Focus on Creating instead of Consuming

Consuming can be addictive, but so is creating when you start seeing results.

Focus on Creating instead of Consuming

We all have the same number of hours a day, yet some people seem to find time to write novels and pursue their dreams, while the rest of us are struggling to find time between work and sleep.

Having more time isn’t always the answer. Taking a break from the 9 – 5 has freed up enormous time during my day, however, it doesn’t automatically translate into productive output.

If I am not careful, I can easily waste several hours of my day scrolling through social media and doing busy work instead of actually getting down to what matters.

If you are working full time, it is even more important to use your time wisely, instead of binge-watching episodes on Netflix or doom-scrolling TikTok.

My goal for this year is to create more than I consume. This means spending at least an hour or two a day writing as well as recording videos for my YouTube channel and then the many, many, many hours it takes to edit a video.

Creating things, especially in public, has a way of compounding over time, which doesn’t happen when you consume content.

There are no benefits to your future self by watching another Instagram Reel or arguing with someone on Twitter.

Creating is Addictive

Short-form media such as TikTok videos and Instagram posts are designed to be addictive. They give us that dopamine hit every minute, which keeps us scrolling for hours.

Once you start creating and seeing results, it becomes a new kind of addiction.

As many of you know, I am currently trying to grow my YouTube channel. Over the last 5 months, I have grown my channel from 51 subscribers to 930.

I am also writing several posts on software engineering for my blog several times a week. As a result, traffic on my blog has grown from 6,900 page views in October to 11,200 in the last 30 days.

For those not familiar with online growth, these numbers might not seem that impressive. It has taken me 5 months to gain 879 subscribers and double the page views on my blog.

Online growth however is not linear.

We are used to living in a linear world with linear results. The online world however doesn’t work linearly.

If you keep creating in public, then each post or video becomes a seed that brings in more people to your audience.

For example, when I first started posting regularly on YouTube in October, I was getting 3 – 6 subscribers per week.

By the end of 2022, I was gaining 22 subscribers a week.

Now at the end of February, I am gaining 42 subscribers every week.

If you look at large YouTubers such as Ali Abdaal they gain 3,000 subscribers per day! Once you gain a bit of traction, these things have a tendency to snowball. Especially if you are improving what you produce every time.

I should get to the 1,000-subscriber milestone at some point in March.

If we were living in a linear world, then I would get to 2,000 subscribers by the end of August 2023.

However, things aren’t linear. If every week the number of subscribers I gain increases by 10%, as it has done so far, then I should get to the 2,000 subscriber milestone by the end of May.

Gaining 1,000 subscribers in 3 months instead of 5. If the growth continues at this rate, then I would be ending the year with around 28,000 subscribers (let’s see how wrong I am!).

Of course, none of this will happen if I don’t continue creating videos every week. Luckily, creating content is far more addictive than consuming it once you start seeing results.

❤️ Picks of the Week

📝 Article - 19 Rules For A Better Life (From Marcus Aurelius). I am a big fan of Stoicism, and anyone who is familiar with the stoics has heard of Ryan Holiday. I have his book The Daily Stoic sitting on my desk to gain some wisdom from the ancient philosophers. If you are new to stoicism, then it is worth starting with these tips.

📚 Book - The Dip - Seth Godin (affiliate link). I read this over the weekend. It is a short book on when to quit or when to stick at it. Everything worth pursuing has a dip. It is the time between when you start something full of excitement and the time when your practice pays off, and you actually become good at something.

👨‍💻 Latest from me

🎬 YouTube - Hexagonal Architecture. I am trying to focus more on videos that will do well in search. I have been doing a lot of keyword research on my blog, and some of those posts I make into videos. In this video, I cover Hexagonal Architecture, going over what it is and when you should use it. In case you are interested, the term "Hexagonal Architecture" is searched 22,000 times a month, so I am hoping this video will do well over the long term.

📝 Article - Python List Comprehension. Manipulating lists can be a pain in most programming languages, as you have to create a copy of the array. Python has a good feature called List Comprehension that is missing from a lot of other languages.

You might notice that I have one less article this week compared to my normal cadence. I have decided to move Friday's post to next week so that I can release it at the same time as my video. Some of my posts do very well when they are first released, and I have been missing out on potential views of my videos.

💬 Quote of the Week

Ask anybody doing truly creative work, and they’ll tell you the truth: They don’t know where the good stuff comes from. They just show up to do their thing. Every day.

From Steal Like an Artist (affiliate link) by Austin Kleon. Resurfaced with Readwise.