Don Your Way column: I'm not trying to change the world or be big and clever

Sometimes, when it comes to putting this column together, it is quite easy to be devoid of inspiration.

By Darren Burke
Friday, 01 March, 2019, 11:28
Darren Burke

You'll all have heard of writer's block – that affliction when an author or writer sits down day after day at their computer, typewriter, notebook or whatever, and the words, which normally flow magically onto the page, just won't come.

It happens to us all.

You sit there, scratching your head, throwing ideas around, trying to think of something to get wound up about, something that's riled you or interested you this week.

But inspiration fails to strike.

You sit staring at a blank screen, willing the prose to start flowing from the proverbial journalistic tap, but instead all you get is the odd drip – make your own jokes and stop that sniggering at the back.

Dreaming up ideas and thoughts for this column each week is not always easy.

Yes, there's always something going on, yes, there's always a newsworthy topic to wade into.

But do I feel confident enough to wax lyrical about it for a full half page?

Is it a topic I feel strongly enough about that I've got the words to get me through to the end of it - or will I come unstuck halfway through with a series of 'erms' and 'umms' as I try to come up with a 'what happened next?'

Lots of people seem to think being a journalist or writer is easy. Anyone can do it. Give enough monkeys enough typewriters and they'll come up with the complete works of Shakespeare sort of thing.

Sometimes, it is. Sometimes the words form wondrously in your mind and you can't get them down fast enough on the page.

But there's a knack to it. A skill to it. Telling news stories and coming up with an opinion column, believe it or not, does take some craft and effort (I'm already feeling the keyboard warriors ready to strike).

I feel blessed to be in a job where I can write pieces that will be seen, read and hopefully enjoyed by people across Doncaster and beyond.

I'm not trying to change the world. I'm not trying to be big and clever or pretending that my work is necessarily Pulitzer Prize winning stuff.

Sometimes, it's just a light-hearted piece, nothing to take too seriously and nothing to get too worked up about.

The old adage 'tomorrow's fish and chip wrappers' still applies, although I'm not sure how you'd wrap up your haddock and chips in an iPad these days.

The number of people who think this column is a ‘news story.’ It’s not. It’s a light hearted, sometimes daft look at Doncaster life.

Now what was it I was saying about writer's block?