On the Move, Again

I am leaving journalism.

Probably not for good – it’s what I know and newsrooms are like crack – but I’ve accepted a position in the nonprofit sector.
I will be a prevention specialist in Wyoming, working toward awareness and action in suicide prevention, as well as drug, alcohol and tobacco suppression.
Go ahead and laugh, those who know me all too well.
But I think you’ve got to have experience to fight a good fight.
And I’ve got street-smarts. In spades.
I will use my communication skills to a new advantage – public speaking and setting up coalitions. Being an active participant in a community to enact change. It's exciting work, worthy work. 
Besides, it’s a 40-hour-a-week gig, with a huge raise.
Meaning I will have time to write again.
Yes, write fiction.
Finally get that e-book of short stories out.
Get my life back.

At some point, I will move to Sheridan Wyo., where I will be based. I’ve already found a couple of lofts that look promising.
And I will be able to be a part of two communities, without being an interloper, a journalist looking from the outside in. I will be able to volunteer, have friends, without feeling like I can’t. Because when you’re a journalist, you are never really off. People are forever telling you conversations are off-the-record – even when you’re sitting at a bar.
And there’s always the chance you’ll have to write about someone. That limits the friendships you can forge.
A buddy of mine said a very nice thing recenty: “If guys like you leave journalism, we’re going to die.”
I need a break.

I still think community journalism will save the craft, the profession.
I just couldn’t make the current situation work. I, in my opinion, was never set up to succeed. Too many impediments to being truly great.
(And I love and adore my staff; we kicked ass – and took names.)
So I did something for myself.
The nonprofit gig is a one-year state contract, with no guarantee that I will get a second year. And that’s OK by me.
We’ll see how it goes.
And adjust later. 


VL Sheridan said...

Best of luck! Glad to see you doing something for yourself!

rallentanda said...

Good for you. I am looking into my crystal ball and everything is going to be great for you. Thanks for 3WW.

pprmkr1 said...

Congrats to you!
Huge pay raise, 40 hour week, time to write again, altruistic new job. . . congrats to you!!
I'm very happy for you Thom.
It sounds like a very good thing.

Daydreamertoo said...

Even though I've participated in 3WW since I began bloging, I've never known who or how to contact the admin of it. It was just good luck that I happened to see your name on the sidebar of your 3WW site and knew it must be you who is the ThomG that sets up 3WW each week.
Congratulations on leaving a job to do one that will give you much more freedom to creative write and also hopefully bring you much in the way of job satisfaction.
Can I ask one thing please? I joined your site a long time ago now as a member but would really like to be added to your Blogroll list. I notice a lot of members don't seem to participate so, maybe if the roll is limited I can be added?

Whatever the answer, good luck with everything.

Unknown said...

Thom, this makes me truly happy for you. Having left journalism at the end of my rope I found that doors opened to professions that employ my journalism training, my desire to write, and for --- dare I say --- a more worthy and rewarding cause.

I wish you Godspeed, friend. You deserve this break. And if there's anything I can do from South Dakota to help you along now or in the future, you know how to find me.


Anonymous said...

Good luck on your new adventure.

Scott from Redding

Hal Johnson said...

Great news, Thom. Looking forward to that ebook.