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Friday, May 21, 2004

Balancing opportunities and dreams

Is it really Friday already? This has been another whirlwind week. Suppose I ought to be used to those by now. Although the pace has been a little frenetic, I'm also energized by the amazing opportunities ahead.

This week I've launched full-steam into my newest projects, as editor of Profiles in Diversity Journal and editor of NOGA Fairways magazine. Both are fun projects for different reasons. The golf stuff, well, that's editorial candy. I enjoy talking to the pros at area country clubs and hoping that maybe from their wisdom I'll be able to improve my pathetic golf game. This one doesn't involve heavy lifting or big money, it's simply good fun.

PDJ is a major project—heavy lifting involved and good money—but will probably take up about half my time these days. Already the opportunities I'm getting from this journal are amazing. I'm going to Detroit in June to strategize with Ford's chief diversity people about how we will feature Bill Ford on the cover of our September/October issue. And I'm awaiting a call from Dell Inc.'s people about spending a day with its chief diversity officer at its HQ in Round Rock, Texas.

Both of these projects fit my skills as a project manager/editor. But I'm increasingly mindful of how to balance the nitty-gritty of those projects with what really inspires me—creative nonfiction. While these two projects give me financial relief and some editorial challenges, I still want to have time to pursue the real goal of being on my own—getting published with some regularity in national magazines.

I'm an efficient person and tend to want to make things more efficient when I see they are not so. I'm going to have to temper my compulsion for efficiency with quality time spent on creative projects that nourish my soul.

And I'm going to have to protect myself against isolation, a sometimes stifling state. Working from home on deadlines is fabulous. It's quiet and I'm surrounded by the things that keep me focused. But when deadlines aren't looming, it's time to get out from these four walls and see people face to face, to have great conversations about the issues of the day or nothing of importance whatsoever.

Besides I've learned, thanks to the very wise and generous advice of a good friend, that it pays—literally—to get face time with editors, instead of relying solely on phone and e-mail contact. So after a week spent in the home office, next week I'll head out to my satellite offices for a little face time.

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