I gave up my column today. Fifteen and a half years, never missing a deadline, writing about anything I wanted to write about, meeting people in the grocery store who recognize me from my column photo (I have no idea how), and who tell me they loved a certain column, that they always look for it and read it.
So, why would I stop writing it? Why give up an opportunity to write--an excuse to have to sit down and process the world? It's not because I've run out of material, although sometimes I've come pretty close. It's not because I'm bored. It's because, perhaps, it has run its course. I want to make room for something else. Or it could be just because the new editor is disorganized and doesn't believe in planning and I like to know how many columns I should submit and when. Seat of your pants vs make a plan. I use both in my writing--I plan to write, but I don't always know what I will be writing about. So, I get it when someone prefers to wing it, but I think when you produce a newspaper on a regular basis, there should be a pittance of planning involved; a smidgen of scheduling; a trifling oddment of organization. Whatever.
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I write for a newspaper. I write to tell stories that might otherwise be forgotten. I write to process my world..