I’ve been consuming more than creating for a while now. I can tell by the lack of original ideas, imagination and zero motivation to do any of my creative hobbies.
Consuming information and regurgitating it back in an efficient, timely manner is part of what I do for a living, so its second-nature for me to research something to death before giving it a shot first.
I believe that looking to others for inspiration is an important part of the creative process, but so is taking a step back and recentering your vision.
There is in fact a tension between creation and consumption. Some people find a 2:1 ratio in creation and consumption is best, while other find that an equal balance of the two works for them. Personally, an equal balance is what I believe will work for me, but I’m going to throw in a third C: connecting – the bridge between creation and consuming.
Connection is the whole purpose of creating and consuming. Granted, you could create just to create, but its more fun to connect those creations to others. Just like you could consume all that information because you like to read and know things (me) but what good does it do if you don’t share it with those who need it?
So okay, total disclaimer here, I researched a bit about creations vs consumption as I was writing this post (lolol) BUT this is how I’m connecting – sharing this information and making an actionable result out of it.
Since I am overconsuming, I plan to start with creation and connection first thing every day. That means prayer, yoga, writing, drinking coffee with my husband and connecting with family and coworkers before scrolling through social media. Nothing really happens in the morning until I drink my first cup of coffee so let’s say that:
1. Connection comes first
Creation, for me, comes in many forms. I currently have a list of things I want to start, but keep putting off – mainly because I’m frustrated with my lack of imagination and motivation to just start. I say to myself, I don’t know how to do that, or I’m not sure what to do with this – and immediately turn to the internet or TV. I know it will be tough at first, but the inspiration will come if I stay motivated to:
2. Create before consuming
Finally, when consuming, I want to focus more on consuming things that immediately make me want to connect with people. For me, that mean I need to curate my media and internet browsing. I have a bad habit of decompressing after work with TV. It sucks up my time and becomes my scapegoat whenever I am “bored” or want to kill time (that sentence makes me cringe!). The TV needs to be limited if I ever want “to find the time” to start creating.
3. Consume last
I also have a list of books to read (reading is fun!), so for the short term, consumption will regularly consist of reading real books – fiction, history, biography – and not ebooks, self-help books or internet pages.
And again, consuming is important for the creative process. Its one of the three C’s! But it’s not first, nor is it second for me right now. I have enough knowledge with me to start and, with time, I know I will find the balance that allows me to have a fruitful life.
Are you overconsuming on a daily basis? Its hard not to with social media. How do you handle it? Tell me in the comments!