Since it’s near the end of the month, I took a look at my blog stats. My most popular posts are about the webseries Critical Role on Geek and Sundry’s Twitch channel. But you may have noticed something; I haven’t been writing about Critical Role at all recently. You know why? I haven’t been watching. I’m so behind! Anything I could offer is already so well discussed in the community, it’s not really worth touching on.
This got me thinking about a bigger issue. When it comes to your creative output, the way you consume things matters. It’s incredibly hard to dream up a new fantasy world if you’re low on fantasy fuel. Writing a personal blog everyday becomes near impossible when you haven’t left the house for anything but groceries in two weeks. This is the same reason so many prolific authors are also prolific readers.
Think back to when you started blogging (or drawing, or playing the bass guitar, whatever creative outlet you call your own.) You probably had a fair amount of ‘taste’ before you ever started producing your own work. After consuming enough of someone else’s material it’s easier to step back and say “I can do that.”
We need to stay in that groove. Consume enough that it keeps giving you energy to create that next lyric or paint the next stroke. Block out time for consuming the right material just like you’d block out time to do the big work. And feel no shame!
You’ll need to face some reality though. Facebook and Twitter feeds are rarely inspirational unless your goal is “social media digerati.” Consuming the wrong type of media will not push your art, at best it will keep you distracted. Call this sort of consumption what it is: resistance. You are what you eat.
My goal for this blog is for my readers to understand me as my closest friends would. It’s a constant experiment in sharing because even to my close friends I don’t normally share until asked. Looking at my blog as a whole right now, I think it’s clear I could use some quality consuming. The posts I’m most proud of are the book reviews – and that’s on-the-nose the cycle of consume to create. In coming weeks, I hope to make some memories and blog about them in new way. Letting my consumption habits change might also change my blogging for the better.