I’m going to write a column.
And it starts today.
Why you ask? Well, I’m just one of those people who enjoy new opportunities. It will likely focus on politics, because, after almost 30 years in town government and a 13-year career in talk radio, I have my share of opinions.
And what good is an opinion if you keep it to yourself? I have always been convinced that keeping these thoughts to yourself can be bad for your health. Stress, high blood pressure, maybe even heart disease can be caused by not freeing yourself of the burden of how you analyze the world around you.
I see people all the time with what might be described as “keep-it-to-yourself” disorder. They walk around with blank stares, appear to be very unhappy and are usually in therapy. Worst of all they almost never vote.
In case you haven’t noticed, I still have all my hair, and none of it is gray. All those years of offering what might be considered unsolicited, and for the most part unwanted, opinions has kept me healthy and youthful and saved my heath-insurance plan a ton of money.
Am I saying this new endeavor will add years to my life? Keep me off the blood-pressure meds? Maybe, but it more likely will take years from others as they worry about what I’m really up to.
So, like almost everyone doing research these days, I hit the Google button to find out what free advice I could get on the subject of writing a column.
The first piece of free advice I found was something I didn’t like very much: “Writing a column might not generate enough revenue to give up the day job.”
What? I always thought Dennis Shaughnessey made lots of money doing this. In all honesty — and please understand this guy is a friend of mine — I’ve never seen him work. Have you? I’m talking real work here. The kind that makes you sweat and come home tired at the end of the day. Maybe he does a Bob Dylan impersonation at night somewhere.
I’m sold on the health benefits of the job, so I’ll have to survive on my lucrative radio career, along with of course my efforts to provide fresh and local milk and ice cream products to the world.
Still others said things like “learn from the masters.” One of the best is The Sun’s Dan Phelps, an extremely talented guy who can really make a point, and sometimes make it hurt! I’m just glad he never made one about me. Like the column he recently did about my good friend Jim Ogonowski after the campaign came up short on signatures. He starts off saying, “I hope Jim Ogonowski enjoys farming. It doesn’t look like he’ll be changing jobs anytime soon.”
I’m sure Dan wouldn’t use the same line a second time with a different name attached, but to be on the safe side I’m only saying really nice things about him.
And finally this brilliant advice from one Web site on political columns: “Have a thick skin because you will be criticized for your writing.”
I hope so. One-way conversations just aren’t any fun.
That is exactly the point to this. The plan here is to attempt to get Dracut folks to follow the issues that make a difference in our quality of life. Dracut is our home, and we should all care enough to put a little thought into it once and a while.
So help me out here. Offer your opinions on my column and respond to them. It’s no fun keeping these ideas to yourself, and remember: Sharing them may very well relieve stress and cut down on your health-care costs.
Might help me keep my job too.
Send feedback on this column to firstname.lastname@example.org.