I used to read Gene Weingarten’s columns and live chats for the Washington Post devotedly. But as most of my reading became related to work, especially during the day, I let Weingarten’s work fall off my radar during the past 10-12 years.
His column on Thursday (Sept. 17) was a jolting, yet delightful reminder that I need to make Weingarten part of my regular reading diet again. He’s a wonderful storyteller with a fantastic sense of humor and a strong sense of what will resonate with readers.
Weingarten’s account of a recent experience with a neighbor grieving the loss of his mother who either took advantage of or misunderstood the boundaries of kindness feels like a story entirely suited to our lives during the pandemic.
“My name is Seth,” he said. “I’m a neighbor, and I see you walking your big brown dog, and sometimes a cat is with you.” All true. He had established his bona fides. “My mother just died, and she loved cooking green tomatoes.” He nodded toward my small tomato garden. “Could I take a tomato, in her honor?”
I’m a big fan of Brad Marley’s newsletter, which talks about writing and storytelling — notably from a marketing and corporate perspective. How companies tell their story is important in reaching clients and customers, and Brad has talked to a variety of writers about their work.
I suppose my writing fulfills a similar purpose, whether it’s for the outlets I work for or in promoting my own ventures, such as The Podcass and the Casselbloggy, my social media accounts and the LST Media shingle I’ve hung out for those endeavors.
So I was surprised and excited when Brad wanted to interview me for his newsletter and talk about, as he put it, the media niche I’m trying to create for myself. (It’s very niche.)
Here we are at a new year, so here comes some new resolve. For me, that usually means some sort of resolution to write more — and especially keep this blog updated. In 2019, I’m hoping that sticks. And I hope you stick as a reader too.
During the last half of 2018, I really tried to achieve a better work-life balance. But I also spent much of that time grousing over how I wasn’t writing as much as I’d like. Getting into podcasting provided some fulfillment, and I hope to learn and do more there as people increasingly listen to podcasts, rather than read blogs.
But if I’m going to complain about not writing, well, I have an outlet for that — one which has led to some degree of professional success. I haven’t gotten much return on that investment in recent years, however. I can claim to be a writer, especially to prospective employers, yet can I really call myself that if I’m not writing?