Friday, August 08, 2008

Newsletter talk

A few hours ago one the of the hams who advertises his business in the newsletter called me to change his ad. It is a small change and one he makes every year at this time. I took the information and told him I'd pass it on since I was no longer the newsletter editor. "Well, that's not good. You're the best editor we've ever had," he said. "You are one smart and talented lady." I thanked him. Then he asked where he should send the money for the change in the ad and I told him there was no charge. It's a small change, a few words, no need to charge for that since the newsletter isn't a paying concern. He thanked me and told me he was going to miss working with me. That from a man who didn't like me very much at first because I left out his ad a few issues.

At that time, he called me and raked me over the coals, explaining his ad had run in the newsletter for over 30 years and I'd better put it back in. I explained that I didn't know anything about his arrangements and no one told me about him or his ad. He apologized and has been a sweetheart ever since.

This is the week for compliments and news about the newsletter. The printer told me the last time I saw him he was going to miss working with a professional like me who knew how to put together a newsletter. He and his wife said they'd miss my smile and funny stories and made me promise to call from time to time and visit once in a while. His wife, Barb, told me she read one of my stories in Cup of Comfort and that she couldn't help crying. She told all her friends she knew the author and that they had to pick up the book.

Then I got an email from a good friend who I had asked for input about the newsletter since I wasn't sure if he knew I had resigned. He said he started reading the newsletter when I took over and that it was "...more fun to read, more thought provoking, and I've wanted to read it over
again at times." He added, " You've had an impossible job keeping it going and have done admirably." I didn't think he was paying attention. I was wrong.

I changed the ad for Jess, made up a new one, and sent it to the president of the club to use for the newsletter. Over the past month I have sent him enough material to put together a fairly good newsletter, but it doesn't look like there will be an issue this month. He said he'd use the ad for the combined August/September issue. I was afraid of this, that the newsletter would fold when I resigned, and it still may.

Had I not volunteered to edit the newsletter three years ago, it probably would have died sooner, and it is sad to see it happen. I don't want to see the newsletter die, but I also don't want to be the one to keep it going alone, even though I have thought of putting together a quick newsletter and sending it to the president of the club to add the minutes and his column, which he always sent right at the last minute before the deadline. I am torn between needing to focus on my own writing and work and wanting to help them out, but I'm gagging my better nature and locking it in a soundproof room so that it can't get out.

The compliments are nice and coming from people whose opinions I respect, but the compliment I wanted and needed was for the members to be so excited they wanted to contribute and I'd have so many submissions I'd have to keep a backlog. It never happened.

Although plaques and certificates and the occasional congratulatory dinner are nice, they are not the reason I volunteered to edit the newsletter. I wanted to be a part of the community and a part of the club. It was my way to contribute. Sadly, I was the only one who really cared. It is beginning to look like I may still be the only one who cares and that makes me sad.

That is all. Disperse.

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