This is such a funny phrase. I remember seeing a cartoon in the early 2000s about a donut-shaped girl with that caption “you are what you eat.”
And I think this sentence may have been a diet-culture-shame-tactic for a while but in the instance of this newsletter, it’s a sentence to get you thinking about the content you consume.
Think about it: your brain can only process so much information and it can only create so much new art or content. So, you are what you eat, you are what your brain consumes.
I know for me, the days I scroll on social media more are the days I feel brain-dead, uninspired, and imposter-y.
Ironically, the days I read really, really good books I don’t feel the comparison gremlin, I feel the hope, excitement, and inspiration angels (too much?).
For instance, I’m editing a manuscript for a client and as I read it I find myself laughing, cheering, wooing, all while I’m correcting typos or offering suggestions to tighten up the language. And you know what? I’ve felt so inspired that I bumped up my editing plan for my own manuscript.
Because I was reminded what can happen if you just dive in and try. If you work at what you want. If you let your fears lay by your feet and hold up your hopes instead.
So, if you’re reading this, think about what you are consuming. Are you digital-only? Reading everything on a screen? Are you only reading short fiction, the news, or scrolling through tiktok and Instagram? Whatever you’re consuming, ask yourself, ist hat what you want to be creating? Are you leaving each sesh feeling refreshed, inspired, hopeful? Or do you leave feeling numb, down trodden, anxious? While we can’t avoid the world (though, I’ve definitely tried), we can alter our experience by thoughtfully choosing how we want to perceive the world.
Junk food is great in moderation, but in order to survive, you need to get protein, fat, carbs, and nutrient-dense foods. Do the same for your creativity and your brain by taking in thoughtful content and writing.
If you need me, I’ll be reorganizing my bookshelves and adding things to my read-right-now-list…