfaction. We have difficulty accepting our work and being proud of our products. Sometimes we create crap content. Everyone does.

Anyways, for a long time I thought it was better to have more content. More content means that you could explore more areas and find what you like best. It also means that you have a larger portfolio which could cater to a larger group of consumers. By creating a lot of work, you grow significantly.

However, mass production doesn’t always drive improvement. This blogging project is about creating a large body of content. Its purpose is to teach me how to write. By sitting down each night and finding a topic to talk about, I’m learning a skill. At the same time, writing daily doesn’t give me time to edit, or really think about concepts. It’s very much a produce, produce, produce, mindset.

As the last two weeks come about, I’ve been getting this sickened feeling in my stomach. This blogging project took a lot of time. It’s produced 350 blog posts so far and more than 120,000 words. Overall, this is the most I’ve written in my life.

The last days though, I’ve been reflecting. This year has been full of adventures. I’ve recorded some of them in blog posts and others in pictures. The mass quantity has forced me to learn how to write about any situation at any given time. Which is a great skill but I can’t help but feel that it’s also been a poison. Right now I’m rambling. There is purpose to this text but nothing that is worth editing. Mass quantity breeds ignorance of the process.

This work isn’t great. It’s just work. At the end, I don’t know how many posts I will keep up. I learned from it but it’s not something I want to show off. The lesson was learned and I’ve grown from it but this isn’t my portfolio. It’s not a complete version of myself.

A couple years ago, a photographer I loved removed all of her work from Flickr. I was absolutely devastated. Her work was a huge inspiration. The photos she posted were one of the reasons that I started taking photos myself. I didn’t know what to do when I couldn’t look through her work.

I was devastated and vowed that I would never remove my work. I wanted others to be able to see my growth. They could also look through a large body of work. Perhaps they would see that I’m human and they could create too.

As this project halts, I don’t want to display my content. I want to remove it and start fresh. It takes a lot to start from scratch but I don’t like this content. It’s not polished. I can’t share it with everyone. It’s imperfect.

I can’t answer whether having a large body of work is better or worse than having a higher quality of work. That’s something you have to decide. Would you rather put a lot of time into creating one excellent piece or five pieces? When you go online, would you rather see five mediocre videos of your favorite YouTuber or one awesome video? It’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself: quality or quantity?


The End of Vlog Daily

Lately in my life I’ve chosen to have many aspirations and projects that bring me great satisfaction. Creating is a huge part of my life and expression will always be at the forefront of it. However, I’ve stretched myself too thin and the work versus satisfaction scale is unevenly spread.

For the last 122 days, I’ve sat down on my computer every night and wrote at least 100 words for this blog. Today is the 1/3 mark of the 365 day project. It’s immensely satisfying but it also takes up a lot of my time and thought. Adding in vlogging daily has been stressful because it requires more time to edit and upload. Officially I’m only 7/14 days into the vlog project but I’m choosing to dismiss the project. I don’t have the time or energy in the day to be vlogging every single night right now. In the future, maybe it will be possible, but not right now.

There’s a huge debate on quantity versus quality. Should you produce more content or better content? When I start a project like the 365 project, I’m almost always sided on quantity. Producing work is very important for learning skills. By completing a huge project like this, you also have a huge body to work from in the future.

On the other side, blogging daily has significantly reduced the quality of my thoughts in each posting. Some of the best things I’ve written have been thought out over at least 5 hours. I can barely put 20 minutes in if I’m writing daily and I feel like this brings my work down.

It’s a difficult debate because I love seeing huge portfolios or YouTube channels and being able to go through them endlessly. But I also have a great appreciation for the artist who creates a few good paintings.

For now I’m going to reduce the workload of vlogging and start producing a video weekly. This will give me time to think through my ideas. Which, in turn, will increase the quality of each video. Maybe I’ll shift it to biweekly later.

Right now though – I have a bookshelf full of books that are collecting dust. I need to tear into them and ingest some media.

Before you go, which do you think is better; quantity or quality?