Paragliding over Resolutions

President’s Message

This column was originally published in the January 2014 edition of The Columnist, the members’ newsletter of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.

By Eric Heyl
National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Eric Heyl

Eric Heyl

Admit it. The question lingered in the back of your mind.

As you sang “Auld Lange Syne,” as the lampshade threatened to topple off of your head, as you were near-totally absorbed in your New Year’s Eve revelry, the query arose. In the deepest recesses of your mind you thought: Isn’t there some pressing NSNC business I have to attend to, provided I don’t slip off of the high-rise balcony ledge on which I am unwisely and precariously tap dancing?

Why, yes, there is indeed. Now that your hangover hopefully has abated, I’ll cheerfully let you know what it is. No need to thank me, I’m just doing what any responsible NSNC president would do.

Now that January has arrived, in addition to getting to the gym to work off some of your recently expanded gut, it’s time to renew your membership to this august organization.

The cost is just $50 for the entire year, or less than what you spend in a month on those Venti-sized bold roast Starbucks offerings. (A student membership is just $35, or about the cost of one of those Ventis and a Danish, and a lifetime membership is a bargain at just $500. Here’s a bargain we started last year: Purchase a regular membership by credit card authorizing automatic renewals, and it’ll be just $45.)

Before you forget, you should go to’s Join or Renew! page this very moment and renew. Don’t worry. I’ll be here when you get back.

• • •

Wow, that was quick. Thanks for re-upping!

Now that you’re once again a member in good standing, it’s time to start sorting through your best 2013 columns so you can enter NSNC’s annual column contest, which is open to those works that are published in print and also includes an online, blog and multimedia category. We do that because we’re an inclusive bunch. We’re also brutally efficient. We’re already accepting entries. I could be mistaken, but I don’t believe the Pulitzer people start taking submissions until after the NCAA football championship has been decided.

OK, so we’ve addressed your membership renewal and contest participation. Now we can turn to your New Year’s resolutions.

Paraglider along Wetterstein mountains, Germany, 2006

Paraglider — not Eric Heyl — along Wetterstein mountains, Germany, 2006. Turelio

Besides pledging to listen to much less Miley Cyrus music, devote more time to saving endangered species (my personal favorite is the black-footed ferret), and finally getting around to again pursuing your long-dormant passion for paragliding, there is one resolution that you simply can’t afford not to keep.

That would be to attend the NSNC ‘s 38th annual conference in Washington, D.C., which will be held at the splendiferous Washington Plaza Hotel June 26-29. Yes, after a brief holiday hiatus, I’ve gone back to relentlessly selling this upcoming no-holds-barred extravaganza. The speakers are being finalized and will be announced soon, but that shouldn’t stop you from registering right now. Do so and you’ll not only guarantee yourself a fun and enlightening time, you’ll have completed your most pressing NSNC duties and can turn guilt-free to other matters of monumental importance.

You know, like purchasing paragliding insurance.

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