Post-Upload Depression

Hey you! So today we’re going to talk about
“post-upload depression” or “PUD” to name it more adorably. PUD is this sense
of sadness or emptiness you feel after releasing something you’ve worked really really hard on. But what is post-upload depression? What causes
it? And is there anything that can be done about it? Well, given that it’s a made-up
term which I made-up, I have authority to make-up the rest of this conversation too
so let’s jump into it! Well as I mentioned before, PUD is a feeling
of sadness and/or emptiness. It’s this overwhelming sense of nothingness with hints of purposelessness,
dissatisfaction, and even shame. It’s a hole a lot of us can find ourselves in immediately
after sending our work off upon the world. But why? Hands today! They’re just happening! In my experience, PUD can be triggered by
a number of things. First of all, negative feedback. Anyone who’s ever released anything
knows just how crushing that one critical comment can be, even if it’s surrounded
by thousands of positive ones. I think that’s because we all have fears and insecurities
regarding our work which makes it very hard to believe the people we’ve fooled into
thinking we have talent. However, that one person who hates you and your work as much
as you do? You’re gonna listen to them because obviously they get it right? They know what’s
going on! You should respect them and their opinion. Something else that can trigger a bout of
post-upload depression is the fact that creative folk are constantly chasing an ever-moving
finish line. That dream of actually creating something truly amazing and the hope that
once you’ve done that, you’ll finally feel good and accomplished. However, that
moment never really arrives. If it did, people would probably stop making films once they’ve
won an Oscar. The fact is, as we improve, so do our standards, so we can never truly
impress ourselves. The last PUD-inducing element is the sense
of purposelessness you can wind up feeling after a project has been completed. A writer
writes, a painter paints, and a filmmaker makes films. So, in that space between projects,
when you’re not actually doing the thing that potentially defines you… What are you?
Are you still that thing? Or are you no longer a filmmaker, and more of a filmmader. Sure.
Either way, your time spent in that creative no mans land can be a very scary and isolating
and… WHAT AM I ANYMORE?! I DON’T KNOW!! So? What can be done about post-upload depression?
Well, the best advice I have is to expect it and to harness it. You see, much like fear
or self-doubt these are natural feelings which help balance us out as people. For me, I accept
that PUD is a natural part of the creative process and so when it hits I don’t let
it destroy me, I motivate me on to the next project and try to do even better the next
time around. To be honest, the only time you should really
fear post-upload depression is when you’re not feeling it. Because that might just mean
that you’ve gotten comfortable and you’re no longer challenging yourself. Or you could
just be a confident and well-rounded person but this video isn’t for you, you lucky
bastard, get outta here. Wait, no actually! Come back! Tell me what that’s like? So why did I make this video? Well, my hope
is that if you feel these feelings then you too can learn to identify, expect and harness
them. I’ve seen far too many creative people give up entirely because of this fairly natural
state of mind and that, my friends, is just not an option. Now get back out there and
make something. Or don’t. I’m not your Senpai. Actually, here’s something you can make.
A response to this video. What are your thoughts on post-upload depression. Does it exist?
What’re your experiences with it? How do you deal with it? I feel like this are fairly
uncharted waters so let’s have a chart… A little chat… Anyway… Until next time, TomSka out. I am fucking great at this job. I’m out.

About the author


  1. I get serious post con depression most years. I spend 40ish hours working the convention and pending time with friends and then I go home alone to quiet, and as stressful as it was, I miss it all terribly >___<

  2. Put perfectly Tom, i love it when you put stuff like this up i feel i can really relate i think it defiantly exists. I'm a wannabe artist and whenever i finish a drawing i hate it, ill share it on my social networks and get nice and good feedback but i get so paranoid that there just being nice although my drawings suck as i know if I've done it once i can do it better another time.
    i push though and keep drawing because its what i love and nothing should stop me but i just have no portfolio and no sketchbooks left cause i keep throwing them away….. which makes it really hard to try and get a creative job. :p

  3. I'd say it's real. I uploaded my very first short film back in October and I'm still feeling some sort of PUD. I'm always watching it back and despite what ever positive feedback you get on your videos, I don't think you'll ever think they're perfect. Or if you are particularly proud of a certain scene you directed or a piece of music that fits well, but nobody picks up on it, you can feel like it wasn't as good as you thought it was. You can feel all this despite being proud of the video as a whole. But immediate PUD is something I think is almost universally felt: how will everyone react, is it as good as you think, that one comment that you can't escape like Tom said. But I agree that you can't give up because of it. Great video, Tom, I'm glad you brought up a subject that creators now know is more common than they think ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Hey Tom, I rarely comment but you are looking so much better keep up the diet you are doing GREAT!!!

  5. I want to say something about this but I feel like everything that I would say has already been said by others. I guess that sometimes the fear of 'PUD' has stopped me from even trying to create stuff at times, even though I don't upload things anywhere (yet). It's a tough situation with a tough audience, but we as creative people are tough! Maybe not me, but I can act tough.. No I can't do that either- you know what, don't worry about me. Thanks Tomska for actually putting this feeling into words and making so many people feel a little less alone in our collective creative madness. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I 100% agree with this. I felt this after finishing projects for friends or myself and this is portrayed in characters too; like in video games such as uncharted 4, nathan drake.

  7. I know which videos are older and which are newer by the scar on his forehead, it looks awesome ๐Ÿ˜›

  8. Another youtuber (friend of mine) and myself came up with PUA actually haha Post Upload Anxiety, and have been using that term fro a few months now, pretty cool to see you feeling the same ๐Ÿ™‚ even though it sucks to feel it -_-
    but I agree! It's motivation to do better next time
    and better… and better… and better… o_o

  9. I totally get this, both on Youtube and also when I release something in a more traditional manner. Thank you for making this video.

  10. @SchoolofLife School of Life (YouTube Channel) / Alain de Botton (Author) / Philosophy – tells you that you should not define yourself and your worth through your day job.

  11. This is actually kinda something new to me because, yes, I don't get PUD (graphic artist, designer, character illustrator). But, I do have depression already and when I'm not working on anything, it really exacerbates those problems. I more often get excited post uploads and kind of ride the "high" of seeing all the favs, comments, and reblogs/tweets of my content.

    For me, I really don't ever get that much in terms of negative feedback and unlike what you said, I feel most people who give harsh criticism (or more accurately- hate) are often doing it to attack or troll me. They never sound like they are being critical or constructive, just mean. And when it comes to hating me or my work, nobody can do worse than me.

    Personally, I try to use the positive feedback (or feedback and traffic in general) to feed me energy to keep working and keep myself out of the depression hole. But, sometimes real life gets in the way of keeping me productive (like having a hard drive fry or tablet break and you gotta wait a week or two to get another) and then that depression sinks back in.

    I guess to say, I don't get PUD, because I keep myself busy. But when I don't stay busy, that feeling sinks in.

  12. I can believe this exists. I can even account it when I first had it. I remember in April 2013 finishing a comic, 15 pages long, and a total of 6 months spent on it. When I finished it there was this sense of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, like I wasn't sure what to do now, I even got art block for a small period. In the end I got over it and keep on drawing >3>

  13. My way of doing stuff isn't too much different. I'm not a youtuber (but I upload dumb little comedic vids once in awhile), but I have experienced this. I am a cartoonist, or am striving to be, and I know I'm good. I make stuff to please myself first before anyone else. When people like it, when I like it, I know it's good. But even if that happens, and someone doesn't like it, I end up just kinda having these ugly feelings about it. It's not fun.

  14. I once uploaded a video that, with time, it earned 66K views. After that, my videos were didn't pass 300 views.

  15. I think this is real with a lot of peoples talents. Whenever i finish different projects, especially with art, i feel acomplished but burnt out with effort, and whenever i get negative feedback without any adivice as to how i could improve, i'm at a loss with myself. i get artists block and then i feel as though i'll never amount to anything and end up living off of beans for the rest of my life… anyway, i know a few of my friends feel like that as well, whether they've worked on scripts and stuff and they've recieved little praise at all from their work and then almost quit entirely on their passions. Either way, i think we should all just strive to be better and try to put the best of ourselves out there, there's bound to be someone who likes our work or admires us like all of us do for you Tom:)

  16. I write music a lot and upload a lot to soundcloud, and i completely understand this concept and how it affects people who create things. I dont necessarily get sad that the project is over, as much as i'm afraid that i'm going to run out of inspiration one day, or i wont have any ideas for songs anymore, which is a scary thought that i call "artists' anxiety", because i love what i do, and the thought of giving up music frightens me so much.

  17. HEY TOM I already made a video about this but it was focused on fearing failure on YouTube and failure as an artists

  18. I love being in theater shows and this is just like post show depression. After the first official show I was in I went back to the theater the day after closing and had a little cry. Then I auditioned for the next one two weeks later. I've never had any post upload depression because I don't really have an audience to please or let down. Thanks for putting yourself out there and talking about this, Tom!

  19. Thanks for this. I've hit a creative block like this recently, and it was absolutely horrible. I think I've gotten out of it for now, but after co-writing a very satisfying 127k+ story…wow that post-upload/publishing depression hit hard. I now get that this is a thing that I just need to learn to cope with better than I have in the past, though. Thanks for this validation, though. It's kind of relieving to hear that creative folks I admire feel this, too.

  20. While I"m not a Youtuber I can relate. Instead of uploading though, it's finishing doing a writing project. And it's true, that time in between can really affect you. I think it's something artists of all sorts have to go through. So Kudos to you Tom for making this and making people aware of it!

  21. I get depressed just thinking about making a video, I can't imagine what actually filming and uploading would be like.

  22. I don't believe "PUD" is limited to just to entertainment field. I'm a computer programmer, and most of the programs I write are small and inconsequential. For these programs there is no feeling of "PUD" when they are finished. I just move onto the next program. But every once in awhile I get the chance to write something more significant, which takes me weeks or months to finish, not hours or days like most of the stuff I write. When I'm finished with these more significant programs, there is almost always a feeling of sadness that the task is over. It isn't for anything that I would call negative. It's not that I could have done better, or that I fear that I won't do a good job the next time I get the chance. It is just that the opportunity is so infrequent for me, that I know it will be a long time before I can do something else challenging, and it is sad. It must be even worse in the entertainment field where in addition to everything else, you also have to worry about criticism from others.

  23. Thanks TomSka. You sharing your experiences actually helps a lot. I'm sure there's lots of creators even as big as your channel who feel the same thing. You're just the guy who actually admits it.

  24. I think there's two sides to this: PoUD (Post-Upload Depression) and PrUD (Pre-Upload Depression). The latter is basically the same as the former, except that it occurs before submitting your work to the public; in other words, a fear of the effects of PoUD.
    I say this because it's one of the factors that's been keeping me from doing any creative work. I worry too much about how others will think about my work, that I won't like it myself, or that I won't know what to do next.

  25. Hey, Tom, Great video! you had actually helped me out discover something else in me and I thank you for that, which is great because I've had a series of understanding of what makes me sad, and just a few days ago I discovered the main reason was the fear of not fulfilling my dreams(which I'm very serious about and is really important to me) and this one is a big fact in that, because even I do my own personal projects, each time I finish them, I feel this sensation of depression as you say, this feeling of "now what?" or "I'll never get to do that again" or general worries of that type, so I thank you for pointing out these things.

    love, me.

  26. Man, I no that it's not relevant, but, you really look more slim. I really know, it's not a relevant comment X-D…

  27. Every time I upload a video, I just wait for the first comments to appear, because that's what I love the most: interacting with the viewers, get to know what they liked, what they didn't and try to do it better ๐Ÿ˜€
    And then sometimes I just feel like utter shit and don't want to take my camera ๐Ÿ™

  28. Do I get PUD? Not exactly. About 95% of the videos I shoot I am very drunk. And about 95% of the videos I edit and publish, I am very drunk for the process. I go to my own channel here and there just to see what I put up. Couple of times I've said to myself "Seriously? That's what I put up?" and felt like commenting upon my own video for something I did.
    Rum and root beer. Alcohol infused root beer. Good for three things… Tastes good, feels great, and kills brain cells. I wasn't really using them anyways.

  29. I don't think this is exclusive to YouTube creators. Anyone who makes anything will some what dissatisfied with their creation. Which like you said is probably a good thing as it helps you strive for more.
    I think however you forgot to mention the high many people experience before the release of content. The excitement and expectation of how it will turn out and how it will be received. I know many bands say that the best time for them is a few weeks before they release an album, not only enjoyment wise but creatively. However the product being released ends that. So not only are they being berated by critics but they are enduring it on a low which further enhances ones ability to ignore the good and focus on the bad.

  30. Haha I know this too well: I've been running a Soundcloud for a few years, and got a decent amount of feedback back when I started (enough to keep going), but since slowing down my output and making progressively more emotionally-motivated music, the response has gradually got thinner, pretty much disappearing recently. Major PUD.

  31. You and Jack Howard need to get together and have a chat about PUD or insecurity and confidence. I bet that would be an interesting video

  32. Yo, this happens a lot to actors, too. In musical theatre (and I suppose straight theatre as well) we call it Post Show Depression because building a character and watching the show become it's own creature around you really fills yourself with purpose. For me, sometimes my place is a show is the surest I am of anything in my life. When the show closes or we leave it, we experience the same thing that Tom's talking about. I'm glad to see someone legitimizing this since it's kind of seen by a lot of people as just actors being over-emotional.

  33. Post-depression for me is the ever lasting sense of will people hate me because someone like pewdepie told them too

  34. Tom, let me just tell, you have had the biggest impact on me in the last 3 years, you are a big inspiration. When i was in a really dark stage, i would just, lock myself in and see your videos, like sniper pug ( I love that video ) or you talking about depression, it has helped me look back at what i did and you have helped me seeing my mistakes and make me realise i was a big piece of shit to some of the people i loved, but watching you and learning from you. You have really helped me so much. Please keep doing what you are doing, never let anything take you down, not a single damn thing… ( YOU HEAR ME? ), Not let depressions take you down because you are a true inspiration to people and me, even though you have some conditions or you are alittle overweight, keep fighting and make us… your community happy as you always. TomSka, you are awesome

  35. I get PUD when I write songs. I love music, and I love singing, and it's a passion of mine. But whenever I've written a really good song and played it a million times and am really happy with it, I just think 'well that's all the creativity I have. I'm done.' and just kind of mooch around for the next few days. But honestly, for me, a 'well done' and a hug really makes it better ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. As a musician one of the worst things is when I Finish a song and it's good but I start to hate after it awhile even though every one I show it to gives positive feed back.

  37. Okay, so I've been really confused with youtube lately. I see videos like this that have nothing seemingly insulting or bad happening in them, yet they are still downvoted. I mention it here because it seems more relevant to this video. Unless it's internet trolls, I have no idea why people would do something like this. That is all

  38. I feel this. For some reason my subscribers don't watch my animations anymore. So when I work for weeks or even months on a video and nobody even watches it, I wish I had never released it. Why make art or videos if I'm not making anyone happy? :^( I wish I had a responsive audience.

  39. You wanna know what it's like to be a confident, well-rounded person?

    Then don't ask me, I get PUD every time I draw something, make an animation, paint a Lego figure ect.

  40. Nice video! Although I keep wiping my screen because I think there's a speck of dust on the lens/sensor (bottom, slightly to the right of centre) haha

  41. daaamn I didnt expect to see my feelings displayed in such an organised way through tomska today.

  42. I've never really been able to get "PUD" because I only have 50 subscribers but I think I have a glimpse of what you mean. After I upload a video I always look at it and say, "this could have been so much better if I did this" and then I try to make the next video better only to find more problems which continues to push me to make better videos. However I don't think it's nearly as ambient as with people who have a lot of subscribers because they have people depending on them and I, well, don't.

  43. I don't get post upload depression so much as post composition depression. I write songs and pieces of music for which I am my own worst critic naturally. But it's only on a very rare occasion that I will feel good having "finished" a piece. Part of it is just that I am rarely happy with it, but it's also that it's an idea or series of ideas that I've been working on for so long and then it's just done and it's not good enough. That's my experience of it

  44. I feel that is definitely a thing, especially for people who make long projects. For example: I write books. Books take a long time to make, especially a series of books. I finally completed a series that took YEARS to complete (especially with having a full time job because making money off my books right now is laughable), and when I finished that last book and sent it to the publisher I spent about two weeks in a deep depression. I couldn't write, I didn't even want to write. It was just this weird limbo of "well what do I do with my life now?" Then I grabbed a journal and a pen and started something new, because without writing anything I didn't feel like I was me.

  45. I'm always relieved when the video is uploaded and puplic, like "yeahy i got it done" i'm proud, that i made one.
    That comes because i have PUA( Pre Upload Anxiety) i get nervous when i turn on the camera and i never know which video idea to make first and how will the shoot go. often i can"t motivate myself to actually make a video…but i might make a video about PUA now. thanks for the inspiration <3 ๐Ÿ˜€

  46. Yeah, I think I can relate to this PUD thing. When I feel it, my way of counteracting it is to immediately start trying to plan the next project, or move on to another creative medium. For example – if I have just published a song, I might move on to writing, or messing around in Photoshop until the next musical inspiration comes along. I find it helps to just try and keep busy, pushing new boundaries and such.

  47. I don't feel like uploading my next animation but I promised my 5 subscribers that don't jump 7-12 will come soon. ๐Ÿ™

  48. I look for constructive criticism. The people who are just mean or leave comments like "I hate this" i just disregard. I would want to know why. Why do you hate it. So I can make it better the net time.

  49. I used to suffer from this. Especially since I'm a brony, because even if the video I uploaded had nothing to do with MLP, I'd still get comments insulting me for it. I eventually just deleted all of my old videos and now I'm going forth trying to get into animation. I basically just ignored the hatred about being a brony and about how I'm cringeworthy, because they're to be expected and I don't make a big deal out of them.

  50. I've been writing a book for several months now, its almost finished and i have four weeks until school starts again. It has been about six weeks since i've opened the document because its summer and i have video games. Even worse is i have other projects that i want to do and i;m on my own schedule and my life is crumbling around me because i have no money or social skills and no job and everything is shit and i;m ramblign and hope you didn't read this part.

  51. I don't know if it's exactly the same thing, but one of my teacher once told me that a lot of people were feeling depressed and empty after a success or a big event, with thoughts like "what am I supposed to do now?".
    Perhaps it's because we think some events will change our life, but when they're over we realize they didn't and we're a little lost. I got that feeling when my big exams were over, and when I realized I was accepted in the school I wanted. "What? Is that it? But I feel the same, where is my film-like changed life with brand new purpose?"
    I think the best way to cope with it is, as you said, to simply wait til it's gone. And to maybe take this time to fully realize what we just did, whether it's art or just a thing we were looking forward to.

  52. PUD is a killer, I get so down after every video I release but the way I see it I'm never going to reach that "Ever moving finish line" if I don't keep trying, even if it moves every time I reach it.

  53. Dude, I feel this every time I upload a video. I'm so relieved to know that other people feel this too. Thank you for making this!

  54. Well, I release some poems on my facebook profile from time to time, so it's totally not a big deal. But I wanted to share my view on that, because PUD sounds like a super interesting concept! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Well, when I put my self-esteem only to a judgement of other people, I let them limit myself to what I do (or worse – to what they think about what I do). Meanwhile, who I am is much more important than what I will ever achieve. Because I am a human, and that's quite a big deal (here helps a faith in God and knowledge, that even I'm not going to get the Nobel Prize for my poems, if He wanted to, He would let me write a poetry that broughts ten Nobel Prizes. And that satisfies me enough, we have quite nice relation with Him ^^)

  55. Tom, this video hits really close to home. I'm learning how to make films, and every time I make a film, I hate it as soon as I upload it. It's so painful. I'm really grateful for this upload.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *