Time has been short since I started my job at the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle. Many nights I get home and don’t want to write a single word or see another computer screen. My head throbs from looking at the screen all day, answering e-mails and phone calls, and examining pictures.
It’s not that I don’t want want to write, but writing takes a toll on my body and my mind. I have work up the courage to write, re-write, edit, write again, and then look over one last time because in all honesty, I think for the most part what I write is never good enough. It can always get better.
That thought process takes a lot out of me. It’s how I’ve always been and how I’ll always be.
I think writers in general struggle with self-esteem. I hide behind what I write. It’s easier than fighting for the spotlight and getting my face on TV — I would hate to be on TV. I don’t think I could do it. I like to hide in my videos. Never will you hear my voice in a video I shoot and edit.
The biggest struggle each week is my weekly column in the paper. I can’t seem to come up with a topic or a beginning, middle or end. I tried to write about Memorial Day for 3 hours the other day. I must have written a 1,000 words, only to delete them because I didn’t have anything to say.
That’s how it goes weekly. I usually write my column, which I framed after the opening column from a magazine editor about what’s inside or a hot news topic, on desk while proofing the other pages. that way I have an idea of what is going on in the paper and what really matters. It also gives me a chance to speak on one story in the paper that doesn’t get enough play because of space or time restraints.
Here’s an excerpt from my column from last week’s paper (full-text online for free):
I skipped watching the Bruins play the Tampa Lightening on Monday night to go over to St. Brigid’s Parish in Millbury to see two women tell two of the most amazing stories I’ve ever heard.
Bozenna Urbanowicz Gilbride and Inge Auerbacher talked to the community about the most gruesome and soulless atrocity against humans in the 20th Century and how they eventually escaped those atrocities and made it to America. The Parish Hall was packed, and yet, it felt like both Auerbacher and Gilbride were speaking to just you and no one else.
Now, Holocaust survivor stories aren’t anything new. Hollywood has done the story time and again. There are litany’s of books, including Auerbacher and Gilbride’s own book, on the subject. But, it’s totally different to hear the details first hand from survivors.
Sitting there, it made me wonder what future generations will and how they will face struggles. If there isn’t anyone to tell these stories, will people forget? I hope not.
The saying, “history repeats itself” wasn’t invented for some writer to use it as a cliché. History really does repeat itself. Look at the world today. You have a genocide in Darfur. Libya has been torn to pieces and reports from the BBC say that Ghadafi and his troops are paying for soldiers to rape and murder women and children. Reports are still coming out of Bosnia, Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro detailing terrible violence that occurred while that part of Europe was in disarray.
Leaders today are trying to deal with the situations, but there really isn’t a rule book to follow when things like this happen. All leaders can do is look back on the past for answers. All we can hope for is that Auerbacher’s and Gilbride’s stories are never forgotten and that the next generation will look at them for answers and inspiration.
This is the last part of the column. I really enjoyed writing it. This is a topic I feel strongly about — history surviving and people learning from it. Too often people forget. And too often people don’t understand the context of an issue or the history of a place. How can you understand, help, or translate issues in a place or with a person if you don’t know the history? It’s too important to forget.