Here is the Daily Prompt for December 5, 2012:
If you had to choose between being able to write a blog (but not read others’) and being able to read others’ blogs (but not write your own), which would you pick? Why?”
The suggested title for the prompt is ‘Hobson’s Choice’ (whose etymology I now understand thanks to fellow blogger Tony), but I say forget Hobson; this belongs to ME.
Reading and writing are like PB & [raspberry] J: they’re BFFs. If I’m not writing, chances are I’m staked out somewhere beneath a mountain of books reading. Since joining the blogosphere, I’ve also come to love my Reader and the worlds suddenly accessible to me at the click of my mouse.
To position a freelancer between reading and writing and ask them to choose only one is like asking a parent to pick a favourite child. The knee-jerk reaction is to slam down your fist and exclaim, “It cannot be done!” I’m going to argue, however, that maybe – just maybe – it can. Or at least that it has to if I’m going to honour this prompt.
(DISCLAIMER: I’m not a parent, so I will brace myself for an onslaught of outraged moms and dads…)
I have to go with my gut and choose creating > consuming.
If you Google “Why Writers Read” (or click here) you’ll be face-to-face with an estimated 452,000,000 return results. If you give them a quick, cursory glance, you’ll soon pick up on a theme: writers read to become better writers. (Yes, they tend to enjoy it, too.)
To spend my time reading but then be unable to turn around and write would be a tragic blend of torture and temptation.
The way I see it is best summed in this quote from the ‘Patron Saint of Advertising’ himself:
If I’m doing my job and doing it well, I will still create that sense of community (and even a pseudo-narcissistic sense of legacy) by writing something worth reading. I want to get people thinking, talking, and creating, and how better to do than that to draw from my own creative well and share thoughts and experiences in the hopes that I will inspire someone else. At the end of the day, if we WordPressers weren’t interested in an audience, we’d dive into our diaries and spend time there instead. It has to do with social connection and impact, whether that’s likes, comments, shares, or simply quiet contemplation.
Thankfully, though, this is all hypothetical and we can now move on with business as usual. Exhale sigh of relief.
I should extend my gratitude to all you who chose reading over writing. I hope this was worth the read!