We missed it by a day, but perhaps we can still belatedly celebrate National Columnists Day.

This niche celebration apparently was held April 18, as it has been since 1995. I’m told the National Society of Newspaper Columnists (NSNC) created the special day to honor Ernie Pyle, famed WWII correspondent and storyteller. April 18 is the anniversary of his death.

(April 18 is also National Animal Cracker Day, which I might need to celebrate alongside the aforementioned.)

I learned about this day last year, when my friend and former freelance writer Mary Dempsey, formerly of Bluffton and now residing somewhere near Macon, Ga., sent me a clipping from the local paper. Columnist Ed Grisamore of the Macon Telegraph wrote about the event, how he intended to celebrate, and how he got started in the business in the first place.

While fact-checking National Columnists Day, I also checked out the NSNC (columnists.com). I poked around, read the history (no mention of National Columnist Day that I could find), read several columns by members, learned about the upcoming national conference, and scanned the member list.

The mission statement of the nonprofit is to promote “professionalism and camaraderie among columnists and other writers of the serial essay – including bloggers.” One can join whether one writes for newspapers, magazines, trade journals or podcasts, whether one is full-time staff or freelancer, and whether one writes opinions, humor, analysis or essays.

Holy cow. I think I might have found my writing people!

And it’s about time, too.

When I was 13, I knew I wanted to write for a living. My dad recognized my love of words and storytelling and challenged me to write “my” novel in the next 10 years. (Sorry, Dad. It’s still not written. But someday!)

Bill McDonald was a columnist for The State newspaper in Columbia, where I grew up. Sometime during my days in journalism school at the University of South Carolina, he came to speak to our class. Afterward, I informed him that I wanted his job. I can’t recall if he smirked or laughed out loud.

(Side note: I’ve just learned that McDonald retired a few years ago and has written a couple of books, the most recent being “Old Geezer Romancing in Cyberspace” in 2018. I’m not sure if his former position is open.)

Then Erma Bombeck came into my world in the early ’80s. I wasn’t a mother, but I loved her columns and her quirky sense of humor about family life. For a while, once I realized I’d never get McDonald’s spot at the local paper, I wanted her job.

In the 1990s, when I was working at the Island Packet, I was delighted to meet Art Buchwald, an old-school columnist, when he stopped by for a visit. He was a trip. It would have fun to have his job.

Now here we are in the 21st century and I have a job I love that came with a column of my own. I’ve learned being a columnist can be easy as pie sometimes, and something of a struggle other times. Sometimes a single word will strike me and become the starting point for a column, and some days I have no words and no idea what I will write until I sit in front of the keyboard at the 11th hour before sending the paper to be printed.

Maybe I should order the book I just saw mentioned on the columnist website, “The Art of Column Writing,” which promises insider secrets from Mr. Buchwald and Dave Barry, among others.

Until then, I think I’ll celebrate National Columnists Day by joining the club and making myself official. Oh, and let’s not forget the animal crackers.