But only temporarily.
During the short period after reading Hitchens, say a couple of hours, or perhaps a few days, I am able to think (and write) much more clearly. It’s as if seeing it done properly leads your brain along a cleared path, but as time goes on the leaves once again cover it and you lose your way.
I wonder a couple of things about this. First, I wonder how long it takes before you can create your own path rather than have one cleared for you. I, of course, have my own path, but its default state is to create mediocrity, just like most peoples’.
The second thing I wonder is whether or not Hitchens himself need a path cleared for him. I have my writing freed by reading him, but he read constantly. Perhaps the trick isn’t reading Hitchens, but simply reading anything brilliant (or at least brilliantly communicated).
I’ve heard it said many times that most great writers are avid readers, and that would mesh well with this analysis.
Anyway, if the answer is simply reading all the time to keep the mind lubricated, then so be it. I should be reading more anyway. I’ll add this to the list of reasons to do so.