Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kiss my ass(istant editor)

Hey guys,

On behalf of Classic Brian, I would like to apologize for the general failure that we have been this week. Everyone just has those weeks, from time to time. You know, the ones where it's really nice out and it's relatively sunny and warm for the first time in multiple weeks, spring breaks start to happen, people get in generally better moods. People don't like to write when they're happy. People like to write when they're pissed, sad, drunk, paid, or obligated to. People who are content don't like to write, because they have no reason.

As for you guys, you guys hate reading long paragraphs.

However, that isn't the point of this post.

I got a promotion this week! Hurray for me.

As a columnist for the Daily Illini, our student newspaper, I took on the task of (applying for) the assistant editor('s job). I am underqualified for this position. Know that. But hey, I mean, I'm young, which apparently is the new demand in journalism. I really want to move up, (by that of course I mean I'm supposed to but I really actually want to keep the easiest job possible for as long as I can.)

Supposedly if I "keep up the good work" until I'm fifty-two I'll be able to be a columnist for an organization I respect. However, this is the first step.

What an asst. editor does is he (or she, if you're Sammy) is edits every piece that goes into the DI's sports section and they try to give corrective suggestions to the people who write the articles. I have to go to work 5 days a week now from 4-7:30; approximately.

Now apparently I was the only person to apply for this position. This tells me two things: apparently I didn't, ya know, "win" the position, and that everyone who knows what this position is knows that it sucks.

Regardless of all this I am excited to take on the job. Because it's a promotion in journalism, the first that I've ever really truly gotten. It's an enlarged role. An enhanced, more difficult role. A scary role if you will. But, in journalism, we take on the scary, the beast of getting a job (Robert wrote about this well), the beast of being respected, the beast of actually being good. The beast of finding satisfaction in a field that, for the most part, is empty calories. A lot of what you do in journalism goes for not. Because, people don't like to read bullshit.

You know, bullshit? The shit you see in the paper that you never want to read? Yeah, that's actually how most of us earn our chops. So, next time you see a story in the newspaper and think no one wants to read it, remember that somebody put an obnoxious amount of effort into that piece, and that journalism puts in more than it gets out..

It's a hard spot.

Writing is tough. Reading books as a kid, you know they're gonna be good. Reading articles, you know people have a standard to live up to. Writing a piece, it's all on you. A weight of interest on your shoulders. Blog posts are kind of like that. Except for the fact that you can totally mail one in and it does zero harm to anybody. Like this.

But hey, I mean, Robert said it: writing is a fool's job. To think that you can interest the everyman with something that comes from entirely your own muse?

It's a job for fools. But hey, I'm an editor now. I take the judgmental, easy position.

This next year is gonna be tough. But I'm excited, ready, willing, crazy, and like to critique people. For example, your hair isn't nice enough to read this blog. Neither is mine to write it. Oy.

Anyway, I have a position now that I dunno if I'm ready for. Journalism is about meeting the mark. Let's go get it. I will be in a position of power, and that scares me. But at the same time, I couldn't be more excited. This is the beginning of making the leap. Let's hope it's a good journey.

I'm sorry, guys. I love you.

--Eliot Sill


  1. Congratulations, Eliot! I hope that besides valuable experience, it maybe also pays a little money?

  2. I'm Eliot and I drink on Wednesdays.

  3. Also, I love writing when I'm content. I think that's when I'm most productive.

  4. I'm Classic and I also drink on Wednesdays.