Tuesday, August 11, 2009

On Being A Newspaper Columnist

A Newspaper Columnist, I am. I have regular space in the newspaper each Sunday morning, a title for that space and my considered opinion inside the amount of space which is granted for my thoughts, wise ponderings and suchlike. There is nothing quite like having people say, “I read your column the other day.”

Before all this came along, I used to think my fellow practitioners in this great segment of journalism had the easiest jobs in the business. They had the luxury of doing two columns a week and one on Sunday. Then I started mine and the learning curve was quick: These things don’t drop down from Heaven like manna for the Jews.

Me? I have a day job and do my piece after work. Printed on Sunday, it is due Tuesday. Meanwhile, I have all those other concerns which people who don’t have a desk in a newspaper office need to address: Doing a piece outside of regular working hours which cuts into my writing and research time. And Tuesday is coming.

Then there is this Little Matter Of An Idea: What the [blank] will I write about this week? This is an issue which I should address on Wednesday, six days before the next deadline. Somehow, I manage to (a) forget, (b) put off, (c) ignore the matter until sometime Tuesday morning, when I’m reminded time is getting short.

I seem to work best with a deadline staring me in the face. Do I research or just whip off a head piece? This week was a head piece; next week, I’ll do better.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes but the love is there.


August 13, 2009 5:51 AM  
Anonymous RuthC said...

This week was a head piece; next week, I’ll do better.

Do better? I thought this week's (re: ragtime) was very good.

August 13, 2009 9:17 AM  

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