Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I Thought Writing A Column Was Easy

Until I became a newspaper columnist, that is.

Hey, what’s a column? You rattle one off and then go to the nearest watering hole to tell people just how to run the world. Couldn’t be easier; a great way to make a living.

Then I became one. Actually, many; the local newspaper went out on strike and the new publication –destined to last just a few months-- has lasted now these thirty years. Early on, they needed some people to write feature columns and I supported the effort. Over time, I was one or another “name” in various sections with the easy job.

Or so I thought. Cranking out columns, of whatever sort, wasn’t that easy after all. You needed a topic, you needed to fill just so many inches (none over, none under), you needed fresh, clear writing with no clichés. Since everybody has written about everything by now, you needed a new approach.

Darn, this is hard.

So there you are, tapping your pencil and looking off into the far reaches of the universe, wondering how the syndicated columnists do it. Your plans to be the next Dave Barry have long since gone out the window; the titles you wrote down suddenly mean nothing.

Maybe winter crab fishing in Alaska would be easier.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen the show- Alaskan Crab Fishing definately not eaiser.

May 06, 2009 6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure it is.

May 16, 2009 10:43 AM  

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