I received an interesting email yesterday from a reader who doesn’t want to read my work but feels compelled to do every week. (Apparently I’m a sucky writer and he likes to check for any improvement.) He stated that my columns resemble a sixth-grader’s diary entries and asked why my editors categorize “such drivel” as “commentary.” So here is my bi-annual disclosure column. Enjoy! Or don’t. Whatevs.
Let’s address the issues in reverse order, shall we? First up, my classification. Because I generally “comment” on my daughters’ inherent desires to see me on blood pressure meds, my columns are labeled “commentary.” Even when I discuss the obscene amount of time I spend driving the same 10 miles back and forth to dance, tae kwon do, and color guard, I’m technically still “commenting.” I rarely address politics, religion or world affairs because I can only focus on so many things at once, and keeping my children alive and off Xbox demands my full attention these days. It’s called a commentary on life, sir. Deal with it.
As for the diary-like style I typically employ, I fail to see the problem. The best way to communicate with people is face to face, through something called “talking,” and since I can’t actually meet with my millions (sorry, millions minus one) of fans in person, I find that writing like I speak is the next best thing. In actuality, my weekly column is a journal entry. But instead of “Dear Diary,” it’s “Dear Fellow Suburban Hunting Widow” or, in this case, “Dear Grumpy Reader!”
This leads me to the last concern, the accusation that my work isn’t quite up to Pulitzer standards. Fair enough. I have no degree in journalism or in creative writing, and as stated above, I write like I speak, grammar and spelling be damned. What you call drivel though, I call “relatability.” It’s why most Hoosiers like me. I’m not here to change the world, just to relay observations on surviving middle age and defending against teenage body odor.
That was fun! Let’s do it again in June. Peace out.