Creation Over Consumption (Don't Read This)

You didn’t listen, did you? Well, since you’re here we might as well chat.

In this day in age, when any person with wi-fi can be an entrepreneur, speaker, author, self-help guru, marketing pro (pffffttt, who would claim to be that??) it’s very easy to get caught up in the endless stream of articles, videos, listicles, podcasts, etc. that in inundate our feeds. Clickbait city.

Especially on a platform like Medium, it’s insanely addicting sometimes to hop from one advice columnist/marketing guide/ “hustler” to the next, digesting bites of content (3 min read? Sure!) that we deem helpful or instructive or inspiring. In moderation, these pieces can help us stay informed, spark a new idea or keep us on our toes about best practices in our industries. I myself get lost in the depths of YouTube or Reddit, scrolling through the infinite amount of information (conspiracy theories) at my fingertips.

Most of today’s consumption feels like education or inspiration, but it’s really just watered-down indulgence. Most of it’s not even that good or original, but it’s packaged so well and would be fun to share so we click and scroll, click and scroll.

Content is not evil. But too much input can hurt our output.

If we don’t manage our time wisely and be more selective about our consumption habits, we fall prey to a dangerous cycle. Creating requires us to constantly fill and empty the well. If we’re only dipping our bucket into the internet and not dumping our thoughts somewhere, we’re not only clogging the system up, we’re regurgitating from our sources. When we go to produce our next piece of work or develop our next big idea, our mind is tainted with an abundance of collected data, images and thoughts. Overconsumption kills originality.

A new mantra I’m adopting: Empty the well.

Put that book down. Close that tab. CLOSE THIS TAB.

You’ve read enough today. Grab a pen. Open that program. Begin. Go! Hurry!

Toucan is a New Orleans-based advertising agency.

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