So I've gone and done the one thing every writer wishes he or she could do. I've bypassed that whole "I want to be an author" stage entirely and hit "I'm an editor" in what has to be the singlemost absurdly lucky way imaginable. Yeah. That's right. A month ago I was a starving writer practically begging to be published and now I'm in charge of making sure other people get their day in the sun, as it were. I am a magazine editor. When I was a writer, I thought as a writer, played as a writer and did as writers do; now that I am an editor, I have put away writer-ish things.
How did I manage to snag this incredibly rare brass ring? I wish I could say it was because of a long list of credentials and experience that got me the job, but if I did, then I'd be lying through my rotting teeth. Nope. I, my friends, am one lucky son of a bitch. As some of you may or may not know, I've been hanging around Cafe Coco for years, this being my sixth anniversary. Well, over that period of time I've been making friends and doing my best to generally be a nice guy. I've lost count of how many stories I've read aloud to friends and strangers who might've taken a passing interest. Well, little did I know that being a storyteller of good repute could have so many hidden advantages- one of the friends that I'd acquired at the cafe also became a somewhat silent fan of my writing, and never said a word to me about it. He's even gone so far as to peruse my E2 homenode and read just about everything I've got there. Apparently he had a voracious literary appetite and my writing style and sense of editorial decorum was like brain candy for him.
So this interesting fellow, for some crazy reason, decided that he wanted to publish a magazine. But not just any magazine, oh no. He wanted to create a publication that would put Nashville's biggest "indie rag", the Nashville Scene, to shame. He wanted trendy, cool, hip, informative, intelligent and entertaining all wrapped up into a nice, high-gloss magazine and, to top it all off, he wanted the subject matter to be about Nashville itself, the city. He's never worked in the magazine industry before, let alone start one of his own. He had no clue how to go about it, but he could sell ice to an Eskimo and he definitely knew what he wanted. So he found some people around town whom he knew could be trusted and were able to boast some experience in the business of making magazines. He found a publisher, an ad sales team (it's a free publication), a graphic designer, a layout designer, a printer... but he was lacking an editor. All the people he spoke to or investigated for the Editor in Chief position were either too high-priced, too pretentious, too stuffy, too old, too... whatever. He was in a dilly of a pickle: how do you publish a magazine without an editor to put it all together?
He knew the type of person he was looking for, that much was certain, but who could he tap for the job? Somehow, and I'm not exactly certain how, my name came up in a meeting with his business partner (who is now the publisher while my friend is the marketing director) regarding potential writers for the magazine- and that was the spark he needed. He approached me the next day, completely out of the blue, and offered the job to me, right then and there.
Now. I ask you: what writer wouldn't take on a job like that? Hellz yes, I accepted! We wrote up contracts and started planning the magazine out, mission statements and all, when he decided to inform me that our deadline was only a month away.
So here I am, Chief Editor of BlinQ: Metro Nashville's Magazine, and I'm waist-deep in work I've never done before and haven't gotten any training for. And you know what? I'm taking to it like a duck to water; loving it, in fact. Some of the guys who're now working with the magazine have been in the industry for more than ten years and they're all telling me that I've managed to do in three weeks what some editors do in three months- and just barely at that. Am I doing a good job? Yup, apparently so. But, as they say, the proof (reading) is in the pudding. I'll know if I've done a good job when our advertisers call back to do another run in our second issue. Our premier issue is due out in August and we're still gathering our feature articles, but most of the fluff and secondary departments are ready for print.
So that's what my month has been like. I've got a fairly decent assistant, a new laptop and a job with some serious promise. Here's to hoping that I can really earn my bullshit.