Friday, November 21, 2008

It's the Columns

My job is to write.

Every week I pound out not just one but a lot of articles.

This week I wrote six. Last week I wrote eight.

The hardest stories are not the ones about government or poverty (though the latter can be terribly heart wrenching) or the features on people who do noteworthy things.

No, the hardest stories are the ones I am supposed to write about me. I have column space to fill and I find that to be the hardest task of all.

Because what is there to say, after all? I've not been up in space or climbed mountains (unless you count a drive over Caldwell Mountain or Catawba Mountain on occasion). I've not jumped into a freezing pond to rescue a child, or breathed life into a heart attack victim.

I do drink tea and chew gum and breathe air, which means that I generally focus on the finer, minute parts of living for my lifestyle column. Those things that folks who are busy often forget, perhaps. I can do that.

But some days (and today is surely one of them) I can't think of a darned thing to write.

It's 4:20 p.m. I have a 5 p.m. deadline (self-imposed; it's really Monday morning but I didn't want to work this weekend).

I need a topic!


  1. Ok, I'll bite...Have you ever written about blogging, or what it's like being the spouse of a firefighter, or about how you're lucky to have so many family members that live near you, or what it's like to live on a farm, or being a member of the Roanoke Valley Pen Women, or just a week in the life of a columnist?

  2. I know what you mean. I only have one column a month and my fully self-indulgent blog, and I have been bone dry seems like forever.

    RnR has some great suggestions, so I'm not sure I can come up with anything better.

  3. Sounds like RnR had some great advice! Can't wait to see what inspired you.

  4. Have you done a column on what you're personally thankful for?

  5. You could plagiarize yourself and recycle some of your blog. You've told some pretty interesting stories here.

    Otherwise, what RoanokeRnR said.

  6. I thought this was a great post about you :) Hope you met your deadline!

  7. I hope you were able to come up with something last night. I'm a bit late to the party, but I like stories about what you are thankful for (like Redhen said), or how things have changed either in your life or your town over the years, what it's like to live in one place your whole life (very few people experience that feeling anymore) or an underdog story you related to strongly. I also like RnR said too- some good ideas there!

    Let us know what you decide to write!

  8. No column yet, but I am thinking I will do the "thankful" thing since it is Thanksgiving.

    I appreciate the ideas; I will keep them for another day when my idea well has run dry.

  9. Some days the creative well runs dry but it will fill up again. It probably already has.

    I remember being terrified when I submitted for a possible Roanoke Times column an thought of possibly HAVING to write with no assignment something worthy of such a readership. Turned out writing for my hometown paper is much more suitable for me and less pressure.

    I only write about one story a week.

  10. I enjoy how you write about your loved ones. I can pick up the paper and read about world events and record holders all day long, but unlike many other writers, you write about human relationships very well. Like your Aunt Susie, for instance. The holiday season is a very lonely holiday for many folks. I like how you connect with your me. I feel like I know you and I've never met you!

  11. Wow, you write that many articles? You really produce! No wonder you are temporarily tapped. But I already know you came up with something because I came to this post from the link in your newest post, lol.


I enjoy your comments and always appreciate the opportunity to visit the blogs of my readers. I hope you have a great day!