As some of you may know from reading my previous blog posts, I’m not writing much right now. In fact, I’m writing nothing. I’m still trying to figure out that whole confusion between Writer’s Block and Writer’s Lethargy, but it’s given me no magical key to open my passion for writing once more. In fact, it’s only given me a blog post.
However,though I am not writing, I am doing a lot of other things. I’m reading: yesterday I finished Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist, then I started The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. (Swedish writers are awesome, apparently.) I’ve been watching so many movies: Repo! The Genetic Opera, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, and Let the Right One In (Swedish film version of aforementioned novel). I’ve also been listening to music every chance I get. Do I feel bad that I’m not writing right now? Yeah, a little bit. Do I think it’s a huge problem? No! I’m having a great time.
And that’s why I think, as writers, we should give ourselves the right to be consumers. Often times, writers are told that all we should do is write, write, write. If we’re not producers, there is something wrong with us and we should be stripped of our dear titles as writers until we can, once again, produce some kind of mangled piece of writing.
But why does there have to be this kind of fight? Why can’t I decide that for a month or two, maybe even three, I don’t want to write – I just want to read good books, watch good movies, and enjoy myself. Am I not a writer as soon as I make this decision to consciously stop writing? Has my movement from producer to consumer made me less of what I was before?
I think consuming creativity is just as important as using our creativity. Like other writers I know, I think one of the best ways to learn how to write is to read. Reading is as much of a neccessary act of being a writer as writing itself is. But I’m not the kind of person to go around saying that if you aren’t reading every day when you’re writing, you’re a failure. (*cough Stephen King cough* “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time, or the tools, to write. Simple as that.”) I don’t even think you need to read, at least not all the time. Obviously, if you’re writing I’d hope you’ve read before. But watching movies are just as important. So much structure goes into building a good movie, or even a TV series (What “Lost” Taught me about my Novel). Anything that involves some kind of creative production – music, painting, drawing, cooking, knitting – helps your creative mind as a whole.
It forces you to look at the world in a different way, open your eyes and breathe in the creativity that someone else left behind. I really don’t care that I’m not writing right now. Once I realized that I can replace my own lack of creativity with the creativity of others, I was satisfied. I haven’t lost my writerly-self, I’m simply rebuilding it. Giving it time to regain its strength and passion through others’ artistic acts.
More important than anything: I’m enjoying myself. Whether I’m writing, reading, eating, or watching TV I want to be enjoying myself. Why write if you aren’t having fun? Why read if the book is boring? And don’t get me started on eating gross food. The enjoyment that comes from the creativity, whether being produced or consumed, is more important than anything. And this is why I firmly believe that as writers, it is PERFECTLY OKAY AND AWESOME to be consumers instead of produce. It makes us happy.