From Consumer to Creator

There was a time when I consumed tons of videos and podcasts every single day. Be it in self-help categories or just for entertainment, every second that I had, I had the headphones in my ears and either listened to something or watched something.

Let me tell you something, the rule something will stick doesn’t apply when you are binge watching or binge listening all day long.

Basically I listened to the exact people that I would like to be myself; Creators, Blogger, Vloggers, Business People. But I was actually to busy with consuming.

Make a Cut

Throughout May I challenged myself to write for 31 days in a row. No excuses, no bullshit. In the first few days, I had such pressure of putting something out there, that I didn’t have any time to look into my subscription tab on YouTube. After ten days I recognized, that I didn’t open up YouTube, Overcast (my podcast app) all the time. I was so satisfied with creating by myself that I missed looking up, what’s happening outside of my little blogging cosmos. That’s not ideal, but more on that later.

I was so happy with what came out of my head onto paper that I didn’t need anything else. The feedback I received just pushed me more to writing. I had my list of prepared topics to write about, that was all that I needed.

Start Creating

Be it in private or in public space, start creating. There is no need for being perfect. I mean, look at my first blog posts, look at my YouTube videos, look at my blog posts now, they are far far away from perfect. They are just what comes out of my mind onto my blog, mostly without any real proofreading.

Sure I want to advance that, but at the moment I am still working on that writing muscle.

Think about what you want to create. It doesn’t matter if it’s video, photos, the written word or everything else. Get a piece of paper, digital or analog, and write down 50 topics you want to write about. No order needed, just keywords, from your mind to the paper.

After doing that put it away, don’t look at it for a few hours, or even a day. Look at the list and take what seems likely, pick it and start creating.

As soon as you think you got it, publish it. If you don’t have a blog, send it to your friends, family or everyone you can think of. Or if you like, send it to me, I’ll be happy to have a look at it.

Build that Habit of Creating

How did it feel to create something by yourself instead of watching and reading the stuff other folks produce on a daily basis? Great, doesn’t it?

Now, this is just the beginning of a journey. Trust me, that journey will be awesome and you will learn a lot, read more about that in blog post What I learned to 31 days of writing.

You made one idea happen, there should be 49 ideas that need to be created. Do another one today! Keep that momentum up, use it. Make an appointment with yourself every evening, and start working on one idea at a time. Tell the people around you about it and ask them for their support. I had a few people that read my articles every single evening. Trust me; people are more supportive than you could ever imagine.

Consume with Caution

After that 31 days I realized that I mostly cut off anything that is related to other creatives. I didn’t read any other blogs or listened to podcasts anymore.

On one hand, this was good, but on the other hand, I learned so many things through podcasts and articles, and they also were a good inspiration for my projects; topics I could write about, stuff I thought about differently.

I needed to find a balance between consumption and creation. There are things like the 80 / 20 principle, that I like, so why not take this number. Ok this sounds random, and it was.

But let’s assume I got 2 hours for myself, I would just spend 100 minutes creating and 20 minutes of consumption. With this ration I can live very well.

Another thing that I am doing here is batching. As soon an article gets my attention I am saving it to pocket or any other read-later service, and when I feel the need of inspiration or just want to know what’s happening on the other side I am going through this list of articles or videos and either read it or I get rid of it and don’t consider it anymore.

As a last recommendation here; whenever you feel the need to consume, consider creating something instead first.

Conclusion

With some discipline and the necessary effort the switch from a consumer to a creator is possible. If you need any help to get started or to motivate yourself check out some articles that I have written on these topics.

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