Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What To Do When Your World Collapses

Almost every author has a day job, save for those chosen few who are blessed enough to do the job they love for a profitable living. Well, my day job is collapsing, and so is some of the rest of my world. An explanation is needed.

I am a copy editor at The Denver Post, which is joining the parade of narrow-minded thinkers who decide that copy editors are the most expendable part of the publishing enterprise. I disagree strongly, but it's not my newspaper. I am under pressure to put in my resignation (the pressure being an enhanced insurance package for six months) and then walk out the door. I am not alone _ 16 or 17 other copy editors will join the unpopular exodus.

OK, the obvious question: Now what? First, I have kept a good attitude about all this. Well, there was yesterday when the impact of all this hit me. That, however, was a momentary lapse. Today I am focusing my efforts on building new revenue streams, to put it in the language of those who sever jobs for enhanced profits. I am sending out queries on my newest novel to those agents I hold in highest regard. I also am hitting job boards in the Denver area and combing through possible new careers.

I am putting one of my favorite movie lines as my theme for the coming days. It comes from Ed Harris in "Apollo 13" as the NASA team weighs the challenges facing it. The line is simple: "Failure is not an option." I like the sound of that, and I am as dedicated to that as Harris and Co. were. I will triumph against whatever odds life throws at me.


  1. This is not an end, but a beginning of what God now has planned for you. We love you!!

  2. As a journalist who spent 16 years in the business, I must reinforce the absolute essential nature of the copyeditors in my world.

    Elizabeth Roberts, Frankie Bozem, Dena Rosenbury and others all saved my a** from my own mistakes, failures and omissions. The way they did so was with unbending grace. "Linda, did you really mean to say that the country was formed in 1676?" ; "Linda, do you mind if I change this sentence? It has no verb in it." "Linda, I'm just checking, but..."

    I'm not a lazy or sloppy journalist. However, there is increased pressure on the people on the front lines. Their fingers fly across the keyboard as the clock ticks toward deadline human error creeps in, making it even more important that colleagues like you stand between us and disaster. The corporate suits who make decisions about resources don't realize how important you, and the rest of the DP copyeditors, are. And the paper will suffer for it. You, on the other hand, will be fine - your talent and your dedication will be evident to all those who glance at your resume.

    This is your beginning. And as Plato said, "The beginning is the most important part of the work."