Thursday, January 12, 2012

For My Next Act I'm Gonna Be A Female Version of J. Jonah Jameson. (Except Less Pissed Off At Toby McGuire, I Mean, Peter Parker)

Just As Colorful, But Less Inspired.
Once upon a time a little girl lived on a dead-end street down by a river, but she didn't live in a van down by the river.  She had a great imagination and was so full of confidence that she believed that everyone on the street would enjoy reading a newspaper that she created.  So throughout one summer she made up stories about neighbor's houses catching fire and lost dogs that never existed.

Having no access to a mimeograph machines (kids, that what we called copiers back in the day) she painstakingly re-wrote each article in perfect D'Nealian handwriting and illustrated each copy.  Critics would later likened those surviving first editions to St. John's Illuminated Bible. 

Days passed.  The little gazettes were ignored by most neighbors.  The papers, lovingly bound with rubber bands were mistaken for mass mailing flyers and were tossed in garbage cans without a second look.

The little girl saw all this.  Her labor of love and creativity trashed.  She pondered for a moment and thought, "Well, there goes two days of work for nothing.  I'm gonna swim now."  Because really?  What kid wouldn't want to swim in the neighbor's pool?
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Twenty plus years later, on this particular day, this now older girl (because she maintains she will NEVER GROW UP) met up with two editors.  Between these two editors their resumes spanned the globe: NY Times, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, Tampa Tribune; they had worked in Germany, South American, Thailand, India.  To say the least, it was an impressive meeting.

What began as an interview for a recurring column on health, fitness, and dog care (how those go together, she wasn't sure), turned into an offer to be a manager of a regional newspaper. The editors were impressed with her background, her skills, and her adventurous spirit.  Her first business meeting will take place on Saturday and by Monday, she'll hit the ground running.

And she lived happily ever after.  Until she couldn't fall asleep because she was so excited!
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(So these are the details of the story.  I had answered an ad on Craigslist that advertized a position of a writer for the Dade City community for a on-line newspaper.  After speaking briefly on the phone to one of the owner and playing telephone tag over the holidays, I wasn't too convinced that I wouldn't be meeting up with two retirees who decided to take up on-line news reporting as a hobby.  However, I kept the appointment and the rest is as above.

Long before we had giant news corporations, towns and communities put out their own papers.   So my job is to launch the Dade City version of this newspaper.  It'll feature local events and people.  And seeing as we all have a natural propensity towards narcissism it shouldn't be too hard to have the highschool kids phone their sports scores to me, soccer moms to email pictures, and the garden club to wax poetic about their spring blooms.  People love reading about themselves.  Small businesses will get exposure on a level that they couldn't afford before.


I have to sell ad space in addition to managing articles that need to be published, editing documents for quality, and making contacts within the community.  And I think I really can do it.


The wonderful thing about these editors is that they understand the meaning of community.  15% of each client's ad fee will go into a community slush fund.  Once a month, 10 members from the community will decide where that money will go, whether to a needy family, replacing flower beds around city hall, or improving existing buildings.  

I'm going to be helping small businesses develop.  I'm going to know that children will smile when they can point to an article and recognize their face from the action shots captured during a game.  It'll be amazing to know that whatever ad revenue I can pull in will go to help those who might not be in a good spot, places that I've been in before. 


It's going to be a lot of hard work, especially in the beginning.  But I can still work from home, (yea for yoga pants!), set my own hours, and keep working with The Band.  This is an amazing chance for growth for me.


I know I will still have my days where my demons want to drag me down into depressive, anxiety ridden pits of self-doubt.  I know that I will freak out and get writers block.  But I know that I can keep fighting through it.  I know I can do it.)


And I know that I have you, dear readers, to thank.  Your comments, your warm wishes keep me up.  Thanks for believing in me thus far.