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Monday, June 28, 2004

Multiplying myself

I have a friend who, whenever he's in head-down busy mode, always says it's time to multiply himself. I now know what he means. Didn't intend to be this busy during the summer, but you've got to roll with the work while it's flowing. I don't mind it because I've finally gotten myself into a nice little routine. Hit the desk by 6 and work till 2 and then head to the pool with the kids. Unless it's a day like Friday or today, and then I can crank all day.

At the beginning of this venture, I took everything and anything just for the work. Now I can be a bit more discerning in my choices. I'm pursuing certain kinds of work with a bit more verve than I have in the past. And my volunteer/pro bono activities are slowly winding down. And those volunteer activities that aren't winding down, I'm learning to manage a bit smarter. In a word—delegate.

As of Thursday, I will hold that glorious title known as immediate past president of SPJ. Of course, I'll also be moderating a panel about the statewide public records audit that day (more about that on Thursday). As of this afternoon, I shipped off the organization's annual report, putting the final stamp on my presidency.

Now I can turn my attention to a column for Quill magazine and finalizing a panel of editors and writers for the national convention in New York.

My newest paying gig is as self-help book reviewer for The Plain Dealer. My first review appeared in last Thursday's arts and life section. I'm having a great time with this because it forces me to stretch my writing abilities. It's not easy to summarize and rate a book in a whopping 275 words every week. I'm enjoying the process and learning a great deal.

Plus, as these things tend to do, it's leading to some other work for me. After receiving my latest shipment of books to review, I was perusing the intros and noticed that one of the writers grew up in Lakewood. I mentioned this to the editor and have landed myself another profile for the PD.

Although I do have some regular work editing publications, I'm also carving some time out of each week to research and pitch magazines about stories that really interest me. I do enjoy editing and pulling entire magazines together, but I enjoy writing more. As long as I can balance the two disciplines, I'll be just fine.

Acknowledging your strengths is a good start when it comes to multiplying yourself. There are certain kinds of work that don't necessarily fit my interest. Although I'm not able to do the work, I'm also steadily building a network of creatives that I trust to do the job well. And if I can be a resource for connecting people, I think that's a good use of my time.

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