Wednesday, June 13, 2012

An Introduction

Hi there. My name's Matt Shafeek. I'm a writer and performer living in New York City, and I have a little life experiment coming up that I want to tell you about. It's called "Create / Consume," and I'm very excited about it.

For the entire month of July 2012, I am committing myself to creating as much as I consume. This means that for every minute I spend watching TV, playing video games or browsing the internet, I have to match that time with a minute of writing, performing, or otherwise 'creating.'

This will not be easy. I'll have to keep track of every minute of my free time, and I'll be have to be vigilant about staying ahead of my consumption. But that's precisely the point of doing this - to become more aware of how I use my time and to hold myself more accountable for it.

I have a strong tendency to misuse my free time. I'll spend hours blowing through my Google Reader, on Facebook, or on my iPhone. I have a pretty unhealthy addiction to Words with Friends and Hero Academy, and I can easily justify spending an afternoon catching up on a season of Breaking Bad. And I certainly would never think to fully deprive myself of these things. Like a dieter who eschews all his favorite delicious meals and desserts, I understand that simply forgoing all of life's pleasures would be a recipe for disaster. Instead, I'm simply looking to find a better balance, because right now the pendulum is simply swinging too far in the wrong direction.

Four years ago I decided to give up video games for a year to see what I'd do with my time. The goal was to read more, write more, exercise more, cook more and travel more. And I did all those things - it was great! I blogged about the whole experience and even got interviewed by a few people when I successfully finished the year. Clearly I enjoy doing this kind of thing. But this time around I'm encouraging other people to join me in my wacky little experiment, tweaking it to fit their own needs, and sharing their experience with the world just like I'm doing.

So how about you? Are you a creative person looking to find better ways to your time? Do you enjoy kooky little life projects in general? Well then - hop on board the crazy train with me and let's see what happens. You're free to make what you want of your "Create/Consume" experience. I already have a friend who I told about that will be incorporating riding her bike and avoiding using her car for the month, which I think is awesome, and I'd totally be doing that too if I owned either of those things.

That's my spiel. Are you curious? Intrigued? Then keep an eye on this blog. I'll have more details and specifics coming soon. If you're looking to reach out to me, to sign up or ask any questions, email me at, and if you're interested in getting the latest updates on the experiment, follow me on twitter @create_consume.

Have a wonderfully productive and/or lazy day.


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