As a writer, you probably read that headline and thought, “I’m a creator.”
But are you really?
And the way to tell is to ask yourself two questions: do I create more than I consume? Or, do I consume more than I create?
My guess is, you’re consuming a whole lot more than you’re creating.
Consuming means you’re taking things in–reading books, watching TV shows or movies, going to live events or spending every night stuffing your face with food before you go to bed.
Consuming. Taking things in, but not putting anything back out.
Creating is a whole other thing.
Creators create. They are constantly putting new stuff out there–ideas, projects, books, art, music, whatever.
As a writer–and especially as a writer who wants to be a pro author–you have to be creating more than you’re consuming.
We’re all born with innate creativity. But if you don’t use your creativity and creative gifts on a regular, consistent basis, they lose their effectiveness. And eventually you’ll find yourself in your mid-50s feeling like you don’t have a creative bone in your body.
And that’s not true. You do have a creative bone. Lots of them.
But you gotta use them. You’ve gotta use your creativity as much and as often as possible.
You must commit to being a creator, and to creating more than you consume.
This was a tough one for me. Back in 2008 when I officially started my novel-writing journey, I was definitely consuming WAY more than I was creating.
Back then I spent most of my days and nights watching endless shows on HGTV and Food Network. Telling myself I wanted to write and even that I would write… but first I had to watch Rachel Ray or House Hunters or whatever stupid show was on.
And then the writing never happened. (Or happened very little in comparison.)
Now don’t get me wrong–there’s nothing wrong with consuming. After all, as writers, we need consumers, otherwise who will read what we put out there?
But there has to be a balance between consuming and creating, and more of the weight needs to fall on the creating side.
Today, I definitely create more than I consume (but I could still use to consume less and create even more, as I’m pretty addicted to Netflix).
That’s the whole point of being a writer. Of being an author. Of being someone who’s great with words.
The sad thing is, way too many writers are out there calling themselves writers or telling people they want to write book (or that they are writing a book), but then most of their free time is spent consuming. Reading books or streaming Hulu, while dreaming about the stories living inside them that they want to write, but haven’t yet.
And a good majority of those writers never will.
They’ll never step up and do what it takes to be the creators they dream of being. Because they’re too busy hiding their heads in the sands of media, news, Facebook, Netflix and whatever other mindless dribble is coming out of their electronics.
They’re too busy Resisting the writing dreams that live inside them and procrastinating on taking action. They’re too busy telling themselves that they’ll start tomorrow or next week or next month, once their circumstances change a bit or when their lives are less chaotic. (Which will never happen, by the way.)
Look, we all go through this at some point. No one is above it. Resistance and procrastinating are a part of the creative process at times.
But the real trouble happens when you don’t do anything about it. When you just keep Resisting and keep procrastinating, never actually creating anything you want to create. (Trust me, I know. There was a time in my writing life when I actually avoided doing the work by getting on my hands and knees and scrubbing the bathroom floor with a sponge–and I HATE cleaning!)
That’s over for me now. I’m all in. I’m game on. I’m on fire with a passion for writing and for creating and getting my ideas out into the world on a regular basis.
Now that’s not to say that I don’t have moments of Resistance and procrastination still (I totally do and probably always will. I am the original Procrastinating Writer).
But I’ve transitioned to the next level in my writing life. I’m a published author (6 books and counting–my new one comes out next week!).
I’m on a mission. A mission to use up everything that’s inside me, so when I leave this world I can feel 100 percent like I accomplished everything I came here to, and then some.
I refuse to live with regrets. Ever.
And, well, when you don’t get your writing out there; when you make Netflix and reading other people’s books more important than creating and putting your own ideas and stories out into the world, that’s when you’re setting yourself up for regrets.
Because while you can have it all, you won’t be able to when your ass is planted on the couch in front of the TV. Or when you’ve got a stack of books a mile high to read, meanwhile your own book is collecting cobwebs on your laptop or–even worse–inside your head.
Having it all means taking action. It means showing up and doing the work. It means making your writing, your stories and what you want to create MORE IMPORTANT than all the books, TV shows, movies, music and what not that you want to consume.
There has to be a balance. And in my opinion, that balance needs to fall heavier on the creation side than the consume side.
That’s why I created the Bestselling Author Mastermind group–because I want you to stop making the bullshit stuff that you consume on a daily basis more important than doing your writing and getting your ideas and stories out into the world.
This mastermind is accountability and productivity at a whole new level. We’re doing daily check ins–so you can see progress a whole lot faster (or see where you’re totally not doing the work and need to step up).
And I’m in the trenches with you, doing my writing and getting it out into the world.
I’m a big fan of leaders who lead from the trenches. Who get down and dirty with the people they’re leading. Who are totally transparent and show you the truth of what it really takes to be successful–no BS, no rose-colored glasses.
Who step up and prove the things they preach. Who put into daily practice the things they teach. And who are willing to get vulnerable and share it all–the good and the bad.
That’s what makes a revolutionary leader in my mind. And that’s what I want to be.
A revolutionary leader who helps emerging novelists step up, claim their writing dreams and then take action to make it happen. I want to be the reason more stories get out into the world.
Stories that never would’ve seen the light of day without me.
That’s what the Bestselling Author Mastermind group is all about. Action. Progress. Giving up the BS that holds you back. Committing to your writing dream. Being willing to do whatever it takes.
And creating more than you consume.