My first column was a sports column, later I was drawn to politics. I wrote about things I felt needed to be said. I went the route of trying to get syndicated, to no avail (it ain’t easy). I submitted my work for recognition, they thanked me for my contribution. I’m a writer, I have an ego, and I wanted it stroked. It can be frustrating. I’m not asking for sympathy here, I know what I am, I’m just stating the point.
You see, I’m in love with the sound of my own words. Right down to the commas and run-ons my publisher loves to get on me about. If I can’t win the major award (or the leg lamp), I at least want a reaction. If I get a reader clapping or angry, at least y’all are reading.
These are polarizing times. People are at each other’s throats. And I can’t stir it all up. Oh, yeah, I got a couple of emails from people who can’t tell what side of the aisle I’m on (hint: neither), but for all intents and purpose, a big fat nada.
So that, along with a new format and an ever shrinking news hole, got me thinking. What am I doing?
And I had an epiphany.
I thought back. All the way back to my beginnings as a sportswriter at The Daily Record in Coatesville. I thought about my writing. And what stuck with me were a few great words, and turn of a phrase here and there. And that I was a pious, self righteous jerk.
Seriously, my basic rule in life is I want to be left alone, and here I am preaching that if only the world were as great as I am, it would be such a better place.
Who wants to read that? I sure don’t.
How did my heroes write? With humor. Tongue in cheek. Sure, they used their platform to shed light on subjects that needed attention, but first and foremost, they were entertaining.
That’s what I need to get back to. That doesn’t mean I’m going to pull any punches, but it does mean I’m getting out of the evangelism business. You live life your way, I’ll live mine, and maybe, along the way, you’ll get a good laugh at my foolishness.
I mentioned the shrinking news hole in newspapers, I often joke I’ve been filling available space for years. Well, there’s less of it now. But the National Society of Newspaper Columnists has been embracing bloggers the last few years, so why whouldn’t I embrace the blog, too. Seems as good a place as any to p*ss into the wind. Plus, I’m not beholden to a word count.
I make no promises as to frequency. I’d like to do it every day, but work and life like to mess with plans, so I’m going to aim for often. Maybe someone will follow along. If not, that’s OK, too.
After all, it’s all about me.