Of all my responsibilities at ABOUT, the most demanding and stressful is writing an editorial for each issue. The actual writing part ain’t so bad. I can conjure up a lot of words at will, and even if I can’t find the exact “right” word for whatever I want to say, I can tap a few keys and instantly unleash the wisdom of Webster.
The problem is figuring out what I want to write about.
Holidays, seasons, subjects within the issue, and local current events are all low-hanging, over-ripe fruit and, as such, have been beaten to death. Yes, that was a horrific mix of dead metaphors… actually, the latter is an idiom, but I digress. Anyway, such is the freedom of (problem with?) being the one editor at a publication. I can usually say what I want and how I want, and that’s what makes it hard. Having limitless options is not always a good thing.
And even each of those hackneyed and seemingly safe choices are fraught with peril. Who’s to say that readers will find my take on any of those tired topics interesting? Some might even find them offensive. Most folks don’t even realize that there is a very fine line between “interesting” and “offensive”, and it’s a nerve-wracking tightrope to walk.
There’s another mixing of dead metaphors for you, though, this one loosely ties together… Ties? Ropes and lines? Get it?
I could hear your groans even as I typed that.
But the pages in this issue of ABOUT are filled with some downright charming stories. There’s a pretty cool feature about quilt blocks, something that I didn’t even know was a thing until recieving an email about them as a story idea. That’s the inspiration for our dazzling February 2021 cover. And then there’s a super-captivating piece about an iconic downtown Morrilton building to tee us off on a quarterly feature about iconic downtown buildings. We also continue the Devoted bridal section, an ABOUT legacy with roots running back to our first years of publication.
But I’m still stuck trying to write this editorial.
What exactly is an editorial supposed to do, anyway? I mean, what is its purpose? Is it an almost uselessly vague guide for the issue? Is it supposed to be a more specific guide for the issue? Is it a glimpse into the mind of the editor? Is it a space filler? Is it just a heaping big bowl of word salad that the editor is obligated to provide and so he/she uses it as a vehicle for his/her corny word play? Is it all of these things at once?
No one really knows.