When I took on the job of staff writer at The National, I thought I would never want to do anything else. It seemed a perfect role; roaming around asking questions and not having any real responsibility. I hadn’t worked as an editor since I edited a magazine called Central European for Euromoney many years ago. The only person I edited was Rupert; not that he needs it.
All this has now changed. Mo, my friend and deputy editor of the magazine, was promoted a few weeks ago. I put myself forward for her job and was asked to do a trial. I found editing enormous fun. And what is even more fun is coming up with good ideas that you then don’t have to write, and having some say in how the magazine is run.
From not really wanting to be an editor, I suddenly wanted it more than I had wanted anything in a long time. I worked hard, tried to make things run smoothly and made an effort to learn all I needed to. I had an interview with Rachel the editor.
D-day came on Sunday. I was a bag of nerves. Rachel went in to see the big editor. When she came back she took the other leading candidate outside for a chat.
‘Is that good or bad?’ I texted Rupes.
‘Good,’ he replied.
I could barely breathe. I had a Yogi tea to calm my nerves. ‘For every loss,’ read the message, ‘there is an equal gain’. I’m doomed, I thought, it’s a sign. ‘For every gain,’ it went on, ‘there is an equal loss.’ OK so whatever happens I’m doomed.
After what seemed like a year Rachel came back and took me outside. My heart was beating so fast I was sure she would be able to hear it. We stood opposite each other.
“I’d like to offer you the job of deputy editor,” she said. I threw my arms around her. Possibly not the most traditional response, but she took it well.
So now I am planning ideas to commission. I am onto a piece drawing on our correspondents from the region about women to watch in the Middle East.
I am a very happy ‘dep-ed’ as Rupes calls me. Story ideas welcome…..
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2010