I used to be a writer.
I was pretty good at it, too. I could write the hell out of any topic I had an opinion about and hey, I have opinions about pretty much everything. I was fast, too - hugely productive. Page after page, day after day, all of it grammatically impeccable, a lot of it funny or pointed or poignant or capable of moving you or inspiring you or maybe just making your day a little better.
I used to be a writer. Then I stopped.
I stopped writing here. And for a while I told myself it was just here that I stopped - I mean, I was still churning out an 800 word nationally syndicated column a week, every week, without fail (and if you think that's easy, you're not a writer. You're one of those people who say, "I could be a writer." News flash: No, you can't.).
And then I stopped writing the column. In my final column, after 26 years of weekly pontificating, I did a rough word count. I figured I had written more than a million words. That surprised even me:
When I do an approximate count of the number of columns I have churned out in that time, I come up with over 1,300. At an average of 800 words per column, that’s more than one million words I have sent out into the world.