For the past couple weeks I've felt my creative powers retreat. Instead of pulling abstractions out of my observations, I've just observed and moved on, amused. It's happened before. It's an imbalance between RSS feeds and this blog, a correlation between reading more and writing less. I wonder which is the cause and which the effect, or is there a hidden cause?
I've discovered several fun new RSS feeds. Sensing the imbalance, I've also begun to cut some I'd like to follow. But TV lovers know they can't watch every show they'd enjoy. Same here: the Internet is functionally infinite. Several of the feeds I've come across lately are very time-consuming. Consider, as an example, jalopnik.
Jalopnik.com is about cars. All about cars - new models, classics, obscure niche cars, racing, customization, the lot. At over a dozen posts a day, if you're a car guy, Jalopnik will give you all you can handle. In fact, I'm tempted to say that you definitely are a car guy if you keep coming back to Jalopnik. I get Car and Driver and Road & Track in the mail, but that's only once a month. Well, problem solved.
Jalopnik is a Gawker Media site. As Scott Rosenberg noted in "Say Everything", Gawker works their bloggers pretty hard. Here's what you have to do to make a living at blogging: repost press releases with commentary; go to trade shows and post picture galleries of the displays; build a community by moderating and contributing to comment threads; solicit input from your readers in the form of photos and stories; write a long article maybe once a day; and above all, project enthusiasm relentlessly. Whew! I don't read through it all--I couldn't, even if I wanted to or felt I should--but I appreciate the flood of information.
I've also begun reading books again. I think that happened when I cancelled my subscription to the New Yorker. Books, blogs - it's consumption. I guess it's a good first step that I hear the little warning bell to tell me I'm only consuming, not creating. I'd like to keep my balance better, but nobody's perfect. I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I'm just going to try to improve.