Way back when in the days before General motors was a corporal, the pope was an member of some unmentionble youth group and mullets were all the rage, I used to write a column for a publication. While a small and insignificant rag in the broader scheme of things, what was more interesting was its effects on me.
Having a column gave me tremendous freedom in that through it I was able to step on as many toes as I liked, draw attention to issues which I felt important and generally irritate the censors.
In contrast to its liberating aspects the very nature of writing a column limited me in important ways. It disciplined me on matters of time and in number of words. Every month I had to churn out five hundred words with regularity, come rain or shine. The creative juices had to flow, there was no time for writers block, and so out came the paper, a few chicken scratchings and off to the editor.
Invaraibly it was returned with an addendum as long as the piece itself... "No, you cant say that about the Russian delegation. Even if it is true. Especially if it is true!" I recently read an article which compared writeing and ice skating. It stated "writers write and skaters skate. What would a skater be who never gets on the ice." I think that many people fall in love with the idea of being a writer, but they dont fall in love with writing. If they do write regularly they would realise that it is a long, hard and very personal journey.
For me its a compulsion. I began on the walls, progressed to paper and ended up covering the the whole house, inside of the toilet roll included. The long and the short of it is that this blog is a feeble attempt to recreate those heady days of column writing with a commitment to serving up a slice of life once a month, avoiding at all costs the teenage angst of bygone days.