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Creator Vs. Consumer

By: Michael Blankenship |

“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.” 

– Neil Gaiman

I came across this Reddit post that captured a sentiment I’d wrestled with for years before I created The Tonic: the constant tug-of-war between consumption and creation.

The sentence that particularly caught my attention was the one about depleting willpower to create content…

Today, consumption is often painted as a form of rest. 

We “chill” with Netflix, “relax” with a book, or “unwind” with a video game. 

Creation, on the other hand, is framed as work. 

But is it?

Or is it merely how we’ve been conditioned to see things?

Why are we so ingrained in consumption when creation can bring unparalleled joy and fulfillment? 

For me, this epiphany came when I acknowledged that, while consumption is easy and instantly gratifying, it’s a creation that leaves a lasting impact – on ourselves and the world around us.

And is exactly what led to the creation of The Tonic, this newsletter. 

It wasn’t just about producing content. With each thing I wrote, I shared what I learned and deepened my own understanding of those important truths. 

Reading messages about how a particular insight I shared transformed someone’s day or even their life — it’s a feeling words often fall short to describe. 

That’s the magic of becoming a creator. The impact we can make, the lives we can touch, it’s genuinely astounding.

So, if you’re mulling over the question, “How can I move from being a consumer to a creator even when willpower seems to deplete?”, I’ll suggest 3 simple things — 

Thing #1 — Rather than a vague “I want to create more,” aim for something concrete like “I’ll write 300 words daily” or “I’ll dedicate 2 hours every Sunday to working on my novel.” 

You don’t have to write a novel or compose an album. Begin with a paragraph, a doodle, or a simple melody.

I started with 1 email per week for The Tonic and now we’re sending an email every day. 

Thing #2 — Our day-to-day tasks can be exhausting, making it challenging to reserve some energy for creation. Recognizing that our willpower is not inexhaustible can help us plan and allocate time specifically for our creative pursuits.

For instance, I always get my creative work done in the morning before I allow myself to indulge in consumption. 

Thing #3 — Join a community or group where people share their creation journey. Their energy and drive can be contagious. Navigating the journey with like-minded people makes the path less isolating and more collaborative.

Don’t get me wrong; consumption has its place. It can inspire, entertain, and educate. 

But when it overshadows our inherent urge to create, it’s time to re-evaluate. 

The world doesn’t need more consumers. It craves creators – individuals willing to share their unique perspectives, skills, and passions.

So I’ll leave you with this question: What do you feel a desire to create and when are you going to do it?

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