I am envious of people who, on any topic, seem to have a neverending fount of things to write about. The topic doesn’t really matter, it could be the well known industry experts like John Gruber and Horace Deidu or topic experts like my friend Terry or my friends KT and Liz who write blog entries all the time and write whole books. Writing has always been a chore for me and my lack of writing was even something I used to be proud of, gladly confirming I made it through college without taking a course in the English department (a hard thing to do at a traditional liberal arts university).
But now I wish I had worked harder at it. I doubt that the people I mentioned find it “easy,” but they are clearly better at it than me. I remember a book I read many years ago by Salman Rusdie (yes, that Salman Rusdie) – Haroun and the Sea of Stories. It was a fantastical tale following a child whose father lost the ability to write because the invisible, magical faucet that was in their bathroom that provided inspiration for stories had dried up. This faucet was installed based on some criteria when you became a writer and helped provide you with inspiration. My faucet is still on backorder, I think.
I have long been a consumer of information on all topics. My RSS reader currently has over 100 feeds I look at every day on topics ranging from technical to food to politics. I have been working on reading more of the news, recently renewing my subscription (online and print) to the New York Times.
Recently, I have been making a concerted effort to share more of the items that I find interesting via Twitter and Facebook. I think it is an honorable role to play as a filter. To curate the hundreds of articles that pass by me every day to the select few that others in my social group may find interesting.
Having been doing this sharing role for a month or so, I am finding that it is a logical progression towards creator. On a number of occasions, discussion has been started on one of the social media outlets which has spawned a blog entry.
I think that this shows that, at least for me, writing is just one part of a larger conversation about something I know something about or are interested in. The challenge I think all (many) of us face is that for topics that we know or are experienced about, well, we are experienced about them and they seem “easy” and therefore not worth writing about. The mindset shift that needs to occur is that they are probably not easy for everyone and therefore worth sharing. Therein lies the challenge.