The title of this blog post is a semi-poetic way of announcing that I am leaving my job as a reporter for the Enterprise Newspapers. My last day is one week from today.
This is a huge deal on several levels. I’ve held this job for more than 15 years, my longest stretch with a single employer, so to leave behind what has been a significant part of my life is a little jarring, even though it’s both desirable and necessary.
It’s desirable because, honestly, I’ve been rather unhappy here for a while. I hate to say that, because I loved my job for most of the time I was here, but in recent years my sense of discontent has grown. I realized I was spending so much more time writing the stuff I had to (news) instead of the stuff I wanted to (stories), and that became a considerable source of frustration.
I guess that also covers some of the necessary part, since it’s tough to pursue my passion when the need for a paycheck is eating up so much of my potential writing time.
The other necessity is not my own, but my wife’s. Veronica’s business, Storied Threads, has grown considerably over the past year, and she’s hit the point where she cannot grow the business working almost completely by herself. Hiring her friend Kate would be the ideal solution, but that’s impractical due to distance, so the next most logical choice was me.
So yeah, I will be working for my wife, doing whatever I can to free her up to sew. It seems like I’m just trading one job that isn’t what I want to do for another, but I will be getting back some lost writing time, and the fact that I will not be blowing my creative energy all on work should help boost my output.
I don’t want any of this to come off as bitter, because I’m not. If anything, I’m grateful for the opportunity I got 15 years ago when my now-retired editor decided to hire a guy with no formal higher education or previous experience in journalism — or writing in general, except for a very recent freelance sale. I learned how to write faster without sacrificing accuracy. I learned how important choosing the right word can be and how it can significantly affect how the reader interprets a sentence. I learned when to expound and when to summarize.
I also learned a lot of interesting bits of knowledge that I’ve worked into my writing, most of that coming from covering local police departments — which was always the most fun I ever had at my job.
So in the end, it was to my benefit to have my soon-to-be-former job, but its time is at an end. I need to move on if I’m going to grow, creatively and professionally.
3 thoughts on “Ending One Story, Starting Another”
Congrats, Mike. It’s a huge move, and I’m really excited for you and Veronica. It’s going to be great for Storied Threads and for your own writing.
“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.”
― Stephen King, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption: A Story from Different Seasons