I’m a reader. I believe everyone can find value in reading, but I’m not talking about the “everyone-finds-value-in-reading” kind of reader. I’m talking about the lock-myself-in-a-room, stay-up-all-night, read-while-I’m-walking-to-my-coffee-meeting (and-almost-get-hit-by-a-car) kind of reader.
I love everything about reading.
I love getting caught up in a story—so that I almost forget it isn’t my own story, so that I start to feel like I am one of the characters. I love the thrill of new information, new understanding.
I love the practicality of it—a recipe book, a health and fitness book, a business book—they way these books can tangibly and sort of immediately improve my life.
And I guess this is why I fell in love with the blogging world, too, in a way…
It was as if I had this instant and exciting access to all kinds of authors (even those who hadn’t authored books) specializing in all kinds of different subjects, with any manner of unique voices, who spent time sharing their stories and their information in their own creative way.
I learned new recipes, made new friends, got great advice, pondered all of the deliciously beautifut outfits I could be wearing (if I didn’t constantly find myself in jeans and a t-shirt) and home-projects I could be doing (if I wasn’t such a creative disaster when it comes to anything other than writing).
All this to say—it is really easy (and fun) to get wrapped up in.
And yet, here is the problem: At some point, you have to stop reading.
I don’t mean, like, stop reading for good. I’m not talking about putting our books down, or putting our blogs away, or clearing out our readers and never touching them again. What I’m talking about is how, at some point, you have to stop asking, stop researching, stop polling the audience, and start living.
In other words, when it comes to making a big decision—there’s only so much advice you can get before you have to make up your own mind. There’s only so long you can patrol the internet, learning and leaning on the opinions of others, before you have to choose your own perspective.
You have to decide for yourself.
There’s only so much commiserating you can do, only so much learning and reading and gaining insight, before you realize none of that insight does you any good if you don’t do something with it.
At some point each of us have to create something for ourselves.
I forget this so often.
I get so lost in the ideas and creations and opinions and thoughts of others—I forget to create something for myself. I get so stuck consuming what is around me, I forget consuming is not the same as creating; and that, while I am a consumer by culture and training, I am a creator by nature and design.
When I’m not creating, I’m not fully myself.
So my challenge to you (and myself) this weekend is to do something: decide something, build something, go somewhere, try something, experiment. Don’t just sit back and watch TV, or read a book. Don’t ask what everybody else is doing. You don’t need anymore direction or advice.
You’re a creator, for heaven’s sake. When you are creative, this is when you are most yourself.