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Creator or Consumer: Which One Are You?

Making stuff is more fun

a drawing - an example of a creator's work
My partner Aloha drew a Simpson representation of us. I'm the one wearing the red t-shirt, in case you're wondering.
Are you more of a creator or a consumer?
 
You’re a consumer if you use what others created for you.
 
If you play video games, listen to music, read books, watch movies, go to museums, eat out in restaurants, or visit photography exhibitions, then you’re a consumer.
 
You’re using other people’s creativity for your own entertainment and pleasure.
 
You’re a creator if you use your skills and imagination to make something new.
 
If you blog, take photos, make paintings, shoot videos, write stories, compose music, cook a dish or build something, then you can call yourself a creator.
 
For the first 18 years of my life, I just consumed stuff others made for me, and I can’t recall anything from that period that I’m particularly proud of.
 
I became a creator for the first time at 19. I started playing the drums and played gigs around my hometown for 3 years.
 
I remember those years with great pride. I was using my brain to bring something new into existence — for others. So good.
 
There’s nothing wrong with being a consumer. I am one too. You actually must consume to get ideas that will inspire you to create.
 
But the life of a creator is more fulfilling and fun.
 
It’s sad that often people say, “I’m not a creative person.”
 
That’s false.
 
They have this mistaken idea because they compare themselves to those who are more creative than them. Some compare their creative abilities to those of Picasso, Da Vinci or Beethoven, exceptional people who spent their entire lives training their creative muscles.
 
But comparing yourself to those who can do better than you can either motivate you to become like them, or discourage you from doing anything because you’ll never be like them.
 
So let’s not compare ourselves to anyone.
 
Instead, choose to create something today, no matter how bad it might be.
 
About 1% of Internet users create content, while 99% are just consumers of that content.
 
Be in that 1%. It’s easy to consume. But it’s more rewarding to make stuff.
 
And if you’re a learner of English, create in English for extra practice.
 
Hope this inspires you.

Fabio Cerpelloni is an English language teacher, writer, author, and podcaster from Italy. You can find out more about him and his work by clicking on his glass of beer in the photo.