One of the most consistent criticisms I have received from my editors at the Herald over the past two and a half years is that I’m too wordy. I tend to let my emotional approach to writing get the best of me, and it shows in my first draft word count. I’ll finish a story, count up my words, groan and stare at my screen for way, way too long as I decide what to cut.
This isn’t because I don’t know what belongs in a story and what doesn’t. Rather, it’s because I sometimes let my heart do the writing instead of my brain, which makes me too emotionally attached to some of the details in a particular story. While it might drive my editors crazy from time to time, I want my readers to understand that I write this way to show how extraordinary I think they are. That’s why this column is tough for me to put together.
It is with a heavy, yet incredibly excited, heart to announce that I am leaving the Herald to take on a new position with Zimmerman/Edelson Creative Communications. I cannot overstate how difficult of a decision it is to leave you all, but it is one that is the best for me and I am greatly looking forward to taking this next step in my life.
I came to the Herald in November, 2018, finally becoming a professional writer after two decades of writing my own prose and poetry into hundreds of broken down notebooks. To say I was nervous would be an understatement, as I never studied to be a journalist. I was an English major focusing in creative writing at SUNY New Paltz. I spent my college years writing everything but news stories. But, Richner Communications took a chance on me and I thank them for it.
Since then, I have experienced levels of growth that I could not have seen coming. I’ve learned more about how the world around me works than I thought possible. My job has forced me to become more knowledgeable of the intricacies of everyday life on Long Island. I’ve lived on the Island all my life aside from my college and grad school years, but I never fully grasped how much thought has to be put into everything that happens here.
What I’ve learned most, though, is that there are so many things going on right around the corner wherever you are. If it weren’t for the Herald, I wouldn’t know about most of the amazing things everyday residents can do. I leave here knowing that, at any given time, someone right next door to me could be working to make the world a better place with no expectation of receiving something in return. I’m a much better person for it.
There are so many people who deserve my thanks. First, I need to shout out the outstanding editorial staff of all the Heralds. They are a group of talented, dedicated journalists who truly care about their communities, many of whom have become some of my closest friends. Special thanks go out to my Senior Editor, Laura Lane, for her kind tutelage and innate ability to quell my own constant work-related anxieties (of which there have been so, so many).
I also want to thank all our readers and valued sources. From my first day, you have all welcomed me into your community with open arms, allowing me to tell your stories in the way they should be told. Sea Cliff and Glen Head are small places filled with amazing people who do amazing things. It has been a privilege to be able to give you all the voices you deserve.
Glen Head is more than just another one of Long Island’s many hamlets. It is a place full of passionate folks who want to better the lives of their neighbors, and I hope you all understand how lucky you are to have one another. I look forward to hearing all about your future endeavors and how you continue to make your little corner of the North Shore an even better place.
For all you Sea Cliffians, I have two words: Stay weird.
Even now, I’m watching my word count balloon, but I still have so much to say. So, in the interest of brevity, I’ll end my tenure at the Herald with one final message: We’ll speak soon, just probably not for next week’s paper. Thank you all.