Dry spells -- Others have said the same thing and I had been reading about the decline of political blogging. I had been having the feeling that my blogging stats are down and I wondered it it were just me. I knew my Site Meter statistics had been down since June. So I checked at Technorati. In addition to my stats, which had changed, I found out that Technorati.com is going to be completely rebuilt very soon.
Breaking out of boring -- So I will save some time towards more creativity by temporarily omitting the Technorati tags I have been using at the ends of posts. While I was there I checked the Too 100 list to see whether there were good writers whose work I was missing, who could be inspiring me again.
Reading the best -- Using the list, I rejuvenated my Google reader via its Power Readers index. I began with The Strange Death of Liberal America (see "the decline of political blogging" above); and "44" at the Washington Post. This article on the hot New Jersey race shows why "FiveThirtyEight" became another of my feeds. He is an absolute whiz at predicting outcomes.
A picture is worth 1000 words -- I then subscribed to Andrew Sullivan, who had linked to The Big Picture (featuring a fabulous photo spread on Afghanistan). Much of my random surfing focused on imagery, Time Magazine's pictures of the week, for example. I concluded with Rachel Sussman's groundbreaking portfolio of The Oldest Living Things in the World.
Is social media on the web to blame for my empty bucket? Possibly, though I regularly cull my list of those I follow on Twitter. I want nothing inane. Tweets like the following example keep me involved with material that seems substantial. Rachel Maddow: "Read the godawful news of 8 US troops just killed in Afghanistan immediately before going on set for MTP this morning." My FaceBook account includes only people I have invited, plus it remains private. They are relatives, in-person friends and blogfriends. No empty bucket there.
At the end of the day -- This is what I have learned, or relearned. Creativity is about breaking the rules. The amount of political blogging has actually declined, probably for natural reasons. Regular and vigorous weeding out of one's surfing or feed-reading material is essential. Tomorrow I plan to go through my regular Email newsletters unsubscribing to several that are not useful or interesting. Imagery is an essential break from a words only regimen. I works on a different part of the brain. And social media is worthwhile for its connectivity, something else needed for an empty bucket.
(Image by Wordle.net)