As I prepare for the launch of my second full length novel, I am appalled by the loose ends left. It is mind boggling.
I have learned the writing of a novel is easy-peasy. The first time I edited my final project, I thought, this is harder than writing it. Then I had to publish it, again, I thought it was far easier to write it. Then I had to market it. WOW! Writing is definitely easier.
I know I’m not the best author on the market. I am a humble individual. But also, a little cocky, I know my work is not the worst out there. As I learn what I am doing beyond writing, I am becoming increasingly overwhelmed. It would be easier to just not. Just write when I want to write, then put down the pen (or keyboard) depending on my creative mood and go to a 9-5 job. Then I ask myself, why do I want to do this?
I recently left another job because I felt unappreciated and marginalized for my abilities, potential and efforts, among other things. Why do I want a job like that? Why should I not put forth my own efforts, succeed or fail based on what I do, and not someone else?
Motivation, that is the deciding factor. When I sit at my desk and see my lists of things to do, because there is more than one list, I think I can do this. If one other person can be successful at it, I can too. I just have to believe in myself.
I took a job recently for another weekly paper. I have written for as long as I can remember and have worked in and out of journalism since 1991. I took journalism classes and won numerous VPA awards. I can take criticism in my writing. I have been knocked down many times. But recently I was told I was not a professional writer. This was told to me because I have thus far held on to my integrity. I was aware of the reputation of this paper. I thought I could change how these individuals looked at news.
The publisher never worked in news before starting the paper. The editor came from another paper, but I am not so confident how far he made it, before going to work for the paper where I recently took the job. The editor goes along with what the publisher wants, defends his choices and makes his own questionable moves. The writer they say is a professional, they lament losing, and hold up to me to emulate was a retired middle school teacher. The only reason they choose to call him a professional writer over me is because he did what they said. I have heard many people say he misquoted and just made things up. It was so bad some individuals had to record their own interviews. One of these stopped being contacted by this paper all together, because they would have to deal with him honestly.
They both want me to report the negative, stir trouble for politicians the publisher is against and make something out of nothing to sell papers. I refuse to partake in sensationalism. I feel the American people need to be aware there are journalists out there that would sell their souls in order to get a byline. They will do what it takes to keep it.
During my time remaining, I will not bow to their ways. I will continue to give them what I give them, told honestly and objectively. They can fire me, because I will remain true to myself and my profession. I wish more of today’s journalists felt as strongly and the American people should demand it of reporters, or no reporters will be seen as trustworthy. Despite my constant struggle to keep my integrity, under this new editor and publisher, I am seen as untrustworthy. It should not be, but it is what it is.