A Day in the Life of an EJ Editor—Part One
Me reading pages at the American Gold Cup as I prepare to get the magazine out the door!
Be forewarned: this is an insanely narcissistic post. But if you’ve ever wondered what the editors of Equine Journal do here in the office, and in their spare time, this will give you a good idea (although I can’t speak for the other ladies on staff here)!
When I picked the name of this blog, I wanted it to encompass all facets of my life, because although I have been, and always will be, completely and utterly in love with horses (husband, move over!). Unfortunately, there is not enough time in the day for me to do my work, spend time with my family, and go to the barn every day after work. Sometimes people are shocked to hear that I work for an equine publication, but don’t own a horse. It’s hard enough getting time in to walk my dogs! However, when I finally do buy my own horse, I can promise that I will be going to visit him/her every day after leaving the office.
So my current situation involves trail riding on a very leisurely level (no riding lessons or showing necessary), which helps me keep horses as an affordable and attainable part of my lifestyle, yet still enjoy the other activities that keep me going in life as well, when I’m not focusing on Equine Journal (this baby gets a whole lot of my attention!).
To give you a good idea of how I spend my time at EJ, I’ll break it down by sample weekday and then sample weekend (future post to come!) based on EJ’s busiest time of the month and year, which is, of course, press time, and show season:
5 a.m.: The Basset Hounds wake me up; I take them out to do their duty, then feed them and go back to bed.
7:30 a.m: Alarm goes off, but I am not much of a morning person, and hit the snooze button. Hit snooze a couple more times, until…
8 a.m. Wake up for real, take as quick a shower as I possibly can (which is typically 20 minutes—I like my hot showers!), take the dogs out again, pack my computer bag, typically forget to pack a lunch, and then head off to work!
8:45 a.m.: Hit up Dunkins before I arrive at work—I’m a true New Englander at heart!
8:55 a.m.: Arrive at work, catch up on my e-mails, which can take up to an hour/hour and a half to go through, before I can even respond to anyone with a message.
9:30 a.m.: On Mondays, the sales staff and I teleconference to go over any concerns we have, and brainstorm ideas to help increase sales throughout the week.
10:30/11 a.m.: When we are getting close to press time, I typically have to review the layout of the magazine as soon as our Production Manager (PM) has finished it up to ensure that each article and ad is accounted for, that they are in the proper section, and that edit and ads complement one another. In order to ensure no mistakes are made, this can take up to a couple hours before I submit my changes back to the PM.
When it’s not press time, I’ll typically be corresponding with horse show secretaries/public relations coordinators about sponsorships for events, etc. Between the launch of EJ’s Tack Trunk, our affiliate program, and the start of our ambassador program (which hasn’t launched yet), all of these things keep me pretty busy.
1 p.m. I try to duck out of the office for a bit to get a breather…and something to eat. Some days I make it out, and some days I don’t. Usually around press time, I don’t, and end up ordering take-out, which consists of chicken fingers or pizza (my guilty pleasure)!
2 p.m. As the day continues, I typically try to set aside time for reading editorial content within the magazine. But I instead usually find myself on the phone—with our Art Director or Production Manager (both based in Texas), a sales staff member, or consulting with members of the editorial staff on anything from re-designing the layout of a particular article or getting a quote together for a sales client.
3 p.m. On Thursdays, members across our entire equine magazine group (including Barrel Horse News, Quarter Horse News, and Western Horseman) teleconference for a digital meeting so we are all up-to-date on what our sister publications are up to and can catch up with the web team about any changes that we need made at equinejournal.com.
4 p.m. This time is generally spent catching up with e-mails, and filling out paper work that isn’t exactly the most fun, but has to be done—it can include anything from completing an expense report, reviewing credit card statements, or filling out and submitting forms for upcoming events that we’ll be attending, like Equine Affaire or Horse World Expo, to name a couple. On days that I’m more “caught up” with my paperwork, I tend to have brainstorm sessions with the editorial team (this is where great ideas like EJ’s Tack Trunk comes from). I’m also always sure to touch base with the sales reps one last time before I leave for the day—I swear I’m not a micro-manager!
5:15/5:30 p.m. If I’m lucky, I get to leave work right at 5, which is extremely rare during press time. Regardless, I typically end up bringing some form of work home with me.
5:30/6 p.m. Luckily, I only live about 15 minutes away from the office, so it doesn’t take me too long to get home. Once I’m home, I tend to have a snack, like a banana or Kind bar (yes I enjoy health food, too), and just relax a little bit, before taking my dogs for a walk.
6/6:30 p.m. I’ll walk the Bassets to the end of the street and back with my husband (roughly a mile walk) before feeding them when we get home, and then usually head out for a 3-mile run or do a half hour bike ride.
7/7:30 p.m. Dinner usually includes something grilled during the summertime—when it’s really nice out, we like to eat on the back porch. Lots of water and a glass of wine is a must.
8 p.m. – 9 or 10 p.m. Back to reading pages for work during press time, catching up on e-mails, and when it’s the day before we go to press, we’ve all been known to stay up this late, signing off on the magazine (during this time, I don’t typically get my run in, but I insist on walking my dogs)!
11/12 p.m. If I’m not ready for bed, I try to read an actual book instead of magazine pages to help lull me to sleep. If I’ve been staring at the computer screen, I need this. I’m currently reading Huck Finn (more on that in another post). Usually asleep by 11:30/midnight.
Check back later to read my next “Day in the Life” post on what I do during the weekends