I've recently been given the wonderful opportunity to write the 7 things to do column for the Sunday edition of the Winnipeg Free Press. My first issue came out yesterday, September 30. Click here to read.
Things I've learned while writing this column:
Compared to every other day of the week, Sunday is pretty uneventful. I mean, September 30 was relatively action-packed due to Culture Days and CIBC Run for the Cure, but it took me three to four hours to find seven different events to write about. Searching definitely tested my patience, because I'm a very impatient person, and I surprisingly found the thrill in the hunt. It was like looking for treasure, as corny as it sounds. Which leads me to my next point. . . .
Writing the column showed me many sides of Winnipeg. I was told to look for events that weren't as well-known or highly advertised. I tried to include as much diversity into that column, discussing a book launch, a dance workshop, and a Motown concert. This week, I already found an Assiniboine Park walk on Meetup.com. The group organizer, Stacey Sigurdson, organized this walk for their group called Out and About Winnipeg Social Group. The group's purpose is to organize low-key, usually outdoor events for anyone to come out, be active, and have a good time. This was one of my favourite finds, and it makes me want to write a long-form article about it.
Keep a directory of websites and sources on which to find events. This is a definite time-saver. Instead of spending so many hours looking for events, I turn to websites such as eventful.com, tourismwinnipeg.com, and downtownwinnipegbiz.com for event listings to make my job easier. They can lead to other great websites with events that may not be as well-known.
Divide events into categories. This helps the column from being too art-heavy, festival-heavy, and so on. Variety is the spice of life. I learned I can't please everyone, but I tried to get as much diversity into the list as possible.
Have fun! I'm having a great time writing this column. It feels good to control what content to withhold or share with the readers (I mean this in the least controlling way possible). For myself, Sundays are family days, so I try to write about events that are meant for families to enjoy. I think this column exists to inspire families to take time from their busy schedules and spend their day dancing or taking a walk in Assiniboine Park instead. At least, that's what I'm going to strive for while I'm there.
Happy Sundays, guys.