Sunday, December 11, 2016

Thanks, Shawn

A Sailer Selfie at WGCH.
My friend Shawn Sailer tweeted a few minutes ago...
Yes. I quite get that.

Shawn started his own blog a few weeks ago and, in the grand Exit 55 tradition, we will write about it here. Now we hope that, unlike myriad other blogs that we've promoted here, Shawn will stay with it.

I've needed to remind myself that there are no rules about how many times one must post when doing this, unless you're getting paid for it. I'm not -- and have never made a dime off this effort -- so I shouldn't put the pressure on me that I have in the past.

Therefore if, oh I don't know, a blog (Creative Conjurings, for example) is quiet for a stretch, fear not. They'll be back. Too smart. Too talented. Too many things to say still.

The creation of Shawn's blog, coupled with his writing over at The Spectrum (Sacred Heart University's newspaper) has encouraged me to ramp things back up here. Every now and then, we get a friendly reminder. I'm glad.

Oh. Wait. I didn't use the "ramp" line with the intention of it being a road metaphor. You know: ramp. Exit 55.

No. I'm not that smart.

OK, digressing badly.

Getting into this kind of writing -- the very kind I've always wanted to do (that is, columnist-style writing) -- is fraught with peril. When I started here in August, 2007, I was largely fearless. I used (generally) common sense and had a lot of fun with it. The topics were all over the place, because I wanted to be more than a one-note band.

We're still that way, but things have changed. The topics are often running around in my cranium. Steelers, Yankees, music, politics (very little politics, but still), roads (and travel), pop culture, and on and on and on.

Along the way, my voice has had to adjust. I realized that that more people read this than I ever thought, and while I want discussion and even debate, I left things open to interpretation.

Am I still willing to tell you that, for instance, American Idol destroyed American popular music? Why yes. Yes I am, though I don't know if I want it to be at the cost of hurting those close to me. Anyway, that's the minefield we traverse.

Early on, I got a private message from someone who thought I was writing about...someone else. Truthfully, I wasn't. In fact, whenever I really wanted to dig in with something, I posted a video. Thus Rule 55 was created (thanks, Sean Kilkelly, for the name).

But back to Shawn (Sailer, that is). This guy has a voice (and he's among the best Twitter follows you'll find), and he's figuring out that he's not afraid to use it. We have talked various and sundry topics, and I hope he starts writing things like that for you. Yes, that's me in the picture on his Nov. 30 entry, but this is not about me.

I promise.

OK, so we need to ramp up Shawn's non-sports interests (he knows I'm slightly kidding as I write this), but I know you will enjoy his thoughts.

Once he starts writing them.

And boom. As I write, he has just posted something about his beloved Packers.

In which he referenced Green Bay's Super Bowl XLV victory.

Over the Steelers.

My Steelers.

Forget everything I just wrote.

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