Who is this Ned Cantwell anyway?
Someone a lot smarter than me once said, “I hate writing, love having written.” That’s me in a nutshell. That blank page or screen is intimidating, it can cause stress and even insomnia. Yet it is the completed page, the finished story, the column churning in the brain and finally published, that gives a real sense of fulfillment. As in, “damn, that felt good.”
It was my extremely fortunate fate to spend a life inside newspaper buildings - in Los Angeles, Fontana, Banning and Corona, California, in York, Pennsylvania, in Pecos and Monahans, Texas, but for the most part at the Carlsbad Current-Argus in Carlsbad, New Mexico where for more than two decades, I worked with a cast of characters not to be forgotten.
My weekly column ended when I retired from the newspaper and began enjoying a daily-deadline-free life in Ruidoso. I walked the streets for a period of time knowing something was missing. It was the column. Minding my own business just wasn’t working.
That led to the launch of a syndicated New Mexico column carried by 15 papers, with a combined circulation upwards of 120,000, that ran for nearly 20 years.
So why a blog instead of a newspaper column? No deadline, no narrow subject limitation, no word requirement. A 1,000 word diatribe or two paragraphs of nonsense. My prerogative. A blogger can set self-imposed restrictions or write as often as he wants, or not at all if she wants.
Granted, this is much like throwing a party no one attends. An artist who paints a landscape certainly wants to display the work, but I would guess the picture never viewed still fills some need in its artist. I hope people read my stuff. If not, Say La Vee (just to throw a little French stuff at you to show I'm pretty dang smart).
I am back in the groove, this time with intimidating blank screens followed by published columns in the blog-o-sphere...a realm that is new to me. All on my own schedule. Damn - it just feels good.