As you probably noticed (if not, please pretend you did) that I have been absent from my blog the last few weeks.
While I’d like to say it’s because my vacation spot in the Caribbean was too remote for Wi-Fi, it actually had less to do with banana drinks and tanning lotion, and more to do with a “perfect storm” of life-changing events that I am just now getting a handle on.
The short version? Over the last three weeks I was promoted to Editor at our newspaper (See the card? That makes it official!), my new book was released and I become Membership Chairman for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists (NSNC).
Oh, and somewhere in there I turned 50.
So what does all of this mean? Essentially it means I’ve been getting my butt kicked. For example, just moving into my new office meant going through 17 years of accumulated
crap important journalistic files, moving furniture, painting, hiding graffiti about the previous editor, etc…
Moving into my new office meant being a little more selective about what I taped to the walls since I might get a visit from our mayor, state officials, readers and the occasional politician. For those reasons, my feng shui is professional with a touch of whimsy…
I don’t have a fancy journalism degree to hang, so I let my journalism awards do the talking. Plus, I have an Indian Jones figurine that says “Snakes, why’d it have to be snakes” when you press his back.
I dodged the editorship bullet twice before because, to be honest, I wasn’t quiet ready for it. To be the kind of editor I wanted to be required giving it more attention than I was willing to give as I pursued my career as a columnist and author. But when the opportunity presented itself a few weeks ago, I felt the timing was right in my career and life.
Maybe it was the sense of serendipity.
Maybe it was turning 50.
Maybe it was because we held the meeting at our local tavern.
Whatever the reason, I felt ready for this next chapter and the opportunity to be the kind of editor I want to be for this newspaper and the community we serve.
So what does this mean exactly? For one thing, I’ve replaced the bowl of candy on my desk with bacon bits. It also means, in addition to my weekly humor column, I’ll also write editorials. For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know I do have a serious side. This will allow me to express that a little more. I broke the news to our readers in my first editorial on Sept. 14…
As much fun as I make about being a journalist here all these years, I owe this newspaper and community a lot. They are served as both my roots and wings as a writer and a person. I’m truly excited about the opportunity to give something back while, at the same time, moving forward in my life and career.
I have every intention of continuing as a humor columnist (For those of you visiting this blog for the first time, I promise it gets funnier), a blogger and writer. Hell, my new book just came out! *blink blink* I just ask for your patience during this transition as I find my new equalibriem.
Oh, and getting used to the fact that I can’t complain about my editor anymore…
Ned Hickson is a nationally syndicated humor columnist with News Media Corporation and the editor of Siuslaw News. He is also the author of Humor at the Speed of Life, a collection of more than a decade of humor columns; and Pearls of Writing Wisdom: From 16 shucking years as a columnist, a writer’s survival guide. Both are available from Port Hole Publishing.