Coming up with a column topic is no easy task.
Even though Barack Obama's presidential inauguration takes place in a few days, I expect I will be reporting about it in some capacity.
Therefore, I really should not delve into my personal feelings on the matter.
So, I look to myself, and what catches my attention as a source for column material.
Should I write about Snuggies, the blankets with sleeves, that are advertised on TV a lot? It sure seems like all of my friends are talking about them.
Nah. It would be too easy to go over the top on that subject. It would be difficult not to go all out on a product that almost made me fall off a treadmill, once, in a fit of laughter.
Well, how about a column explaining why I refuse to eat traditional Jell-O?
The explanation would be too embarrassing.
Been there, and done that.
These columns are harder to write than someone might expect.
You have to first come up with a single topic to address. Then, you have to craft your words in a way that keeps people reading from the beginning to the end.
But, how do you get from point "A" to point "B"? How do you find that one issue to feature in your column?
Well, that's the problem. It is not always easy to find that topic.
You see, everyone has their place. Some columnists are drawn to the serious issues, like war and the economy.
They tend to write critiques on how the government handles those issues. I studied military history, but that's because I'm a fan of history. It doesn't qualify me as an expert on how to conduct a war.
Likewise, I'm not an economist. So, I can't give you an authoritative opinion on whether a war, and the economy, are being properly handled.
Me? I'm a laid-back person, who is drawn to the bizarre.
I tend to be drawn out of the box, or, at least, close to the edge, from time to time. I like really bad, "B" movies, cheesy television shows, and I once wanted to have my hair color changed to blue.
I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder seven and a half years ago, while I was being treated for a bout of depression. The doctor said that is why I fluctuate among depression, worry, aggression, and lively cheer.
I'm somewhat of an oddity. That's not a scientific determination. It's just my own self-assessment. I've come to live with this assessment of myself. I am who I am.
Accepting this makes life easier to deal with.
But, how do I encapsulate all of that into a column?
It's not easy to find a topic that draws me in, and engages my mind on a weekly basis. It takes some work, trust me.
Curt Yeomans covers education for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.