Creative Obesity – a state in which consumption exceeds creation resulting in creative lethargy and general ill health of the muse.
There are several reasons for obesity. One common one is lack of exercise. Another stems from the low quality if food we consume. Eating becoming an end in and of itself is yet another. Likely, there are others as well. All these contribute to my thoughts on the creative self as well and how we are developing people who are creatively obese. Mind you this is not an overabundance of creativity, that is to be found in healthy creatives, and those who are creatively obese are not healthy. So what causes creative obesity?
- Lack of exercise – Just as food is a source of energy for activity, consumption should have an outlet for creation. When we continually store up we’ll eventually run out of space, or find ourselves with an overwhelming amount of information to sift through. This can especially be troubling if much of that information isn’t very high quality. This bring us to …
- Low quality creative food – Americans generally eat very poorly. We eat food designed to manipulate our pallets with a certain combination of salt and sugar to not only make us want it, but make us want more even as it makes us weaker. Most of what we eat is junk food. Well, I think a case can be made for art junk food as well. Movies, TV, books, video games, poetry, paintings, etc. that conform to a formula to the same end as these designer foods. There may have been a time when we would notice the lack in quality and freshness, but as we’ve acclimated to art’s equivalent of frozen dinners, we’ve come to a point where that poorly written, derivative, TV show seems like a banquet when it really is only a Banquet dinner, served on a plastic plate straight from the microwave in 2 minutes to be consumed in 2 minutes.
- Eating for eating’s sake – There comes a time when we don’t eat because we enjoy it. We hardly take the time to even taste it. We don’t really do anything, so we’re not thinking about the need for energy. We’re simply eating… and eating… and eating. Consumption without purpose will destroy us, but it’s one of those things we may never see coming. It can be satisfying in its own shallow way. In that moment, we feel somewhat fulfilled, but the moment we’re done, the emptiness is there again begging for more.
Consumption is only part of the equation. It is to a purpose. When we lose sight of that purpose, we become unhealthy and more easily satisfied with lesser things. If I’m honest with myself, I’m not exactly fit creatively, but I’m working on it. How about you?
How fit are you creatively?