Sometimes I wish I were the managing editor of a major news publication. Sometimes I wish I had the ability to put certain stories on the front page. I would balance the rich world news coverage with homespun stories of heartbreak. I would focus on what matters and build my readership by capturing imaginations. I would only let the best writing in. I would put together an America’s best non-fiction collection every day. And I would send a message that nothing was off limits. I would include things that caught my fancy and make sure that every lead was well vetted. Sometimes I wish that I chose what the news would be that day.
But, mostly I don’t.
Mostly, my flexibility isn’t in deciding what is fit to print.
It is in fitting everything that I can into my little life and seeing if anything comes out the other side. My flexibility is in cramming all that I can find into the smallest spaces of time and seeing if collapse is imminent. I’m not eliminating the fluff; I am embracing it.
While I know that an editors job is never done and every issue comes down to the wire. Their obsession is in pruning and getting the best from everyone. Even if this is an idyllic view, it is one that I hold up in the hopes that one day it may be mine.
I do not prune. I grow like a weed.
I am producing and creating and collecting and reframing, all in the hopes that something will result. There is no guarantee that an issue will come out or that there will be more readers and observers and cheerers on. It is a futile exercise in sheer volume. There will be things that rise above and resonate simply because of the fantastic dregs that they sit upon.
I cannot rest upon my laurels because I can’t afford it.
The flexibility I seek really is choosing what to be passionate about and then only doing that. Not some peripheral version of that. It is in committing time and resources to the things that focus my energy rather than scatter it. To things that energize instead of drain.
I’m in the market for momentum, for progression, for choice.
I’m looking for the kind of flexibility that ushers me daily into orchestrating my own fate.