This past Sunday 60 Minutes said good-bye to its iconic writer and commentator, Andy Rooney. Mr. Rooney has closed out the show since 1978 with his musings about everything from politics to cleaning out the glove compartment of his car. The Hollywood Reporter headline stated “Andy Rooney’s Final Broadcast Draws Largest October Audience Since 2007” as his farewell segment drew 17.11 million viewers who watched the show to gather one last nugget of wisdom from this TV personality and writer.
During his last regularly scheduled segment on 60 Minutes, Mr. Rooney said that even at 92 he’d never stop being a writer. He felt that there was always something to write about; all you had to do was pick up a newspaper to be inspired to write something. It is his dedication to writing – to good writing – that inspired me as a child to be a writer. Mr. Rooney proved that you can call yourself a writer – regardless of the subject matter – as long as the quality of the writing is good and you actively pursue quality writing. His words were not often read, but heard. His thoughts were sometimes profound, but more often humorous. Yet Mr. Rooney was, is, and will always be a writer.
I thank Mr. Rooney for the inspiration. I realize now that although I’m spending my days writing corporate white papers and brochures instead of the fiction novel I always dreamt about writing, I’m still a writer. In fact, I believe that Mr. Rooney’s dedication to writing and speaking his mind has inspired a generation of bloggers. Mr. Rooney spoke his mind, sometimes getting into trouble for it but always writing with heart. I hope that I’ll be fortunate enough to be a writer like Mr. Rooney well into my 90’s.