Columnists
Deciding what to write
By David Hall
Jan 4, 2021
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One of the questions I've been asked is how I decide what to write about...that question can produce many different answers.

Sometimes the subject matter and the material for a column can come very easy, sometimes not. I think anyone who writes for a living such as an author, a newspaper columnist, a songwriter, or other writers most likely has those occasional writer's blocks.

Writing because you want to is very different from being back in school and writing as part of an assignment. Writing for enjoyment is often easier, the subject is usually something you know more about or want to learn more about.

Authors and songwriters generally do not have strict deadlines in writing that a professional newspaper columnist usually does. A top-notch newspaper columnist often has to put together a very interesting story in a short time frame, they work with many deadlines. To me that's one of the main differences between being a column writer and a professional columnist, I'm much more in the column writer category.

One reason I write columns is I admire Allen and all the dedication, hard work, and long hours he puts into eNews, I'm glad to be a small part of eNews. Years ago I thought I never would care for an online newspaper, however I learned they fill a much needed void. Some of our area papers are no longer published and, even if they are, many are no longer the papers they once were.

Our local papers, and also many other small town newspapers across the country, used to contain a lot of good old fashioned human interest stories that they no longer have or very seldom have any more. In a few instances some print newspapers have changed for the better, however in many cases not.

As we get older, hopefully we become wiser as we all learn that some of our earlier beliefs may have been wrong. Years ago when someone passed away that I knew and I couldn't attend the funeral, I would at least try to get by the funeral home and sign the register out of respect for the person I knew. At first I didn't think much of signing online in memory of the deceased, I've since changed my mind. That is a much accepted option nowadays, especially for someone that may live many miles away and just can't attend a funeral.

Getting back to how I decide what to write, when I can I try to think up topics a few weeks ahead but I often run out of ideas so occasionally I think up a column on the spur of the moment. One I especially remember is my column about Nat King Cole's brother Freddy, until his death I never had heard of Freddy and I've been a Nat King Cole fan for many years. I never intended to write a column about Nat King Cole, however after hearing about Freddy I thought he would make an interesting subject for a column. I did some research about him and listened to some of his music, he was no Nat King Cole but still a very talented musician and I regret I didn't hear of him earlier.

I try to make the columns I write non-controversial but mainly informative or to just bring back some fond memories for the readers, I prefer to mostly stay away from the subjects of politics or religion. As far as politics and religion are concerned, I'm glad that we live in a country where we are free to vote how we choose to and/or to follow whatever religion we choose also. As American citizens we are much more fortunate than we may realize.

If you have any comments or questions my e-mail address is deh63shs@yahoo.com.