Harry Wolff

You can't escape my laugh.

Consume or Create

September 20, 2011
Read time 2 minutes

When consuming a lot of media it makes the process of creating media very difficult.

On an average day I read about 250 blog posts. This done with the help of the very excellent Google Reader which centralizes all these posts to be accessed in one location. Without it I would not be able to keep up with the flood of posts created everyday. Lately I'm realizing that despite GReader's help I am still unable to keep up.

That's not entirely true. I can keep up with my RSS feed. I do everyday. However the time it takes me to get through all the posts is time that I don't get back. More and more frequently I'm wishing I had that time back.

I enjoy keeping up with the latest tech news and trends. Reading the latest tech pundits wax poetic on rumors of new products does bring me a lot of entertainment and joy. However after reading everything in my RSS feed I'm left wanting to give back but without the time and energy that's necessary to produce something real and of value.

I've also noticed a trend with tech news. The volume of posts created in a day tend to run in cycles. There will be a week where there is a flurry of new posts, pushing my GReader count past the 400 post mark. Those weeks are followed by a week or two of slow news mixed with a cascade of punditry that analyzes and rehashes the news from the previous week.

After those weeks the tech news settles into a lull as it awaits the 'the next big thing' to write about. Sometimes those droughts last upwards of 3 months, interrupted only by a surprise announcement from a tech company or from a rumor about a hypothetical product or situation that will then produce its own week of tech punditry that discusses whether the rumor will turn out to be true or end up as nothing more than false words.

So what do I gain from these cycles of news? Information and entertainment. In return I must only give my time and attention. In all honesty I think it's a fair trade, one I've been happy to keep for well over a year. However my yearning to create something new has grown very strong of late and those cravings need time and attention as well. As the old saying goes: you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Yet when I step back and actually look at what I read every day I'm faced with articles that can be easily labeled as fluff. They're filler posts, made to keep their audience pacified and docile until 'the next big thing' can be written about which will then yank in more page views.

I've decided I want to be 'the next big thing' that's written about. The only way to make that happen is to create something of note and value. That's where I want to focus my energy. That's the only way to create: by not being consumed by the creations of others. They've had their time to be talked about. Now it's mine. :)