I have a confession to make... I'm a compulsive worrier. So, when I accepted the post of Montage Editor for The USF Oracle this summer, I was a bit intimidated by the thought of handling this responsibility.
Sure, I had already been working as a staff writer for the paper for the past year, but this was an entirely different animal. Instead of simply submitting my own stories, I would have to manage an entire section of the paper, editing stories, designing layout, etc., and while I knew I could handle it, my anxiety refused to relent. Particularly troubling was that the fact that I would be working with a program that was completely foreign to me.
So, last night, I arrived at 5pm as expected, and my Assistant Editor (who is also new to the whole editor gig) was already awaiting my arrival. While we both were apprehensive about beginning our duties. However, throughout the course of the night, as we grappled with late stories, a total lack of workable artwork, and schedule issues (typical obstacles, I would assume), I ultimately found myself invigorated by the whole process.
What always appealed to me the most about writing was the creativity involved. The way in which a writer can transform a blank page into a compelling work of art is truly astonishing to me, and the greatest feeling of all is to have the satisfaction of being the one pulling the strings, to see something you created come to life. After three years as a published writer, seeing an article of mine in print does not quite create the surge of enthusiasm it used to, but my initial experience as an editor completely rejuvenated my love of writing.
To you writers who have yet to earn your first byline, please don't misinterpret my seeming nonchalance. I always relished the opportunity to add another clip to my ever-increasing portfolio, but I haven't been this excited about being a writer for as long as I can remember. It was like- if there was any lingering doubt that I had picked the wrong industry to work in, it was completely dashed after last night. That kind of self-affirmation is all too rare these days, especially for me.
What started as a few weeks of escalating anxiety has now crescendoed into a surprising confirmation of my place in this business. Although this editor job will only run through the summer (since it will interfere with my classes in the fall), I am certain that this experience will prove invaluable in the future. After all, the position has already effectively re-energized my focus on journalism. Not bad for a night's work...
"Why do writers write? Because it isn't there."