Recently, there has been a lot of talk about social media consumption and content production (whether it’s fake, whether people use Instagram for sponsored content, etc.). While this post is not about my views on social media and how it’s used—although I will say that I think social media is good when used in a proper way—these recent conversations have given me another perspective about creativity.
Creativity vs. Consumption
There is a give and take when it comes to the creative process. For a lot of us, we start with an inspiration phase or a consumption phase. This is the same for blogging too. We have days when we read lots of blog posts, scroll through social media or watch videos on certain topics. I’ve noticed a lot of my time is spent catching up with the world and getting “inspiration” from other people. I spend a lot of time consuming media.
On the flip side is the production side. Actually sitting down and a) writing, b) filming, c) brainstorming, d) planning, etc. Producing. Creating. Taking something from our own minds and putting it to use.
There is something so important about producing. I spend time creating new things at work, after work in my spare time and on the weekends. For example, here is a post on my favorite creative outlets. (You can probably guess most of them!) But why is taking time to be creative so advantageous? And how can it get you ahead in life? Here are some reasons why you should consider taking on the “creative” identity.
Creativity = Practice
The act of creating means you practice an art form. We all know practice makes perfect. So instead of reading a great book about marathoners or running, get outside and run. While a book may motivate you, nothing will motivate you more than actually doing something creative. Spend hours a day perfecting your craft or your form. Spend years working on your talent. Those hours give you credibility. They make you an expert. They give you experience.
Creativity = More Energy
I think we buy into the myth sometimes that doing something would make us tired. Or we are too tired to do something productive. This cannot be further from the truth. (Although I need to remind myself of this sometimes.)
Going back to the running example (while not your typical “creative” act, I truly believe running is an art) — Have you ever experienced a runner’s high after working out? Or feel energized after an exercise class?
This is because we don’t consume energy. We release it.
Remember back in elementary science class that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but transforms from one form to another?
Your creativity is one of the highest sources of energy available to you. Go out, do something. Paint something. Write something. Play something. And see how energized you feel. Most likely a lot more than spending a night Netflixing. ;)
Creativity = Innovation
Back to social media consumption. There is an extreme amount of people online, binging on Buzzfeed, watching YouTube videos, scrolling through Instagram feeds, and getting lost in the Internet. That’s why a smaller portion of people – the content creators – are making it online. There are much more consumers than producers.
You can use your creativity in ways to reach people and connect with people. You can transform a business by being willing to do new things. Your creativity is the spark. You can spread a new message. Build a community. Create a communication campaign. A business idea. Volunteer with a charity. Build key relationships.
Do you know what that all means? Innovation. You have the creativity to take you there.
How to Reduce Media Consumption & Start to Produce
Now that we’re on board to produce more and consume less, how do we do it?
Start by being intentional with your social media consumption. Take a phone fast for a couple hours out of your day or a whole weekend. Realize just how much time you spend online or watching TV.
More importantly, think of your favorite hobbies or your goals for the month. Or think about something new you’ve always wanted to try.
Now take the smallest baby step towards that action.
Starting is the hardest part, but it the rest will come naturally. Believe in yourself that all good things come from taking time to create.
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What do you guys think of consumption vs. production in your own lives or in regards to your own blog?