That has certainly been my experience with the Lifestyles section over the past five years.
Due to extenuating circumstances, we relied on a wire service for most of our feature content between the fall of 2007 and the summer of 2010.
I am proud of the progress that has been made since that time.
Our readers can now expect to see a local feature story when they open their Sunday paper to B1.
We have a diverse set of local columnists that includes Rick Watson, Margaret Dabbs and Robin O’Bryant.
The Walker County Genealogical Society has stepped in with two columns to fill the void left by the retirement of our longtime columnist and local historian Ruth Baker.
Next month marks the second annivesary of our monthly book feature, More Than Words.
I am particularly proud of that because I believe it gives some much-deserved exposure to our local library system.
I am also excited about our newest column, A New Take on Nutrition. I’m not the poster child for healthy eating, but nutrition education agent Emma Anne Hallman is showing us how we all can do better.
While the Lifestyles section has come a long way in two years, I also believe it has a long way to go.
I’ve been giving the subject a lot of thought over the past month, which is one reason why I haven’t written a column lately.
I reached the point that my words were starting to sound hollow in my own ears. That wasn’t good because I feel strongly that communication is only worthwhile in its purest form.
If I am not being completely honest as a writer, I am wasting my time and yours.
So I took a step back to reevalute a few things.
September always seems to be the time of year that I do that. There is something about the end of summer that makes me ask myself, “What’s next?”
As far as Lifestyles is concerned, I have a few ideas that are currently in development.
I hope to add some new features in the coming months that deal with everything from food and romance to “journey stories” and agriculture. However, I can’t pull any of them off without some help.
Feedback is important in Lifestyles because no matter how much I love it, I also recognize that this section has no intrinsic value.
You are not required or even expected to care about history or art or what my kid has been up to this week.
If you enjoy reading anything that appears on this page, it’s not because you have to know it. It’s because you relate to it.
I would argue you that you relate to it because no matter where we live or how we vote or the size of the paycheck we bring home, we’re all just people who are born and die and have more questions than answers in between.
Life is a crazy thing that certainly deserves to be celebrated.
And that, in my opinion, is what this page is for.