The day I realized I wouldn’t write for a local newspaper

I remember it clearly.

The classroom was warm — the kind of warm that gives you a throbbing headache and dry eyes.

My fellow feature writing class members watched as a goateed man in a golf hat pranced toward the lectern. He was a graduate of the Class of 2008, and we could already tell he had a large ego.

He pulled up his stories for the local paper — a daily — on the projector. He bragged about covering police investigations and small city government.

He wrote a story a day, if not more, he said.

He had changed lives, he said.

My throat felt as though I had been drinking salt water. And that’s when I knew.

My dream — the one I had since establishing my household paper, The Lindner News — was gone.

I used to think about how I’d work for The Arcade Herald, a weekly that covers news in my town. I’d dream about landing a job at The Buffalo News (I’d still take the job if they offered me one).

If I have an ego, I want it to be because I’m doing awesome things.

If my professor wanted us to get anything out of that guest speaker, it was that I realized I didn’t want to do what he was doing.

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