THERE'S plenty of people willing to gleefully predict the death of newspapers, and the journalism that populates the pages of mastheads throughout the world.
And while there's undoubtedly a lot of upheaval and change occurring in the industry I've been part of in one shape or form for the past thirty or so years, there's also plenty of life left in the industry and those of us caught up in it.
It's fair to say the way many people choose to consume their news is vastly different to what it was ten, five or even just a few years ago.
It's also fair to say that news itself has changed and that the definition of news is not what it once was.
That's not necessarily a good thing.
Social media, the haven of fake news, slander and ignorance has a lot to answer for in a lot of ways as our society inexplicably doubles down on the amount of time we spend fixated with what our various feeds are or are not telling us.
It's one thing to read more books, but more social media?
A good friend of mine once said to me no one ever laid on their death bed and wished they had worked harder - life is, after all, for living.
It's a fair bet then that not many of us will lie on our death bed when the time has come and we can post or tweet no more, and wish we had spent even more time on social media.
I'll be the first to admit my iPhone spends too much time in front of my ever failing eyes as I squint at the screen and its exaggerated font trying to decipher the latest post on something I will likely never want, didn't need to know or probably couldn't care less about.
In recent times, I've started a gradual withdrawal from social media.
My new iPhone doesn't have Twitter installed, and I don't even miss it.
I didn't realise until I started writing this column that it was not there, so apologies to anyone wanting to tweet me, but I'm actually not sorry at all.
So while some might never bemoan wasting time on social media, others might regret not reading more books that offer more than a veneer of content.
This week I had the great honour of launching an anthology of works produced by the Certificate IV and Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing students from Bendigo TAFE.
I had promised to launch this book a decade or so ago, but life got in the way, so I have always felt I owed this opportunity to those who had invited me all those years ago, and to the people who it matters most to.
Interestingly, and paradoxically, the first flash fiction piece in the book is entitled Goodbye.
As I worked my way through the almost 500 pages that are Painted Words 2019, I found myself drawn into the rich content I was so privileged to be reading.
Some of these local authors managed to drag me right into the page and into their short stories, their words and views a reflection of many I have shared at different times of my own writing career.
I was genuinely surprised at how often this happened.
I don't read a lot of books; newspapers are my fix, and probably always will be, in one way or another.
One short story that deals with a family fleeing an abusive husband/father is incredibly real. It's fast paced and graphic in describing a horrendous situation the remnants of one family find themselves in.
The terror, confusion, loneliness, helplessness and then the hope that are the common denominators to this family's existence, are palpable.
Painted Words 2019 runs incredibly deep with content from the current crop of Bendigo TAFE students.
The contents list extends for seven pages and prescribes almost 120 offerings from the class of 2019.
Launching the book, I encouraged the students to persevere with their passion, because doing something you love and getting paid to do it is an absolute joy.
Whether they end up working as journalists, screen writers, novelists, teachers, working in PR or as anything else, they have the skills to compile and record their memories and experiences and package them in a way I have been fascinated by.
Life offers us lessons every day.
Whether we choose to acknowledge what we are being shown is up to us, and whether we become better people as a result of our learned experiences is up to us.
Too many of us spend our time looking for that something else we will probably never have, but if you nail some of the basics, it's amazing how simple the rest of your life can be, and how everything else seems to fall into line.
With that comes a clarity about what you do and what you should do.
And if more of us had that, then we'd all be sharing a much better place.