Consume or Create?
Easy choice, right?
If I put this up on Twitter as a poll, I’d expect to see 98% for Create – there’s always a couple of people who have to vote the other way out of creative difference or just to be annoying.
But I would guess that if I got you to fill out a time sheet, the split would be more 70/30 in favour of Consume (okay – 80/20 – and I’m still being generous!).
A bit of tv, or an online streaming platform, whilst we eat our evening meals, even if it we saw it more as ‘research’. Reading a book before bed in order to relax and unwind, as well as scope out the competition. A healthy dose of online images for the artists and photographers, or listening to the latest songs and performers for the musicians.
In some ways, consuming is easier to do and easier to justify to ourselves as research and learning. It is easier because we spend more time doing it. Physically easier and mentally easier.
To improve, to attain our goals, to really satisfy the creative we want ourselves to be, we need to start exercising those creative muscles. And we need to stop exercising those consuming muscles. It will be uncomfortable at first. We have habits to break and new muscles to develop.
Start easing back with one and increasing the other.
Start dropping some of your ‘research’ into the background. Pull up that Amazon detective show on your iPad whilst you prepare your meal. Listen to the audiobook on your drive to work, or whilst your shopping. Flip through those images whilst you make your coffee or smoothie.
Start using more core time for creation. Write or sketch in your journal. Get some deliberate practice in with your use of shape or colour, or practice those scales and chords. Plan and schedule time to work on that next chapter or record the rhythm section of a song.
Create. Develop and strengthen your style.
Shipping what you produce is always easier when you have produce to ship.
Consume v. Create.