Column Contest Submission

Drew Baumgartner

Somebody should write a column for The Lawrentian.
I’d do it, but I have no writing skills, no ideas, no interest, and no time. I do, however, have an overwhelming desire to read something in The Lawrentian that isn’t a plea for people to write for The Lawrentian. I know I can’t write anything like that, but I bet somebody else can.
It wouldn’t be that hard. A lot of columns start with some kind of complaint. The writer has some kind of problem with some kind of thing, and wants everybody to know about it. I know a million people like that. One of them should think about writing a column.
Let’s say you were going to write a column (you should really consider it). You could start by simply writing a complaint down. The idea itself doesn’t have to be anything special; it just needs to hold the readers’ attention for, say, another 300 words. You could even throw in some fluff, occasionally.
Maybe complaining isn’t your style. You could always write an advice column. You could even come up with some kind of bizarre hybrid that is essentially functionless. The choice is yours; you are the writer, after all.
The real skill in column writing seems to be voice — if the opinion is expressed in an interesting way, people will read it. Consider your strengths, but keep in mind that today’s audience loves irony. A little self-awareness can go a long way.
Tone can also be an important factor, especially taken in the context of a whole newspaper. If you were writing for The New York Times, for example, you might consider writing like a pretentious snoot. The Lawrentian errs more in the vein of begging for columns. Something along those lines is sure to go over well.
If you keep all of that in mind, you’ll have a column written before you ever realized you were writing one. Then it’s just a matter of submitting it to The Lawrentian and waiting to see your work in the next edition. I bet it really is that simple.