Every once in a while, I’m reminded of how cool being the Editor for a magazine can be. Nine out of 10 times it comes from a reader, or someone who just watches or observes our crazy schedules that tend to fill up quite quickly—full of photoshoots, meetings (creative meetings, staff meetings, “catching up on how things are going” meetings, collaboration meetings, board meetings, coffee meetings, lunch meetings, meetings with local not for profit organizations, advertising meetings…), events, etc.
Just today, someone told me that it would be fun to have me speak to their rotary group that meets here in Columbia. My first response was, “Well what the heck about?”
She replied, “Well, your job. Duh.” (in the kindest tone she possibly could.)
In all honesty, I tend to get so caught up in all the “doing” and the meetings and the planning that I forget why I got into journalism. I think many journalists are guilty of this until they have what I call THE MOMENT.
Mine came last week.
For our upcoming August/September “Women At Work” issue, we are featuring some pretty amazing women in our community. It was during two of these interviews that I had my moment. It’s all about the people. The stories. The relationships. The way an interview pulls you in and becomes more like story time. One of these interviews lasted nearly 2 ½ hours! We cried a little and laughed a lot. I was reminded, sitting in Starbucks, why I do what I do.
No matter where life takes me, I’ll always be a journalist. To some extent, I think we all are. We all listen, take in information, and share it with those around us.
My challenge to you is to do that more often; think of others and share the stories that you hear. Be understanding of other individual’s circumstances. Be sympathetic. We all have something to share, something to give, and something to learn.
Editors get caught up in scheduling, deadlines, press days, writers that don’t do what we ask sometimes, photos that come in late, rescheduling and then rescheduling again, that we forget. We forget that journalism at its core is about sharing people’s stories. Educating a community about how amazing the people that live right next door can be. Everyone has a story; journalists are just there to share it. That’s why I do what I do.