[Creators Spotlight]: Creating content is like a muscle that you have to work on, and the more you do it, the better you’ll get - Matt Sevits
In this series “Creators Spotlight”, we are asking our creators about their journey. Watch out for them sharing their journey and getting candid with us. Today we have with us Matt Sevis. A digital marketing professional, Matt talks about growing up in Springfield and shares insights into his journey as a content creator.
Creators are the heart and soul of Tealfeed. As they continuously work towards feeding us more information every day, it's only fitting to bring out their journey for the world to know.
In this series “Creators Spotlight”, we are asking our creators about their journey. Watch out for them sharing their journey and getting candid with us. Today we have with us Matt Sevits.
Matt Sevits, a digital marketing professional, talks about growing up in Springfield and shares insights into his journey as a content creator.
Continue reading to find out more!
Who has been the biggest influence in your life? What lessons did that person or those people teach you?
It’s so difficult to pick the biggest influence in my life!
Roger Ebert was a big influence on my life when I was younger; he’s the person who inspired a love for movies and film critique in me, and I spent a long time aspiring to be like him.
Another important influence for me is Britney Spears. I know it might sound cheesy, but through her music and larger-than-life pop persona, she taught me a lot about confidence and sexuality, and I learned to love myself through her contributions to pop culture.
More recently, I’ve gotten a lot of strength and insight from reading books by Melody Beattie, who’s done a lot of work related to codependency and developing healthier relationships in our lives.
Tell us about your childhood, what was the best part? Is there any specific incident that has largely influenced the kind of person you are today?
I tend to think of my childhood as fairly boring; I lived a fairly typical middle-class existence, and I don’t think much of it was very interesting. However, I have a twin brother, and that has led to some unique experiences growing up! We tried to play tricks on our friends and classmates, but unfortunately, we were rarely successful.
But looking back, there are definitely certain experiences that influenced the person I am today. One of them was my sixth-grade class, which featured an extensive chunk of lessons dedicated to poetry; this experience instilled a love for poetry and creative writing within me, and I don’t think I would have seriously pursued writing if I hadn’t learned to appreciate it from such a young age.
Then fast-forward to high school, when I took a “news writing” class on a whim and ended up falling in love with that particular kind of writing. For the rest of my high school years, and then again in college, I spent many hours working on the school newspaper. The years spent I spent working on these newspapers are some of the fondest memories I have, and I truly think I learned more from those experiences than I ever could have learned in my classes.
Where is your hometown, and what was it like when you were young?
My hometown is Springfield, Oregon. It’s a small, blue-collar town just across the river from Eugene, a better-known city in Oregon. It’s known for college sports (especially track & field), hippies, and an incredible craft beer scene.
However, growing up in Springfield, my family lived within view of the local Weyerhaeuser plant, and my dad was a forestry researcher. In my eyes, Eugene was a very different place than the logging- and the timber-centric world I’d experienced in Springfield.
How important a role does content play in your life? Are you a full-time content creator? Why did you start creating content?
Content plays a huge role in my life; not only do I create it regularly, but I’m constantly consuming it as well. I try to keep up to date with the latest pop culture content as well as I can, but it’s a lot easier said than done these days!
I currently work as a digital marketing manager for a local forest products company, and that means that I’m basically a full-time content creator. Granted, it’s mostly website and social media content for the company I work for, but it’s still content.
I try to spend my free time writing music and pop culture content as well, but I often find that there aren’t enough hours in the day to spend as much time writing as I’d like!
What’s that one aspect of being a content creator no one talks about?
I think a lot of people often forget just how much time and work go into creating content. When consuming content, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that whatever you’re reading or watching underwent many, many hours of writing, revising, production, etc.
Even a simple social media post at my job can take many hours to produce, once you factor in my time, review time, and then the process of posting it and monitoring the interactions with it. It’s absolutely a full-time job!
What’s the most satisfying part of being a content creator?
For me, the absolute best part of being a content creator is spreading excitement and joy through the content I create. My passion in life is getting people excited about the same things I’m excited about -- whether that’s the latest engineered wood product, a new album I can’t get enough of, or the latest product produced by one of the Real Housewives.
If I can help hype something up and bring someone some enjoyment in the process, then I’m happy.
That’s what drew me to pop culture writing in the first place; I’ll get excited about something I love, and I want to shout it from the rooftops for everyone else to hear.
What are you up to currently and what are your long-term career goals?
As I mentioned previously, I’m currently working as the digital marketing manager for Roseburg Forest Products. It’s a North American company, but it started in my home state of Oregon, and I’m excited to see where this opportunity takes me.
My long-term career goals are exactly aligned with where I currently am: I want to work in the digital marketing space. I previously worked for a civil engineering firm for 12 years in a variety of marketing positions, and I thrive in being able to launch some of these lesser-known industries into the world of digital marketing.
And now that I’m a manager, my job centres more around strategy and creative problem-solving than ever before, which has brought me a newfound sense of energy and motivation to level up my marketing game.
What drives you to create content regularly?
A passion for spreading joy -- that’s my driving force, and it’s what keeps me motivated to create content.
What’s the most challenging part of being a content creator?
I think the most challenging part of being a creator is recognizing and measuring our success.
It can be challenging to know that you’re making a positive impact, especially since sometimes, creating and publishing content feels like shouting into the void. And when the loudest feedback we receive is negative, it can be even more difficult to see the positive impacts.
How do you make sure that you aren’t affected by nasty comments and negative things said about you?
Creating content online really opens us up to all kinds of negative comments, and it’s extremely challenging not to take them personally. It’s one of the biggest reasons I know I could never go into politics; I would just take all of the nasty comments way too personally, and I would constantly break down into tears!
But this is also one of the reasons that I’ve tried to pivot the kind of content I create -- with all of the negativity and hate in the world today, I truly don’t want to contribute to it. I don’t want to be the reason someone’s day is ruined. When writing pop culture critique, I’ve found that I don’t truly get any joy from writing nasty or negative reviews, and any joy I do receive is very selfish and very short-lived.
So I’ve tried to focus more on the kind of content that I want to read: recommendations of things that I love, and things that bring me joy.
Sure, positive content can sometimes get less traction online thanks to algorithms… but my soul is a heck of a lot happier knowing that I’m contributing to a more positive and joyful world.
Why did you start creating content on Tealfeed?
I started creating on Tealfeed because I’m always looking for the next best place to create! The Tealfeed creators reached out to me when one of my articles was getting a lot of traction, and this seemed like a good platform to help it spread.
How would you want people to remember you?
I want people to remember me for my positive contributions to the world around me, no matter how small. I hope that people remember me as a joyful person, an honest person, and a great friend.
What's success for you and when you would consider yourself to be successful?
I’ve spent a lot of time comparing myself to other people and basing my success on that, but I always wound up feeling inferior. Recently, the work I’ve been doing to improve myself has led to a newfound sense of confidence and direction, and because of that, my definition of success has shifted.
Now, I see success as happiness and fulfilment with what I’m doing. Both professionally and personally, I just don’t have the time or bandwidth for things that actively contribute to me feeling terrible -- so if I can find joy and happiness in what I’m doing, then that’s the ultimate sign of success.
And honestly, sometimes this comes down to stopping to slow down, savour the moment, and find joy in the simple, small things around me: the feeling of a warm cup of coffee, the smell of sagebrush, or the simple silence of my apartment at night when the world has gone to sleep.
Who’s your favourite creator? Why?
One of my all-time favourite creators is former Gawker writer Caity Weaver. Her wit and sense of humour are unmatched, and I would read absolutely anything she writes.
I want her to write my biography, my obituary, my Twitter bio -- absolutely everything. If you haven’t read her piece about going on a Paula Deen cruise, you have to.
To every individual who’s planning to start out as a content creator, what would you like to advise them?
I would say this: Don’t be afraid to fail. Dream big, aim high, and just practice, practice, practice. Creating content is like a muscle that you have to work on, and luckily the more you do it, the better you’ll get.
Since we’re all human and no one’s perfect, we’re all bound to fail at some point as well, and that’s OK; failure is an incredible opportunity to learn something and make critical changes, and I think that our culture often loses sight of that fact.
We cannot -- and should not -- strive for absolute perfection in everything we do.
Few maintain consistency, few remain unique, and fewer are the ones who do both of these right, and earn a spot in Tealfeed Spotlight.