As a still fairly new writer in the community, I’ve realized that although my stay in Lakeview has been short, people read the writing I share.
It’s stories about influential individuals, moments in time that are forever frozen on a page and will exist for decades and even centuries.
Sitting in the back of the Examiner at my wooden desk, I can’t help but peak over and listen to people talk and flip through the old hardcover of years of Examiner stories, hundreds of individuals that have come before me and have written about the good, the bad and of course, the ugly.
Being a journalist in a small city is a gift and a curse.
I get to do things other individuals don’t have the opportunity to. Paint the picture of an exciting time in the community. Highlight an event, a person, an animal. Go to that festival or have a conversation with someone of importance. But, with the job come criticisms. Criticisms of not only what you write, but how it’s written and of course errors.
I’ve grown to learn it comes with the job, and for me that’s okay.
However, during this past weekend I had a realization when speaking with travel blogger and video producer Rick Dancer. Although I had already written a lengthy article about his time in Lakeview, what Dancer said to me stuck long enough after our conversation that I reached out to call some people and talk about Lakeview for a minute.
Writing with a purpose is something all journalists have the ability to do. You can go through the day as a “zombie” of sorts, putting words on a page and regurgitating information, or you could paint a picture.
I truly believe that if you’re not from Lakeview, you can see the good, the bad and the ugly clearer than the locals.
Although there are pieces of all the above, lets focus on what outweighs the rest … the good.
The interconnection of individuals and general innovative pieces of this town are what make is special to the naked eye and to outsiders alike. Being the first to do this, that and the other separate Lakeview from other cities I’ve been to and lived in.
As I spoke with Dancer and with the people I called immediately after, the open and welcoming pieces of Lakeview were highlighted over and over again. I gave myself the time to think back to the first articles I wrote when I came here and the ones I’m currently in the process of doing now.
As a writer, I have the ability to paint a picture, a story, a life in whatever way I see fit. But for me, it’s about writing those words in a way that will shed light on everything Lakeview is; a place where some go to escape, where some return and where some leave.
With only a few weeks into the New Year, I want to make sure I write with that purpose. To share the excitement of the words I have been told and find a way to share the stories of everyone in a way that not only I’m proud of, but they are as well.
S. Garrett Shaw