My first year as a columnist

Sophie Wallace
Sophie Wallace
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It really is quite bizarre to think I’ve been writing this column thing for a year now. It seems not that long ago I was a red-haired, winged-eyed, inexperienced 15-year-old sat at Scott McAngus’ desk, debating whether or not to open my bag of ready salted, trying my best not to disturb the silence of The Falkirk Herald newsroom.

I remember when the editor, Colin, called me and Jill into his office for a “chat”.

I was absolutely terrified, I thought I was going to have a bit of an accident. I haven’t the faintest idea why, Colin’s one of the most lovely, least aggressive people I’ve met.

There’s nothing remotely scary about him, but still I thought I was going to potentially need a change of underwear.

When he broke the news to me that he was looking for someone of my age to write a weekly column and that I apparently fitted the bill, then I honestly could not of been more relieved.

Safe to say I was a little bit over excited. If I remember correctly, I giggled like a 12-year-old for the rest of the day.

Looking back on the first articles I wrote – back in the early days when it was still called ‘Sophie’s Soapbox’ and I referred to myself as a “nutter” – I’ve come to realise that the way I used to write, was, well, a little cringey. I think I was trying too hard to appeal to everyone, and to try and make the public accept me – after all, I was a newcomer to the world of column writing.

But now, I’ve taken to writing the first thing that pops into my head. It could be anything, sometimes totally useless topics, other times topics that actually mean something.

The most heartwarming thing, though, about writing this column, is that I know that folk actually do read it. I couldn’t have been happier when I saw that a Grangemouth couple wrote into the Herald describing how my article about cancer had touched them.

It’s the little things like that inspire me to write about even more personal, but, of course, even more wacky things every week. So public, thank you – you guys make my job a lot more enjoyable.