(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska – People ask me how I find ideas for columns. There were times in California it was difficult because I didn’t have time to drive an hour one way to hike or fish. I do two columns a week now, but there’s usually plenty to write about. That tends to happen when, at the very least, you pass half a dozen trailheads on the way home from work.
People also ask me if I ever get nervous, or how I respond to criticism. One of the nice things about writing rather than speaking is that there is no recorded evidence of my fumbling over words or mumbling like I do when I get tired after too little sleep or too many burpees. The problem is that people read and either don’t get me, or disagree because I don’t have the benefit of inflection, tone or retort. This happened a lot when I wrote subjective sport columns in college.
I don’t get as much criticism now, but it’s probably worse because people simply don’t bother to read. In college I got some people fired up enough to not only finish the column but email me and tell me what I hack I was.
It didn’t bother me, because early on I learned that the point was to get them reading. Write what you know, and if someone disagrees, they still paid to read you.
Things are a little different now, because my first book is coming out in July. I say first just because it’s my first, not to imply there will be more. It’s different because when I write a column, if a reader pays two bucks for the paper and my column stinks, there are other sections to make the purchase worth it. If someone is reading online, he or she is just a click away from freedom. But people will be paying $20 for Lund. That’s a scary thought. People can do a lot with a twenty-dollar bill. That’s a couple gallons of king salmon gas. That’s a movie for two and a miniature popcorn. No one wants to pay that much to hold down a bookshelf. Gravity is free.
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