I need to get back in the habit of writing a column each week.

It’s not an easy task to drum up a bunch of words that make some sort of sense.

I can put words to screen or paper with some sort of an outline or purpose, but generating a column… out of nothing?

Don’t know if it can happen. What I predict will happen is about 100 words or so into this, something will unfold in front of me.

I’m out of practice. Column writing is a different kind of beast than covering a game, writing a feature or general news.

It’s different than any of the other writing I pursue outside of work. There are writers who do this much better than I ever could. Which would explain why I had to bring in a monkey to write my columns back in the early days.

He was good but overpaid. He’s gone on to do better things now.

Last I heard he’s a speechwriter for elected officials.

Which kind of makes sense.

If you’re a politician you’re going to fling <ahem> things around, and who is better at that task than a monkey?

I’m old and I’ve been doing this a long time.

I have eclipsed the 20-year mark of being a sports writer/journalist.

The moment came and passed without any muss or fanfare. It’s for the best. Journalists aren’t in high praise by some folks in this country. When we’re called the “enemy of the people,” it doesn’t sit well with me.

Back in the early days, I kind of like being the outsider. I had no problem going against the grain or the stereotype. I took pride in the few hate mails (before email was a normal or regular thing) I got and the one life-threatening phone call within a month of starting my career.

Things are different now. I’m not sure how I would react to such a threat.

It’s like working the refs. If you spend the entire game screaming at the refs telling them how bad they are at their job, how they’re worthless, subhuman and it doesn’t matter if they make the right call or not, they’re still horrible. We need to quit being that person. We need to quit cheering that person on during the games.

SIDEBAR: I realized a while back I’ve been doing all these years when complaining about the refs. For that, I apologize. They’re just doing their job. Since perception is everything, perhaps mine was wrong.

For some, I guess it’s better to believe that the refs are rigging the game rather than believe your team is having an off-night, or the other team could be better.

We’re not good being out of our comfort zones.

We need to step out of our comfort zones. Quit relying on the safe play. Take a risk or even a calculated risk. There’s nothing wrong with planning.

It all comes down to fear.

We’re afraid. We’re afraid of being different, being around people who are different and afraid that we’re not who we say we are.

We’ve lost the art of compromise because we’re afraid that we’re giving something up. And that’s okay. If there’s a fair compromise, someone else is giving something up as well.