Consume, Create, Recharge

As a creative, there are three types of things you should be doing.

You should Consume. Consume content. Watch movies, read books, listen to music. Fill your head with the ideas of others, the wonderful creations around you, and the unique techniques of your peers and masters. If you’re not consuming on a regular basis, your creations will end up rehashing the same ideas over and over again. An empty head doesn’t lead to very throught-provoking creations.

You should Create. Always create. If you aren’t creating on a regular basis, you’re not an artist, writer, or musician. You’re someone who likes to act like one. Creating is about doing.

You should Recharge. People love to forget this one. We love the fantasy of the eternally productive artist. He spends his days and nights at the easel. He doesn’t rest, he doesn’t take breaks. And sure, perhaps there are some people out there who can thrive on this way of life. They can use their Creating time as their Recharging time. But not everyone. I, for one, can’t paint all day, every day, and maintain any sense of momentum. I get burned out easily. I need time to Recharge.

Recharging could be taking a nap. It could be hiking. Or going to the beach. Or going to dinner with friends. Or taking a bath. Or any number of things that allow your mind to rest and recover. It all depends on what gives you energy to dive back into your work.

Consume, create, recharge. That’s what you should be doing. What you should not do is be Idle. Idleness is the enemy of the artist. Idleness is fiendishly deceptive. You might think you’re consuming when in fact you’re not consuming anything of value. You’re just being idle. You might think you’re creating, but really you’re just doing the same thing you’ve done before. Spinning your wheels. Idle. You might think you’re recharging, but you end up with no more motivation than when you began. Idle, idle, idle.

Don’t be idle. Consume, Create, Recharge. Ad infinitum.