The first issue of The Writer appeared in April 1887, and to
help celebrate its anniversary I hope you’ll indulge me in this exercise in why
I love working for the first magazine dedicated to helping writers.
1. It’s like taking a series of master classes with great
teachers—and getting paid for it. Reading articles on the craft and business of
writing is quite an education. I’ve learned a lot about the querying and
submission process since I started working for the magazine. And it’s also
helpful to be reminded of techniques that I was aware of but maybe never really
put to practice.
2. I get to work with a group of talented professionals on
staff as well as amazing freelance writers. Sometimes a job stinks, but you
like the people you work with. Other times, you like the job, but your
co-workers get on your nerves. I like my job and my co-workers, so I’m pretty
lucky. I enjoy “meeting” and collaborating with contributors, and I value their
hard work. I especially appreciate our contributing editors whom I’ve gotten to
know in my time with the magazine. And I’m amazed by what they accomplish. They
juggle day jobs, short writing assignments, book projects, family
responsibilities and more. They’re pretty inspiring.
3. I have access to all of the back issues with articles
from incredible writers such as May Sarton, Wallace Stegner, Phyllis A. Whitney
and many others who’ve written for the magazine over the years. I regularly dip
into our archives looking for timeless writing advice to share with today’s
readers, and it’s a joy to stumble upon an article that expresses some essential truth
about writing that hasn’t changed.
4. I’m part of a community of writers and book lovers. I
enjoy reading about other writers’ successes and hearing from our magazine
readers and visitors to the Web site. It’s so nice to see writers encourage
each other and share tips and tricks. There’s support—and sometimes even humor.
5. I find out about (and get review copies of) books not yet
released. I don’t get to read and keep them all. Sometimes I merely page
through a writing book before I send it on to the reviewer, but I get a kick
out of knowing which new books are coming out. And some, of course, I do get to
read. Ah, so many books, so little time.
6. I’m forced to write as part of my job. While I don’t have
a lot of writing responsibilities, I occasionally write short pieces for the
magazine, and I regularly blog. I’ve also learned that having a deadline really
helps motivate me to write. I wanted to enter a contest a while back, and I had
to finish the piece first (yes, that can be a problem for me) to have it considered. That contest deadline did the
trick. Now I just have to set up artificial deadlines to motivate myself. Or
find more contests to enter.
7. It keeps me on top of changes in the publishing industry.
If left to my own devices, would I have started blogging or tweeting? Probably
not. And I’d be missing out. Plus, I like being in the know, reading the
industry magazines and newsletters, etc.
If you’ve read this far, I apologize for the gush fest. I am
interested, though, in why you love writing. Care to count the ways? Please
post a comment below.