A week of no media consumption

“when you don’t create things, you become defined by your tastes rather than ability. your tastes only narrow & exclude people. so create.”

– why the lucky stiff

In my spare time, I tend to read a lot. Also, since I recently discovered the joys of Netflix, I watch a lot of Louie. But the above _why quote, combined with reading and re-reading the highly recommended essay/lecture “Solitude and leadership” by William Deresiewicz, has made me think about what I do with my evenings and weekends.

The people I look up to the most aren’t people who read a lot. They are people who create things. Sure, they might have been avid consumers for all that I know, but they also produced.

I have always seen myself as a creative person trapped in a lazy person’s mind. I don’t want my decently shaped skull and its gooey content to be a slave to other people’s thoughts and actions. I want to explore my own thoughts, listen to my own music, read my own text and use my own apps for a while.

So now I want to conduct yet another little experiment (my life is filled with those): no media consumption for a week. Well, some media is allowed. What I mean is:

  • No reading, unless directly related to what I am making. An example might be API documentation.
  • No watching movies unless I do it as part of hanging out with my wife, as we do enjoy the occasional quirky comedy. But no Louie when I am on my own. “But he’s so funny and sad, Peter. Watching him suffer makes you feel better about yourself!” my mind tells me now, to which I firmly reply “NO LOUIEEE CEEE KAAAAY FOR A WEEEEEK!!!”.
  • Music is fine. I can play the latest Converge or Armin van Buuren albums while I am coding/writing/drawing, since it makes me focus better. No podcasts, however.

It is always easy reaching for Hacker News when I am tired and lazy after a day of coding. But now I can’t, so I’ll be forced to create things instead. Will that mean more blog posts, more drawings, my electronica album finally getting finished or a me making new web framework?

I don’t know yet, but I’ll keep you posted.