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For the last seven years… give or take a month or two… I’ve been writing a weekly column for the cork based Evening Echo, one of Ireland’s leading regional newspapers.
Last week I got a call from John Dolan, the Echo’s features editor, to inform me that after a New Year review of their operations they’d decided to stop a number of long running columns from external contributors… mine included.
Given the plight of regional newspapers as they battle dwindling ad revenue and struggle to compete with ever more attractive and increasingly measurable online marketing options, this was hardly a surprise… but it was a bit sad.
If I’m honest it was something of a bitter-sweet moment for me. The column has been a part of my life for so long now that not having to write it every week will be strange… and of course there’s the fact that it leaves a hole in the monthly finances that I’ll have to plug, but I’d been feeling for some time that the column had run it’s course.
It was getting harder to sustain the momentum. When you’ve been writing on the same subject (a father’s perspective on parenting) for nearly seven years it can be difficult to break new ground… and while a good writer will always manage to keep things fresh for the reader, the process of writing becomes a bit stale. You stop enjoying it as much, it requires more effort and becomes less rewarding.
So, onwards and upwards to bigger and brighter things, I guess.
Go on… make me an offer :-).
My very last column will run in the WOW! supplement of tomorrow’s Evening Echo (Wed 03/02/2010)… and will be posted here shortly thereafter.