Until I was asked to write a regular column for three local newspapers, I never imagined I’d be asked to write a regular column for three esteemed newspapers.
I mean, who’d be daft enough to believe a stand-up comedian could fill a page with informative and (hopefully) amusing content week after week, never running out of things to say?
That was a rhetorical question because obviously I know who was daft, err, astute enough to ask me, but he’d rather remain anonymous. He has a family and a wide circle of influential friends, so you can’t really blame him, can you?
It was a leap of faith on his part and mine when I first started writing for the papers because, although as a comedian I express all sorts of views and opinions in my act, it’s different to the discipline of setting time aside every week – even when I’m on holiday – to write them down in a coherent style.
The only way to find out if I could deliver the goods every week was by learning on the job – one that I soon started to love, once I had a half-dozen columns under my belt.
When there’s a news story I feel the need to comment on, the words can come fairly easily. But most weeks, I spend so long trying to get a piece right, re-writing and changing things, I feel like the sculptor who when asked how he managed to create a statue of a horse said “I keep chipping away at the stone until all that’s left is a horse” .
The importance of local newspapers in this digital age is brought home to me every time I’m approached by a member of the public who says they enjoy reading my ramblings every Wednesday. They really make me feel part of the community and I hope to continue ‘chipping away at the stone’ for them every week in this paper for as long as I’m allowed.