Justin Ricklefs


The Creation + Consumption Continuum

I’m not sure if it was a rabbit hole or trail, or maybe both, but, thanks to my brain and the internet colluding last night, I ended up deeply lost in one.

Brain: “I want a writer’s cabin in the backyard.”

Internet: “Here are 2.7 million results for your search.”

Brain: “I would write sooooo much in that cabin. Click the Shopping button.”

Internet: “Here are images, descriptions, and prices of the ones we think you’ll like best.”

Brain: “Holy sh**, that one is amazing. The book will finally get written.”

Internet: “This can be delivered, fully assembled, to your backyard by Wednesday, and you won’t really have to work that hard at all. Just put your card in these fields, and we’ll debit it $11,000.”

Brain: “There’s gotta be a similar one for wayyyy less money but the same amount of not very much work.”

Internet: “Of course there is…”

The two highly distracted powerhouses moved and migrated through metal options, vinyl versions, DIY varieties, and dozens of other kinds.

All with this, let’s be honest, bullshit belief, that if I had some romanticized, secluded, don’t tell the HOA that I put a cabin in the woods behind our house cabin, that I’d magically write more words.

Of course the desire isn’t wrong. The hope shouldn’t be shamed. And the cabin would be really cool.

But it will never solve my real problem with writing.

Most consumption we digest makes us bloated and lethargic.

Sure, there are lots of exceptions. Listen to a bunch of good books or podcasts and get smarter, more enlightened, and healthier emotionally.

Or be inspired by some signal in a super noisy stream of social media brain pollution.

It’s never been easier to consume. And it gets easier by the second.

As Bo Burnham says say hauntingly, “Anything and everything all of the time…” and “Daddy made you your favorite, open wide, here comes the content…”

We can consume, and consume, and consume. And often do. While something inside us is begging to create.

The world’s supply of sheds and writing cabins were quite literally at my fingertips while I avoided the very thing I would magically do in said cabin, write.

Somewhere along the rabbit trails and holes, I woke up. And realized the lie I’d believed for the last 13 minutes in my search for pain-free, writing bliss that would never deliver.

Wake up tomorrow. Sit down. And write.

At the desk. Or in the car. Or on the deck. Or at the office. Or in school pick up line. Or between meetings. Or a million other places I already have.

So this morning, I woke up. I pulled out an index card, and wrote three main priorities on it with a blue pen. Stuff I wanted to create and see brought into the world before I go back to sleep.

One work thing.

One personal thing.

And “write.”

Here is that checkmark on my daily habit. Monday, October 18th. I wrote.

And, as doing the damn work turns out, it didn’t take a cabin of consumption to bring it into existence.

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