It never ceases to amaze me the changes that can occur throughout life.
When I started writing as a freelancer, the role was perfect as it allowed me to keep my mind busy but also kept my schedule flexible enough that I could deal with my mental health when issues flared.
I’m not going to lie, as excited as I was to be offered the full-time journalist role in Stettler and Castor, I was nervous as hell because of my past experience.
My biggest fear was that I would take on the job, find myself overwhelmed and suffer a significant relapse ending things almost as fast as they started.
Suffice it to say, those fears have been put to rest recently when I realized just how much time has passed being in this new position.
Mid-April will be three months in my role in Stettler, and the beginning of May will be six months combined total with the organization.
That time has been a blur.
I’ve been privileged to cover many community events and write many stories for both the communities I cover.
Despite the few years of experience I had as a freelance writer, there was a learning curve coming into this position; however, it has been a challenge that I have embraced every day.
Although I work out of a one-person newsroom, I am supported by an incredible central Alberta Black Press News Media weekly newspaper editorial team spread throughout Ponoka, Lacombe, Wetaskiwin and Sylvan Lake. Without that support, I couldn’t do the job that I do.
My past experience an Emergency Medical Technician has helped me as well.
While the newspaper deadlines done’t have quite the adrenaline inducing impacts of working a cardiac arrest, they do provide a level of stress that helps keep me engaged and interested.
I have long come to learn about myself that I function best when there is some stress on me. Too little and I stagnate, too much and I get overwhelmed.
The level of stress that this job provides, so far at least, seems to be the right amount.
Another part of my past experience that is helping me with this role is the concept of triage.
In the ambulance world, triage is used to assess multiple patients to see who has the best chances of survival with treatment.
Again, nowhere near as impactful as ambulance triage, I have used the concept in my role as a journalist because I quite simply can’t be everywhere.
Unfortunately, some events I can’t make it to, and some stuff gets pushed a week. As a single person newsroom generating over a dozen stories a week between the two papers, I can only do what I can do.
However, just because I can’t make it to things doesn’t mean I don’t want them included in either the Stettler Independent or the Castor Advance.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the office at 403-742-2395 and choosing option two.
Anyone running an event in either community is welcome to reach out at any time.
With the first few months behind me and a routine established, I can’t wait to see where things go next.