John Chandler wrote an article on his creative process. He calls it The Creative Loop and it's an interesting way of looking at it. He breaks it down into Engage, Capture and Create.
He explains Engagement as the act of taking it all in. In other words, consuming what's around you. He says:
Consumption has been laid out as a direct competitor to creation. If you are doing one, then you aren’t doing the other. There is just enough truth in that for us to hold tight to it, and all the guilt that comes with it. But it’s not true.
I agree with this. Yes, sometimes we can go overboard by consuming so much that it literally doesn't leave time for creation. For example, a writer who finds the time to read a lot but doesn't find the time to write. I would call that person an reader and not a writer at all. A writer writes. But a writer also reads and that's a good thing.