I think if you rounded up some of the brightest creative visionaries of our age and monitored their lives over a 48 hour period, you’d find one huge commonality: consumption. And I don’t mean consumption in that dumb and superficial way of just buying more stuff. What I mean, is that I think the greatest thought-leaders are also some of the greatest thought-consumers. They’re blog junkies and book nerds, movie critics and TV show bingers, they have thousands of conversations and study hundreds of philosophers. They just can’t get enough of it. They need to consume more ideas, more thoughts, more stories. And I don’t think this is by accident. There seems to be a particular correlation between the consumption of many ideas and the articulation of thoughtful and innovative new ones.
It seems then that the absorbing of more ideas and stories unlocks our own creative faculties. As if the consumption of others content, serves as the fodder, or the catalyst, or the inspiration for our own. There’s probably all sorts of reasons for this, but here’s one I’ve come to recognize: that no thought or idea or story under the sun is completely, 100% new. Rather, they are a culmination of our knowledge and experiences. And so, in becoming a content junkie, we expand our own experience and knowledge. We are transported into the story and mind of someone else, and within those crevices we glean insights that sneak their way into our own lives. It then follows that the more we consume, the more diverse our thoughts become, and thus the more creative we are.
Again, I don’t mean for this to sound superficial. We have a serious consumption problem in this country, but I don’t think reading more books or experiencing more stories falls in line with that problem. I think if anything, those of us who consider ourselves creatives don’t consume enough content. Are you a writer? Then read more. Are you a filmmaker? Then watch more. Are you a story teller? Then experience more. There should be an unquenchable desire for more in our souls that also propels our own work forward.
So happy 2017. I hope one of your resolutions is to grow deeper in your knowledge and experience everyday, and that you seek out various different sources of content to do it. Thanks for reading along. See you next year.