Do You Get the Sunday Oregonian? Look for me!!
Well, many of you already know this, but I think it’s finally safe to go totally public…
If you get The Oregonian and crack this Sunday’s edition, you’ll find the newly launched "Outdoors" section. Somewheres in there among all the super hott Oregon outdoorsey-ness you’ll find the opener for my new column, "The Everyday Cyclist"!!
A few months back, an editor from the "O" contacted me after discovering this blog, to see if I’d be interested in writing a column for the paper. In a moment of complete hyperventilation, I did what any rational 30 year old self-employed woman would do – I called my mom.
But there was more to calling Mommy than just your standard life gut-check. My mom is a newspaper columnist. I grew up in a newsroom. I slept, flu-ridden, under the thwakety-thwak of an electric typewriter on those occasions that my mother could not find, or could not afford, a babysitter. I’ve had an insider’s perspective.
It was for that very reason that I avoided papers like the plague for the majority of my life.
Newsies taught me to swear.
They taught me cynicism.
They taught me to not ride motorcycles (listen to enough fatality reports on the police radio and you will understand where I am coming from).
They also taught me not to go into journalism.
So I called my mom out of not only excitement, but also out of a deep sense of gut-wrenching fear:
"Mom! They want me to write a column! I am going to be a Newsie! You told me not to do this! I know better!!!’
To be honest, there was also the unspoken but intensely horrifying prospect that I was, indeed, becoming my mother. There are a lot of things about my mother that I don’t mind emulating, but late nights in front of a computer screen pulling hair over deadlines was not one of them. A reporter’s life is a tough one: intense and stressful. Low-paying. Thankless.
She talked me into it.
Freelancing a column is different than being a newsie, she reasoned. This is good, Heidi. This is good. You should be writing. More people should be reading you.
I took slower breaths and listened to her. I wrote a couple of sample columns for the editors to review. A few emails and a coffee-meeting later, things were set. The ball was rolling.
And so here we are. Two days before the June 1 launch.
I’m sort of tingly with excitement but also filled with a mild kind of trepidation. Blogging has a certain nonchalance that newspapers lack. Who knows how many people read this blog? I’m not totally sure (stats only tell you so much, right?) but I hope that people find joy in it. Or inspiration. Or motivation. Or beauty. Or challenge.
Or all of those things.
Either way, I am heading off into what feels like a more risky, more public world of the newspaper, and I am dragging Sal along with me, like it or not. I am ever-impressed with his patience and willingness to trust me (check out the photograph that will accompany Sunday’s column).
I hope you’ll come along, whether online or in print. When I know the link for the column on Oregon Live (the website version of the paper) I will post it here so out of state readers can check it out.
And speaking of readers – I am so fortunate to have the readers that I do. Y’all are a wiley, tenacious, kind and generous lot.
You inspire and amaze. And you make it all worth doing.