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Feb 22, 2019 09:00:09

The "Stop Consuming, Start Creating" fallacy

by @basilesamel PATRON | 378 words | 553🔥 | 604💌

Basile Samel

Current day streak: 553🔥
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I often read the expression "Stop Consuming, Start Creating". Sometimes on Twitter sometimes on Medium. It seems it appears on every platform. It has some truth to it, but it remains a black-or-white fallacy.

Those articles preach the idea that consuming is a bad thing and that we should all be "doers". They are usually followed by a call-to-action inviting you to buy products that will enable you to realize your wildest dreams. Don't be fooled, it's oversimplifying motivational bullcrap.

The truth is that there is no such thing as consuming and/or creating. What is the first law of chemistry you learn at elementary school? Conservation of mass: in nature, nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything changes. What we call creation is nothing but a transformation of what we consume.

I'm not saying you should indulge in shallow consumption. You have to consume in an intent to create, or out of curiosity to open yourself up to new ideas. It's not the same as consuming ephemeral content. You need content that will take your stomach some serious digestion work. Great creators are great consumers who managed to breed several ideas together to result in a new innovative one. James Altucher calls it Idea Sex. Picasso, Jobs, or Stravinsky call it Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal.

Don't trust me? Have a look at some masters we all appreciate. Tarantino watched tons of movies during his youth and regularly comes back to them for inspiration. When you watch a Tarantino movie, you can always find great ideas that often come from the work of other directors, but with his own personal twist. Picasso started Cubism after being inspired by African art. Bob Dylan was a huge fan of Arthur Rimbaud, you can feel the influence in some parts of his huge career. The list goes on and on...

Senses are meant to consume content, external stimuli created by your environment. You have to learn to produce, and you have to learn to consume. It's a balance. Only then can you truly create.

You can be a doer. You can be a maker. It doesn't mean your work will have any worth, so don't auto-congratulate yourself, and don't mock "consumers". You won't have anyone to create for otherwise.

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    @basilesamel // don't mock "consumers"// - This is so true. Every creator needs consumers. Without good consumption, it is tough to create. Very nice post.

    Santhosh Guru avatar Santhosh Guru | Feb 22, 2019 13:01:32
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      @santhoshguru thanks Santosh :)

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Feb 22, 2019 17:12:18
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    @basilesamel funny thing I wrote about moving from consumer to creator mainly note for myself.


    I definitely agree with this after indulging in a few months of creations, creativity dries up and I need to consume something in order to gain new ideas.

    Chris 🤔🇵🇭 avatar Chris 🤔🇵🇭 | Feb 22, 2019 12:30:12
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      @chrisdeuda Just read your post, nice one! :) A funny thing I found is that you can also consume your own content. Sometimes it works to create something new.

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Feb 22, 2019 17:15:29
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      @basilesamel yeah most of my current writings is not for myself. haha.

      I just remember I've read something similar to your post that clearly explains the process of creativity from consuming to creating. I love how it explains the whole process

      Here is the article: https://medium.com/s/story/whats-blocking-your-creative-output-e9778b990324

      Chris 🤔🇵🇭 avatar Chris 🤔🇵🇭 | Feb 22, 2019 22:03:44
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    @basilesamel You had me at Altucher and Jobs. We are all consumers, some more than others. You are right about the balance between consuming and creating. Thoughtful post.

    Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Feb 21, 2019 19:50:07
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      @brandonwilson Thank you Brandon!

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Feb 22, 2019 17:16:16
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    I can only shake my head when I spot a maker or doer "mocks" consumerism. Because, without a consumer our product doesn't have its fullest value. I always think it's mutual relationship. Besides, who will give us a feedback if not a customer?

    However, there is something as "mindless" consumption and "intentional" consumption.That's something we can evaluate.


    macchiata avatar macchiata | Feb 22, 2019 03:30:38
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      @macchiata oh i like your reframing about consumption. Perhaps it should really just be "Stop (Mindless) Consuming, Start (Mindful) Consuming".

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Feb 22, 2019 12:26:12
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      @macchiata Yes thank you! Glad to see makers who feel the same.

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Feb 22, 2019 17:16:57
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      @basilesamel @jasonleow Exactly. We need to learn from others to create something. Many great thinkers inspire and influence one another. So that's a consumption. However what I think differs is that they consume things that gives them value and boost their goals.

      macchiata avatar macchiata | Feb 22, 2019 11:29:19
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      @macchiata Yes that's what I meant by "content that will take your stomach some serious digestion work"

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Feb 22, 2019 17:57:16
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