All artists struggle with creation. It’s grueling, terrifying, discouraging, revealing, time-consuming, and can be very expensive. All media comes with a varying amount of not only monetary expense, but also expense of time.
Really, expense of time applies to everything we do. Do you watch a movie, or read a book? Do you stay up late to do homework, or go to bed early? Do you clean the garage, or do the dishes? Everything comes at the expense of something else. Want to multitask? Too bad it’s not really possible.
Unfortunately for artists, one of the ways we acquire knowledge, experience, and ideas is the consumption of other artists’ work. You find out what works and what you like in movies, books, art, music, design, etc., by sifting through the mountains of work that have already been produced. This becomes an easy excuse not to create. “I’m studying my craft.” And there’s nothing wrong with studying. By all means, do it. But don’t let it get in the way of creating your own work. Creating your own work is invaluable. It lets you work out the kinks on your own, and you learn so much more from doing something yourself than you will ever learn by watching someone else do it.
Even if you fail. Even if it’s terrible. Even if you feel the distinct need to spit on it, cut it in half and set it on fire.
You will learn. You will grow. You will become better and faster and more confident. You’ll find your own voice instead of clinging to someone else’s.
We are what we do.
Will you consume? Or will you create?