Among other things, this is the name of a British Television series available on Amazon Prime. If nothing else, just view the first episode because it’s so apropos. It is also the last part of an adage I have recently adapted to a new circumstance in my old life.
Do you think it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks?
All right, already, what in the Sam Hill (this is a euphemism for swearing because I didn’t feel like writing ‘hell’…sue me) is that woman trying to tell us???
It’s always great when you ask the right question.
Recently, two dear friends, submitted samples of my writing (these very Blogs you receive) to the Editor and Publisher of The Berkshire Eagle, suggesting I might write a monthly Column for the Op-ed page of the newspaper. I was grateful and, at the same time, a little unsure about my “style” of writing conforming to a newspaper. Who knows? Maybe it was just my way of preparing myself for rejection. Remember, I spent my life auditioning. Maybe I still am. I think my percentages ran to about 50/50 of getting the part to “You’re very special”, words that always indicated you didn’t get it. “Next…” All to say I wasn’t expecting a call from the publisher.
But he did call and offered me an Op-ed column. I accepted. Immediately, I went to work writing. The subject had been on my mind for about as long the Berkshire County Cottage and Division Street Bridges had been closed, which they were for many years, causing great inconvenience to the community and some economic hardships to affected businesses. I spent the last two years gossiping about it to friends, neighbors and whoever would listen, like the women in Meredith Wilson’s musical Music Man.
Related news: A new iteration of Music Man arrives on Broadway mid-December, starring Hugh Jackmam. Y’All fuggetaboutit! He’s mine!
This opportunity gave me permission to share my thoughts with the community in which I live. It brings a very different color and responsibility to writing. The Blog and the Column are very personal. And that is where the similarity begins and ends.
I began the Blah, Blah, Blog as a very personal and almost intimate look into my absurd take on a long life (soooo grateful). Readers chose to sign up to see what the crazy lady was going to write about next or unsubscribe.
Subscribers or purchasers of a Newspaper have a completely different set of expectations. Yes, the Op-ed page is a page for people’s opinions. Not judgements, which most of you know is my favorite form of opinion. I think newspaper readers (the few that are left) represent a wider variety of thought and opinion than blog readers. As I wrote the op-ed piece, I realized I was very self conscious. I write the Blog from absurd insights inside my brain, and over the years (since 2014) each of you has chosen to subscribe to peek inside that overworked mechanism.
A column goes out to a wider and more diverse audience. That alone creates a different writing environment. It became a challenge. Life threw down a gauntlet. Was I up to it?
Well, what in the Sam Mountain do you think? (higher form of swear words.) As I wrote and researched the subject, I became more and more comfortable and actually enjoyed this new challenge. The gauntlet was in my hand and it fit like a glove. (I can’t believe I wrote that…)
Here is my answer to the original question I posed.
Can you teach an old dog new tricks?
Have a look and let me know: Sally-Jane Heit: Bridges to democracy
Of course, right!
Love ~ Sally-Jane