Six Ways to Grow as a Creator Without Being a Glutton

Elijah Szasz
3 min readJan 31, 2024

A chef will have 3,000 calories more than they need for the same reasons a creator goes three hours deep into a YouTube rabbit hole.

They both fell victim to the perils of their given professions. And you don’t need to be Jacques Torres or Mr. Beast. This is more likely to happen to an amateur than a professional. And as an amateur in the kitchen and a complete novice in creating content, I’d much rather not blow up my life in either regard.

I spend a lot of time thinking about audience and content lately. Like learning to cook, it requires experience, time, and patience. It also requires handling hazardous materials. If you’re a pastry chef with a sweet tooth and little self-control, you might also end up diabetic. If you are a creator committed to consuming and engaging in content on LinkedIn, TikTok, and Instagram, you are even more likely to do some real damage to yourself.

Like a food engineered to prey upon our deepest biological cravings so that you can’t help but keep eating it (ice cream for me), social media algorithms will pull every subconscious lever in your head to keep you scrolling.

So, how do I consume enough to learn, create, and engage without spending the entire afternoon watching Joe Rogan proselytize the latest UFO conspiracy? Here’s what I’ve been doing to be the chef who tastes as opposed to gorges:

  1. Intentionality: Social media is at its most dangerous when you start using it without planning to. You’re feeling a little cooked with your task, waiting in line, or getting a notification. Without planning to do it, you’re now twenty minutes into watching mountain bike crashes. Or maybe that’s just my TikTok feed. Block out time for consumption, and only consume in that window.
  2. Selectivity: Some people inspire me. Some are friends, others are colleagues, and others are competitors. Content that gets my creative juices flowing makes it on my consume list instead of whatever rolls into my feed.
  3. Reflect and Digest: After consuming content, I reflect on my learning and how it can inform my content creation. I keep an open note called “Creative.”
  4. Staying True to My Voice: Amidst the myriad of voices and ideas, no matter what I consume, I do my best to keep my content authentic to my style, message, and personal experience. A simple start for this is being mindful of using “I” instead of “you.”
  5. Evaluate and Adjust: I regularly assess my consumption and creation balance and adjust as needed to maintain my creative edge.
  6. Experimentation: I’m always iterating. For example, creating all day, one day a week, and consuming 30 minutes a day, four days a week. Or creating one hour five days a week and consuming three one day a week. I’m always looking for that balance of efficacy and what feels “effortless.”

If you got this far but don’t fancy yourself a creator, you may still be thinking of Mr. Beast. The truth is that the founder’s voice is what resonates most with a venture’s customers. All content is marketing, and all marketing is content. If you’ve recently gone from zero to one on this journey, I’d love to hear what frameworks have helped you the most.



Elijah Szasz

Elijah runs a LA/SLC creative agency focused on the good side of technology. He’s also a mediocre athlete, father, and entrepreneur.