Rowan’s post today of some cool word art done by Lilpeanut reminded me of Wordle, a curious Java-based word art toy. It strikes me that Wordle is not just a fun little toy, but also a potentially useful diagnostic tool for analyzing your blogging.
Specifically, I looked at this, a Wordle cloud of my then-current RSS feed before this post. Noting that word size is determined by how often that word is used, it looks like I use the word “something” perhaps overmuch, and “just” just a few more times than might be necessary.
This isn’t to say that a perfect even distribution of words is ideal or necessary, but I look at it like I look at my “artist’s crutch”. When I’m in a drawing rut, I tend to just grab the same old familiar tools (in my case a ballpoint pen and a sketchbook) and start doodling the same old things (the old standbys; familiar monster faces, figure drawing poses, whatever). It’s an artistic crutch that I fall back on instead of pushing myself into new territory that might expand my skillset and mental palette.
Most creative types do this. We don’t usually write, draw, paint or whatever at full creativity all the time. We find stuff we’re good at and fall back on it when we’re at a low ebb in our creativity. You can see this in fine art (Frank Frazetta), literature (Isaac Asimov), movies (Tim Burton), TV (Joss Whedon) or any artist’s body of work, to some degree or another. It’s nice to be consistently good at something, but it’s also important to keep learning.
Blogging is a creative endeavor (some more creative than others), so it’s good to shake up the formula or habits once in a while (like this silly post of mine answering a challenge from Big Bear Butt). It keeps you sharp, and keeps readers from being bored.
At least, that’s the hope. Sometimes there’s a fine line between “creative” and “dumb parlor trick” or “incoherent”.
Anyway, food for thought. I like to provide that, at least.