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JeanPaulSartre's avatar

Would you say that consuming media is the opposite of creating it?

Asked by JeanPaulSartre (5779points) April 8th, 2010

For example – if you are a writer, is reading taking away from your time to write more than it’s adding to your work? Or do the new ideas generated by consuming media help to improve what you create? I find that reading and helps my writing of music, and listening to music helps me write the words… but I don’t know if this is typical. What are your thoughts?

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24 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

It really isn’t polarised. There is no “opposite” to either creation or appreciation of a medium.

wonderingwhy's avatar

I’d say destroying it would be the “opposite” of creating it. But no I don’t think consuming media necessarily detracts from your work, and can in fact inspire or provide a much needed diversion which allows you to refocus and continue fresh. Though for some it does impede. I have a friend who writes, when he’s focused he can’t read, the clutter of new ideas disrupts him and make him second guess his original focus. He much prefers to get his thoughts down as they are before ingesting new ideas and considering potential changes or new tangents. I’m sort of the opposite, I’m inspired by consuming but I’ve learned to manage the tangents and keep the details floating while I finish my original task, sometimes even fleshing out those new ideas along the way.

wundayatta's avatar

The more you know and the more stuff you are exposed to, the more creative you can be. Creativity is about putting together old stuff in new ways. The more “old stuff” you have, the more options you have for putting it together in a new way.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I don’t think of it as “consuming” media, I think of it as my part in the act of creating art; experiencing it, whether by reading the book, watching the film or listening to the music. It’s more of a flow model than a production/consumption model.

bob_'s avatar

No. That’s like saying consuming knowledge is the opposite of creating knowledge. Doesn’t work that way.

Trillian's avatar

Well, I don’t really think that one can “consume” media in the sense that one consumes goods or services. One may ingest or digest an article or information from somewhere, but that information is then “internalized”, “processed”, and “integrated” into one’s whole. This then acts as further inspiration.

JeffVader's avatar

I wish someone would consume Rupert Murdoch!

DarkScribe's avatar

@JeffVader I wish someone would consume Rupert Murdoch!

He probably would like that – in a Bill Clinton manner of speaking.

bob_'s avatar

@DarkScribe I was gonna say…

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

It’s interesting because Robert Pirsig, author of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” and “Lila,” says when he’s writing he must not read, or he is lost to reading. But then Joel Hirschhorn, an Academy Award-winning songwriter, says to read everything you can get your hands on… is it a difference in media, or in style?

DarkScribe's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre is it a difference in media, or in style?

It is a difference in the personality of the artist. You can get lost in what you are reading, but you can also become inspired. Reading triggers the imagination, and imagination is needed to create.

anartist's avatar

All cultural stimulation is good. What would you have created after living your life in an isolated village without any electronic communication or books.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

How about specifically when you’re in the middle of a project?

CMaz's avatar

consumption is before consuming.

kevbo's avatar

Oh the irony

assuming you haven’t read this

anartist's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre That might be different. It might distract you from your own train of thought or unconsciously affect your style. The Robert Pirsig example you cited may be a good model for you.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@kevbo heheh – yep. Oh that Sartre and his moral imperatives. Talk about a broken record. ;)

silverfly's avatar

Consuming media is also getting inspiration and ideas to help create it. I don’t think you hinder your creativity by consumption. Creative people need breaks.

anartist's avatar

My friend who is a poet found reading and critiquing the works of other writers in her writers’ group took away valuable energy from the book she was working on.

the100thmonkey's avatar

Creators of media don’t work in splendid isolation; those who ‘consume’ media (although I prefer a more neutral term like “use”, personally, as media isn’t broken up by the act of consumption) are a part of the society (local or global) that lead to the conditions where the work is consumed. It is a false dichotomy to separate the the producer from the user.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I do my best writing when I am either bouncing ideas off others, or when I’ve been reading something stimulating.

Jeruba's avatar

A writer who doesn’t read is not practicing his craft.

PacificToast's avatar

I’d say the destroying of creating media would be doing things that did not further your pursuits. For example: If you have a song you feel you should write, but you decide to go to Taco Bell instead. That is the opposite of creating media.

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