Some weeks ago, I decided to check my blogroll over at bloglines.com
I used to read approximately 20 + blogs on a regular basis. All of them entertained, inspired, intrigued, or taught me something.
Then I think I must have got RSS as in "Reading Sucks Syndrome" or something because I started letting my blog roll languish. The more prolific bloggers - generally those who do it to make a buck - were left unread for a few weeks.
When I went back recently to check them out - I found over 200 + posts to chug through. Needless to say - I simply baulked at that and decided then and there to stop the rss feeds on many of these formerly beloved blogs.
The amount of words generated every day on the net must be fast exceeding the word count of all the printed books in libraries around the world. That's every day! Day after day! The sheer volume of ideas, thoughts and musings must be enough to make God cringe and want to have something very strong to drink before getting out of bed! Luckily for Him, all these words don't count for prayers for "something" or he'd be right tetchy - I know I would be! I know what its like to live with demanding children eh?
Even so, publishing is obviously changing at a rate of knots that must have book editors in a flurry. Tapping into good writing is like mining a reef for gold. Much of it out there is mere Fool's Gold. Blogs are the driving force for this massive rate of change in publishing and for the emergence of new writing; new writers.
Thing is - blogging still doesn't quite have the credibility of books yet. At least not in my experience. Blogging is still considered introspective and self-indulgent. Much of the blogging world is just that - this blog a case in point! There are some damned fine writers though out there in bloggers land. Finding them requires the patience of a digger in a gold rush.
I had to cull the brilliant minds of many bloggers from my rss feed simply because I was becoming overwhelmed with the obligation to keep up with their word count. Their ideas still sway me, but there's only so much of my attention to go around and right now - that attention is being pulled in about 50 different directions and quite a lot of them are NOT online with at least two fairly major online ones which are time and focus consuming to the nth degree.
Blogging isn't going to go out of style anytime soon. At least I'm guessing so! The blogs come and they go. Some wax and wane like my own poor sorry excuse for a blog. Other blogs will stand the test of time and become like books in libraries with a long-standing value that exceeds their original purchase price. Other blogs will simply have to go by the way in my feed reader because I just don't have the attention span for them anymore.
Publishing gone transitory and ephemeral I suppose.
Word count overload. I'm as guilty of it as anyone. I don't do writing sparely. I write to please myself and given my aspirational literary snobbery - I'm wordy in the extreme. I shall forthwith not be offended if I discover that no one is reading my blog anymore because of sheer overload elsewhere.
Will the "Good Writers" of the future be as wordy - as prolific? I suspect not. I honestly think that the Good Writers of the future will say what is profound, meaningful and relevant without the word count overload. The rest of us will simply blog - for our own purposes.