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Are You a Consumer or a Creator?

To cleanse the palate of all the publishing links I’m sharing this week, a brief original post to tide you over if that’s what you crave:

You love books. You buy books from bookstores. You whip out your credit card for books from Amazon and  Chapters. You poke about the used bookstore down the street that has that ugly mixture of the aromas of old book glue, yellowed pages and desperation.

And if you read this blog, you’re want to write books as well. Tell me, are you a creator or just a consumer. There’s nothing wrong with being a consumer, but if you have dreams of writing a novel, you really have to sit and get your hands on a keyboard.

There are so many things I love. All things Kevin Smith does amuse me, for instance. The director of many films, small and large, has developed quite a cult and at this moment is leading a podcast revolution and redefining what it is to have a comedy show. The jokes come not from stand-up comics, but a bunch of his friends have become sit-down comics who deliver fun and interest not by thought-out routines, but by arguing with each other and asking a lot fo what-if questions. The comedy can be uneven, but he’s developed a following who may or may not love his movies. Simultaneously, Kevin Smith has taken a low-tech medium—podcasting—and redefines its use for large numbers of people who have, ironically, abandoned radio. He has also resurrected a form that has hovered near death for a long time: he’d brought back the milieu of the raconteur.

In short, Kevin Smith is a creator and still retains his title of indie film legend, though he hasn’t made an “indie” in quite some time. That’s not a criticism, but a tribute to his success. His movies are getting bigger and bigger budgets because all his movies make money (even the perceived flops.) In podcasting (or smodcasting as he and Scott Mosier have name it when they do it) he gives much away free. Obviously he has a lot of fun doing it. He travels the world building his brand (and the continent by his own tour bus.) He recently bought a small theatre for his podcast home and he’s behind six smodcasts in total. He’s busy and productive, continuing his schedule despite having a new film, Red State, in the works.

 As much as I admire Mr. Smith and his quick wit and filthy sense of humour, my idolatry reminds me that I, too, have to get off my ass. Or, more accurately, get on my ass, and write. I am a dedicated consumer. Recently, after beginning a diet, I resolved that I needed to get out of the house so I wouldn’t eat something I shouldn’t. The problem was, if I was going to go somewhere and not eat…where would I go? I settled on the library and the closest bookstore. The experience made clear to me that, as much as I consume books, I must allot time for my novel (and other income-generating products.)

I reconsidered my priorities. A friend’s example on Twitter reminded me how productive I am the earlier I start the day. Good health makes me more energetic so I plotted time for the gym on a regular basis. I must commit to a schedule at regular times (daily) to ensure that progress on my own work continues. I enjoy reading helpful publishing information (and today’s writer must be more aware of the market much more than writers from just a few years ago.) Instead of medicating myself with delicious sugar and carbohydrates, I’m writing more. I’m being proactive in my reading so I don’t use the sly anaesthetic of more and more reading as an unconscious tool of procrastination.

In short, I’m more aware. I’m watching how I spend my time and marrying up those activities with my goals. If you’re stuck as a writer, perhaps you should reevaluate how you’re spending your time, too.

Today’s Book Recommendation: The Other 8 Hours by Robert Pagliarini will help you focus your energies to your greater success in managing your time and becoming a creator, not just a consumer. Money flows to creators (among many other less tangible, but no less important, rewards.)

Filed under: getting it done, My fiction, publishing, Rant, writing tips, , , ,

One Response

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Robert Chute, Robert Chute. Robert Chute said: Thursday bonus: Are You a Consumer or a Creator?: http://wp.me/pRG3O-iP […]

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