There comes a time in the career of every columnist when the well runs a little bit dry. Now, I know it’s probably hard to believe that someone who writes just 12 columns a year can only come up with, say, 11 columns, but… .

Anyway, I noticed the other day that Morning News columnist Steve Blow “cleared his desk” with a column of bits and pieces. I know he’s paid much better than I am, so I thought I’d try clearing my mind in the same fashion.

  • Here’s the most common question I’m asked by readers: How long does it take to write this column each month?

The answer is simple: If I know what I want to say, it takes me about an hour. If I don’t have a clue about where I’m going with the column, it takes much, much longer. I’m already about 90 minutes into this column, if that gives you any clue.

  • Many readers ask me how I come up with column ideas. I usually take this as a compliment (this month expected) that I’m doing something right.

Honestly, most of my ideas just kind of bounce around in my head for a few weeks.

Sometimes, my thoughts relate to the cover story we’re working on or something else going on in the neighborhood. Other times, I’m in a more personally introspective mood, and I dredge up all kinds of memories with the presumption that my cobwebs will have some meaning for you.

  • My wife, Sally, often asks me why I write about our children but not about her.

It used to be pretty simple: My kids couldn’t read, so I could say anything without fear of retribution.

That is no longer the case, so you’ll probably be hearing less and less about my sons.

And in answer to this concern about a lack of column visibility, just think about this: Anyone who’s married knows how difficult it can be for two people to agree on something. Imagine how much more difficult it would be if 140,000 readers were perceived to be involved in the discussion. Well, Sally has been mentioned now, so I can move on to other topics.

  • Do you know anyone who wants to sell magazine advertising?

People ask me every day how the Advocate is doing, and the answer is pretty simple: We’re doing fine, but we’d be doing much better if we could find more advertising sales executives.

It’s frustrating for me because I’m proud of our magazines and our staff, but there are plenty of other neighborhoods in Dallas that would love and support their own Advocate – if only we had additional sales executives to sell the advertising we need to pay our printing, distribution and editorial expenses.

Full-time with print sales experience is preferred, but we have several part-time account executives who started with no experience, do a great job and make pretty good money working flexible hours.

And for those of you who don’t know him, we have a really great boss here that I personally and very highly recommend.

  • I’ve heard it said that the hallmark of a great columnist is that he or she can work wonders with virtually nothing to write about.

I guess there’s always next month.