Today is National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ Day. I am a member. Nationwide, columnists share signage proclaiming their column style in honor of Ernie Pyle, the greatest columnist of all time.
I am a . . .
Confused, I contacted my counsellor. Luckily, there was an opening, right there on the next blank page of my writing journal. It is my advisor within, where both the truth and answers are revealed.
“We need to talk”, I declared.
“I know,” it concurred.
After a short staring silence It asked, “So what type of columnist are you?”
“Well,” I said, I am a freelance writer accepting assignments in the holistic health, healing arts, spirituality, lifestyle and entertainment fields. I have a writing blog and website that, um, all right, needs tending to. I have a holistic health and healing arts website and blog that highlights the totality of what I do. I publish a country music blog because music speaks to me in many ways and I love the country genre. And I published an inspirational blog, which was my first blogging love, sharing ‘a daily dose of inspiration to get your noggin’ joggin’.”
My counsellor stared back at me then kindly suggested, “Well, that sounds like the ‘uncategorized’ columnist.”
The silence was deafening, the truth blaring like a siren. On the writing highway I’d have been pulled over for erratic operation and subject change violations.
“Wait!” I defended.
“I’ve been writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil and a thought™. As a child I struggling-ly carried the jam-packed Boston Sunday Globe from the church vestibule to our living room floor, where I swiped the then Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment sections, sometimes the travel section, and retired to my room, getting lost in its pages of inspiration. I dreamed of writing a book, penning a lifestyle column and publishing the songs I tinkered out on my toy piano. I arm-chair traveled all over the world alongside the travel pages, soaking up customs, cultures and people, then got captured one day by Bill Bryson’s “In a Sunburned Country”. . . Australia.
“I silently declared to myself back then that I would travel and write and inspirational lifestyle column.
“Then life happened. You know the drill.
“While I continued to dissolve myself in the pages of the Boston Globe, the counsellors in my life (not my journal) guided me toward the pursuit of a, um, more realistic profession; a/k/a the pursuit of unhappiness.
“I danced daily on the floor of responsible professionals until I came crashing down in a heap of realization that my writing was my passion, my savior, my inspiration and my breath, bestowed upon me not merely to journal about but to share, for what good are inspirational musings if not shared to inspire others.
“I picked the heap of my wounded self up off the dance floor of life and resumed the pursuit of my writing passions . . . writing to inspire others to be themselves, pursue their dreams and live their lives according to the feeling in their gut, the voice in their head and the warmth in their heart; for that is one’s inspirational integrity.
“I knew at that crashing-to-the-floor moment what I’d always known. My purpose is inspiration. My tool is writing. My subject is life. And my fuel is faith.”
So, what kind of columnist am I?
I am an aspiring faith-fueled lifestyle columnist, inspiring others to be themselves, pursue their dreams and live their lives. Faith, because that’s the gas in my tank. Lifestyle, because my topic is life and its many diversions, dead ends and dynamics.
Next year “syndicated” will replace “aspiring” on my signage.
But I am writing. And hopefully, I am inspiring.