I’ve mentioned in the past that I am the managing editor for a local women’s newspaper. It only comes out every other month, but it’s volunteer work, and to be honest, it is a lot more work than I ever thought. Initially, I thought it would be a great way for me to give back to the community, a way to do something that wouldn’t require me having to be away from my kids. And it is all that. But it’s also a huge time sucker and way more work than I had anticipated. It’s also a huge hassle trying to get the paper to just run–finding revenue, volunteers, organizers, etc. The truth is, I often think I should probably quit. It’s too much for me to handle right now. Maybe once my kids are older, I can do it again, but for now, it’s clearly becoming the straw that broke this camel’s back.
But then, my mind changes. Like tonight when I just finished copy-editing. We go to press tomorrow and the designers were a little behind schedule, so I actually got the PDFs much later than usual. But I really didn’t mind. As I read all the articles again, looking for little errors–typos, wrong author names, too much white space–I began to really enjoy my job as editor. It’s pretty unrewarding in many aspects, but I love how many women (and a few men) continue to submit articles for free–just because these women (and men) believe that getting the voices of the women in our community about issues that mainly pertain to women is incredibly important. I agree.
We only print 6,000 copies, and I’m sure many of those copies go unread. But then, some don’t. Some actually change a few lives. Some women write thank you letters to me for letting them know about an important community function for women or about how some writer really made them think about changing their lives.
In the end, even though it’s probably more work then I should take on, I’m really thankful for all the women writers who contribute and for the graphic designers who put the whole paper together and for the community members who read our paper, and most importantly for the sense of accomplishment I get when the paper is done and put to bed.