What ever you do, don't read this post.
Couldn't resist, right? But it's more than just a tricksy headline. Are you sure you really haven't got better things to do? Something more constructive?
Chances are if you're reading this blog you consider yourself a creative – someone who produces stuff. I certainly like to think of myself like that. But here's a wake-up call – how many novels do you read compared to how many you write? How many TV shows do you watch compared to how many you produce? How many paintings do you enjoy versus how many you paint? When you do a balance sheet like that it doesn't look good.
I know it's a little unfair – culture is far easier to consume than it is to create - but it's sobering to think of it in those terms. You can imagine Picasso's, Chopin's or Shakespeare's account looking a little more healthier than ours.
You have a choice – chances are you've consumed more than enough stories and material to last you a lifetime – and everyone and everything is gunning for a little more of your attention – here's some tips for keeping the wolves of consumption at bay.
Buy a Netbook, not an iPad
You see a keyboard on that oversized iPhone? Me neither. And there's a reason for that – it's designed for internet potatoes. Compulsive creators need something to write with – you press much more on that screen other than the 'one click order' button and you'll be demented in minutes.
Take a notebook, not a novel, to bed
Rather than reading to relax, try writing to relax. Half an hour with a pencil before you go to sleep with no pressure to produce anything will actually get your creative juices flowing.
Buy a Blackberry, not an iPhone (or HTC)
Same reason for not buying an iPad – believe me, I've tried typing stuff on those little screens – even texting is a drag.
Cancel your cable TV
You know it makes sense. You can always catch those 'must see' shows on DVD if you must see – even then, you'd be better working on your own teleplay.
In truth, if you still haven't finished your manuscript you should cancel everything until you have.
Sort out that create/consume balance. You've only got one life to live.
Anybody got any other choices a compulsive creator should make?