Being a journalist requires you to have thick skin. Occasionally people won’t like what you write. Often an editor will chew up some of your sentences. Sources can be rude. Politicians dodge questions. It all just comes with the territory. But at the end of the day, you know you’ve uncovered a truth, righted a wrong or maybe just given a really cool person his or her day in the sun.
That “higher calling” and the desire to make a difference is what drives most journalists to do what they do. It’s certainly not the pay and the hours. As I have refocused my professional life back toward more writing I am reminded of just how much I love it. The last few weeks I’ve so enjoyed doing interviews and writing articles. I’ve done some editing and am overseeing a Charleston visitor publication. The work has been keeping me busy and the deadlines are always looming but it’s that good kind of hectic stress gives your day meaning and zest.
Last week my first article for the local paper, The Post and Courier, was published in the Moxie section, which focuses on women and women’s issues. The piece was about Karen St. Marie, a woman who has devoted her life’s work to her grown son and his epilepsy. She’s formed a nonprofit organization to provide support to families and caregivers. Her story was so inspiring.
When the article appeared, I received lots of nice compliments and an incredibly sweet note from Karen. She thanked me for the “fabulous” article and wrote, “You did a great job making the public aware of what we go through and how it affects epilepsy patients on a daily basis. I really appreciate your desire to help us raise awareness.”
And that’s why I do this kind of work.