For the past few months I have been writing a column for the local paper that I work at. It’s not much, just a few hundred words on the opinion page. It has been fun to write, I can express a few opinions that I have and ruffle a few feathers. I don’t ruffle them much, but I have received a few “letters to the editors” in response.
What I enjoy most is that I can write freely. I have a very “down to earth” style in this kind of writing and it goes well with the community. I write about things that matter to those here, like the by bit of humor with trying to get the car started on a -8 degree morning. I don’t float around and dance over rumors. I have no interest in supporting political, religious, or other views except my own. It is my own mouthpiece to my community.
At times it is a bit difficult to get those 300 or so words out. I have several false starts for each column. I have lots of dead end, but I usually pull it out in the end.
If you write, you might want to consider writing for a local paper. I have learned quite a bit about styling, deadlines, and what people would like to see in a paper. After all, if you cannot write for the people you want to reach why write at all?