I recently applied to write for the Indiana History Examiner. Examiner.com is a sort of online newspaper covering numerous cities throughout the United States. My fellow blogger Kellie Davis writes for the Anchorage Examiner, so I became interested in writing a local history column for the Indianapolis version. After applying, I got a response saying that Examiners are expected to write four to six articles of 200 to 400 words every week. That reminded me of Donald Kaul, onetime columnist for the Des Moines Register, who used to say there were two schools of daily column writing: the toothbrush school and the nymphomaniac school.
The toothbrush school was championed by Sydney J. Harris, who wrote a daily column for the Chicago Daily News and later the Sun-Times, from 1944 to his death in 1986. He compared writing a column to brushing his teeth in the morning. For him, it was a matter of routine.
Kaul then went on to quote another Daily News (later Sun-Times and the Tribune) columnist, Mike Royko, who quipped, "It's like being married to a nymphomaniac." (George Grizzard and Nora Ephron said the same thing--I'm not sure who said it first.) Like Kaul, I'll side with Royko, though not from personal experience.
So I gave a tentative assent to the Examiner offer, but only if I weren't subjected to the four-column minimum. That was a week ago and I haven't heard from the Examiner since. Perhaps the wedding is off.