Thursday, November 12, 2009


For some reason today, I just couldn't stop being so grateful. But this feeling was for something in particular. As I was driving to work this morning, I got to thinking how grateful I was for my ability and talent to write.

Now, of course I would be grateful for that; otherwise, I wouldn't have a job. But really, if you consider my history (the little there is), then you would understand.

Let's go back about 15 years. That would put me in fifth grade, my favorite year. My teacher, Mr. Warner, was the best. He made me fall in love with every subject, including science, and he just brought out the best in me. Well, in our creative writing unit, I wrote a short story called, "The Attack of the Killer Spaghetti." I know, I know, you're thinking "child prodigy" or "future Pulitzer prize winner." Well, that is how Mr. Warner made me feel. He loved this little piece of writing and encouraged me to write more. That was all I need to put my little gears a-turnin' into thinking about a future in writing.

I continued writing short pieces, mostly ideas that would pop into my head, but once I hit high school, the drive and the excitement just puttered and came to a stop. I joined the yearbook staff my sophomore year and wrote that first year and then something happened. I found a passion in photography. I became the assistant photo editor and shot up the whole school and loved it. I knew then I had found my true vocation. I loved processing the film, catching certain facial expressions, capturing the slide into home plate. I realized I was improving and my eye for photography expanded.

When applying for college, I looked at other avenues to help the financial burden I was undertaking. I saw an opportunity to get a scholarship working for the campus paper. I sent in photographs and, because they asked for it, writing samples.

Much to my surprise, I was giving a very nice scholarship to be assistant news editor, a reporting position. I was so disappointed. I complained: I'm not a writer! I felt they were all wrong in their decision. It was so hard for me to pen my thoughts. How was I going to contribute?

I worked on the Scroll my first year. And because of the money, I was there my second year. I served a mission but when I came back, I had a guaranteed editor's position. I still struggled with writing. I didn't loathe it, but it definitely wasn't my friend. Luckily, as an editor, I worked more with writers on their stories and did page layout more than I wrote, but the occasion still called for it. I realized I was pretty good with technical writing, grammar and all that, but creativity still eluded me. But I trudged through it for 4 1/2 years. However, things changed when I did an internship that was mostly reporting. I was surprised to find I enjoyed the writing aspect more than the page layout.

Four months after graduation, I did the only thing I could do: send my resume to a newspaper. What else was I going to do? After some time, I get a call from a lady who works for a weekly paper in Rigby. She offered me a freelancing job reporting a couple of times a week. I was bummed I didn't get a full-time reporting job as I hoped (I shared that with you last time). I've expressed my struggles already on that subject, but I enjoyed it, especially meeting new people.

Now, with my current full time job of reporting and page layout, I am in love. I have written four stories in two days. There was a time when that was impossible for me. I can see now that I have a sense of reporting and I know the questions to ask. I can recognize the important things and I can play on the interesting and unique. Words come much quicker to me. That does not mean that I am in any means an expert. I have a long ways to go to perfect this art. But the object of this post was gratitude. I am so thankful that I have worked to hone this ability and talent of mine. And of course this comes from God. Without Him, I am nothing. But I look at how far I was 6 years ago and where I am now, I have come a long ways.

And this is just one of the things that fills my soul with joy.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Job!

Okay at the request of a certain friend (Jen!), I really should blog about my new job. So I realize that I've gone through 3 jobs this year - crazy changes that I really didn't want to happen but couldn't really prevent.

As most of you know, I was working part time with RFinity, the start-up technology company where Jed works and I was also writing freelance for a weekly paper in Rigby, The Jefferson Star. Well, things were getting really crazy. I was struggling to find the motivation to report for the Star after getting home from work. When I get home, I'm done. Knowing that I wasn't contributing 100 percent to the newspaper, I had decided to quit and focus on my cushy secretary job that paid me well. Working for the newspaper seemed to be nothing but a hassle that paid poorly so I thought, why bother?

Just as I was getting ready to call my manager at the paper, she calls me and asks me to come in. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to tell her my plans, especially since I thought she might have some complaints about me (don't ask me why I thought that). So I met with her the next day and she told me that the girl working in the office now was probably going to work for the daily in Idaho Falls, the Post Register (which owns the Jefferson Star). She said if that happened, she wanted me to take her position. That hit me like a train. Seriously?, I thought. What happened to the complaining I was expecting? Certainly not this! She goes on to tell me how she's been impressed with me and how I've really stepped up to the plate, blah blah blah. We talk about a few of the logistics about working part time, what that would mean for my RFinity job, how much I'd be paid, etc. I told her I would need a few days to talk about it with Jed and think it over.

To be honest, I was concerned. Leaving my nice $14-an-hour job where I do maybe an hour's worth of work every day would be a little difficult. I liked having my afternoons to do whatever I needed/wanted to do. Going full time with this job would be more stressful at work and at home with less time to do housework and other things. Plus I'd be taking a small pay cut, but I would be making more moving to full-time status. I thought of how much better this would look to a future employer (if the need came) and how much experience I would be getting.

Considering all this and praying and talking about it with Jed and my parents, I decided to take it. Trust me, I have only been working for a few days, but I love it! I've done so many different things, but the biggest thing I love is being a part of the team, being involved in the process of putting the paper together, of the camaraderie in the office with the other two women and one man! I've written a few stories about veterans and school children memorializing relatives who are veterans and I've answered the phones and I've written up briefs and I've helped the secretary. My job has no title and I do a little of everything, which is great. Plus, my manager and the secretary love me - yay for good work ethic!

Basically, what it comes down to is timing. I originally interviewed for this position (granted, it was for a full-time reporter when that happened), and I didn't get it. I was pretty bummed and so I endured the freelancing which was kind of challenging. Now, a few months later, I got the job without too much effort (besides the enduring the freelancing) and I'm enjoying it! I really hope that I can maintain this level of enthusiasm and that I can keep impressing the manager. But mostly, I'm grateful to my Heavenly Father for teaching me to be patient and for the blessings of that patience.