High Five on Five Years

Five years ago, on Oct. 7, I filed my first Status Report as editor for EC Magazine. On that report I noted the following for the week:

  • Met with the publisher on improvements for EC Magazine
  • Discussed a timeline for a revamp for March/April 2011 issue and the value of conducting primary research in the market
  • Discussed opportunities: adding photography resources; increasing coverage for retail/shopping; food/dining; updating design look/feel; refreshing departments and what we call them
  • Met with the associate editor on style standards
  • Completed content for EC Feb/Mar 2011 issue 
  • Sent story assignments
  • Scheduled an art meeting 10/19 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Met with managing editor and discussed: creating best practices for a style guide, freelance contact sheet, editorial/production deadline chart
  • Discussed an announcement news release
  • Planned to attend the Walton County Chamber Leadership Forum 
  • Working on editorial calendar for 2011 
  • RSVP’d to the Best of Winners Event, Best of the Emerald Coast celebration and the Emerald Coast Cattle Baron Branding party

I noted needing help with email settings (some things never change!) and asked for patience as I converted from being a PC to a Mac user. 

Since 2010, I figure I have filed 260 weekly reports every (or nearly every) Thursday and written 30 Editor’s Notes like this one.

I have not tracked precisely how many stories I have edited or written, though every issue is archived on EmeraldCoastMagazine.com if I wanted to add them up, but I guess that with the time and talent of more than a dozen dedicated freelance writers, I have filled EC Magazine with a million words give or take. And thanks to the artful eye of creative designers, photographers and illustrators, I imagine we have published nearly 10,000 photos, most of which were shot by local photographers.

In magazineland, as I have been known to call it, the nature of a deadline business means we are at once in the past, present and future — all the time. At any given time we are archiving the past issue, going to press with the current issue and planning the next edition. There is no time to dwell on the past. You are on to the next. 

Living in the future has its advantages. It means you are always moving forward, and with that comes the unique perspective of living in a perpetual state of anticipation. As Marty McFly and Doc Brown discover, you have to appreciate the past in order to truly embrace the future. And when you do, anything is possible. 

It was fall when I wrapped up my first official issue, which was a February/March edition. The headline was “Sweet Romance.” It was a photo of chocolate covered apples that I styled and Scott Holstein shot on location at Kilwins in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. 

After five years, I can attest that though magazine deadlines do not get any less hectic, I still enjoy collaborating on a team through the creative process, and I still look forward to getting the next issue in my mailbox, sitting down to read it, and hearing the feedback and buzz it generates. But most of all, I am still humbled and honored to help tell the stories of the people, places and things on the Emerald Coast. 

EC Magazine would not exist without our loyal readers, generous advertisers and dedicated staff. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate five fun years than the Best of the Emerald Coast awards. So please join me on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. 

Here’s to the past, the present and the future of EC Magazine, because … literally, the Best is yet to come.

Categories: Opinion