I enjoy writing columns. In a way, its a reporter’s chance to “break the fourth wall,” express an enormous amount of creativity and give people better insight on yourself, your job and how you feel about things.
Another reason I enjoy them, is it’s a chance to get away from the stricter rules that go into regular news writing and it kind of takes me back to the olden days of writing essays in school. I know so many people dreaded those essays, however, for me, it was the highlight of any assignment.
So each week, the “Take” is kind of like my way of reliving those days. The thing about column writing is that when you cover substantial or touchy subjects, you’d better be ready for the response on it from both ends. I feel fortunate that I’ve had that experience multiple times in college before I even set foot in the NDN office last January.
While the college paper was great for that initial experience, nothing quite prepares you for when you catch flack on a scale larger than the one presented to me at my old community college or commuter campus university.
I got my first taste of that a few times last year and honestly, I’ve come to enjoy it. It shows me that people are reading my column, value my opinion — even if they disagree with it — and that my thoughts can spark an intelligent conversation.
As a professional word nerd, or journalist if you want to be technical, this is the equivalent of a teacher hearing one of their students in the hallway explaining a lesson to a classmate. This is like telling a waiter, “Give my regards to the chef,” and unbeknownst to you, the chef is sitting right behind you.
I especially love when this happens after I write a serious column, which are pretty few and far between since I prefer to recap my random hijinks and brag about how much money I save by shopping at Dollar Tree.
While the serious “Ty” moments are a rarity, I promise you they won’t ever stop completely. I have a thick skin — a trait I developed while being a teenage telemarketer, people really, really hate telemarketers — and it’s come in handy doing this job.
This column is one of the few places where I can express some of my thoughts in a public manner and I love that, and accept the responsibility that goes along with it.
I may not set-out to cause controversy when I sit down and write these things, but I more than accept it if it comes along. You can’t be a thought-provoking writer without provocation.
Contact Senior Staff Writer Ty Rushing at (641) 792-3121 Ext. 6532 or firstname.lastname@example.org