Although I am more used to telling a story through my photography, I found myself totally engrossed in writing a column for a supposedly local publication, that shall remain nameless. I was given the opportunity to interview and feature some wonderful businesses and extraordinary people, thanks to the guidance and nurturing of an exceptionally gifted editor. I became addicted to not only the writing process but to the exploration of possible leads and how to incorpororate my images into the story.
The relationship between an editor and a writer is tenuous and it takes time to foster the necessary trust and respect. An editor needs to possess not only impeccable grammatical expertise and writing skills, but also have the ability to glean the gist of a written piece and modify as little as possible, only to clarify and enhance. An editor also needs to be creative, open-minded and intelligent.
What is sad and unfortunate is when gifted and creative people find themselves working for ego driven corporate hierarchies, and despite toxic and hostile work environments still produce quality work out of love for their craft or art. It’s oxymoronic to group creativity with corporation in one sentence, especially when the first line of this particular corporation’s mission statement emphasizes “profitability.” Someone else’s intellectually property means nothing to them, and quality of work doesn’t matter. Their motto should be “get blood out of a stone for as little money as possible.” Rest room plumbing won’t be repaired because of budgetetary constraints, and staff are paid a minimum hourly wage with no raise for years. Even more abusive is to place an employee on a yearly minimum wage “salary” and triple the workload so that a forty hour week project turns into an eighty hour week in order to get the project complete.
So things change and people move on because eventually, they need to preserve the integrity of their souls.
We lost our local newspaper a long time ago. This magazine, VIVAcini, is intended to be a vehicle for all the talented artists and writers who want a place to share their gifts and be honored and appreciated instead of being expected to cater to the corporate “bottom line.”
An ending is always the opportunity for a new beginning. I, for one, will continue to seek out, write about and photograph the wonders of our communities because I love it! Who knows where this will lead. In any case, I hope it will be fun and enjoyable for those who contribute and those who write.
I thank this gifted editor who helped me grow as a writer. Some may know her and others may not realize how instrumental she was in creating something out of nothing for a thankless corporation. Most importantly, she knows how much she is appreciated and what an inspiration she continues to be to many of us writers.