Monday, November 2, 2009

Andy's Desk: Editing the Adirondack Vacation Guides, summer and winter, a good fit

This is the time of the year I say, “Winter’s almost over,” because I’m always wrapping up the Adirondack Vacation Guide (winter edition) for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise during the first week in November. I’ve been editing the ADE’s winter and summer guides for about seven years now, taking over about a year after I left the ADE’s managing editor post for a PR job at the NYS Adirondack Park Agency. While it’s been a stressful side job, it’s one that I am thankful for keeping.

The Adirondack Vacation Guide series has been a good fit for me, since I already had working knowledge of the ADE newsroom, computers and software. Plus, as the PR guy at the APA’s Visitor Interpretive Centers for Paul Smiths and Newcomb, I had direct experience in the tourism industry and had plenty of contacts for the guides’ content. For photos, I’ve used the vast ADE photo library and have taken a lot of photos myself for the pages, which are laid out by community.

Production time for the Vacation Guides was always stressful; after all, I already had a day job when I started in the fall of 2002 and began writing my weekly "Adirondack Attic" newspaper column in the spring of 2003 and started selling my “Adirondack Attic” books in the spring of 2004 by doing lectures in the spring and fall. There were many times I said to myself, and others, “This is the last time I’m doing a guide.” The job itself wasn’t stressful, having multiple jobs was the key stress point. Yet, here I am, still doing the guides, because, as I’ve said over and over, I need the money. I guess when you find a gig that’s a good fit and pays well, you shouldn’t just give it up because it’s stressful.

The work and the wait were worth it; today, I’m self employed and consider the editorship of the Adirondack Vacation Guide as simply part of my everyday workload, even though it still means working evenings and weekends. It keeps me in touch with the newspaper staff and feeling part of an organization larger than my home-based business. One of the hardest parts about transitioning between a day job and self employment is the lack of an office to go to everyday. I have a desk at home, and while it’s a convenient commute, there’s something about the camaraderie of an office that can’t be replaced. Although I’m generally working alone in the newsroom on the Winter Guide and Summer Guide, there are times that the sports writers or production manager will come in the office, and that little contact with others goes a long way. It makes me feel like part of a team. I'm thankful the ADE management has kept me around for the past 15 years (full time from 1994 to 2001 and part time since 2001).

In any case, winter is almost over. The Winter Guide will be emailed this week to the printer in Gloversville (at the sister newspaper of the ADE) and will be available to the public by Thanksgiving.

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