For this column I have the task of saying that I’m leaving Echo Publishing. I’m headed out on my own to pursue a freelance writing career.
This position has been an amazing learning experience. It’s been wonderful to get to know the community through my position as staff writer, whether it’s at council meetings, at festivals or in interviews. In all I’ve completed around 700 assignments in my two years at the Echo, and each one has been not only interesting but a lesson.
It’s been a privilege to meet and speak with someone new every week, whether it was a Lake Country Faces feature for page 2, a name for a photo at a festival, a council member, a police officer or a volunteer.
Every single person has taught me something and each has a story to tell — and not just any story, but one that’s very much worth listening to. If there’s one thing I can take away from this job, it’s that everyone knows something you don’t know and that you should know.
There are plenty of times when I have smiled or pondered in front of a computer screen, contemplating the issues of the community or the lives of its locals and friends.
And then there are the times as a reporter where I, like all our staff, have been tasked with giving out bad news. It’s what the job requires — it’s a task you take on when you take the position.
I can’t count the number of times my hands have been shaking and I’ve literally sweated over a keyboard writing something I’m afraid to have printed, because I know some people will be so upset or angry, at the same time knowing that it has to be said.
I will no longer be a full-time writer, but I’ll still correspond with the Echo Journal, so you’ll see my name from time to time. And I’ll still be living in the area.
I still want to hear your stories.
Though I am leaving, a great staff remains at the Echo Journal that shows a lot of dedication and care in reporting on the community. You can count on them to let you know what’s going on in your town. (Believe me, I could go on and on about what a wonderful group of people is at this paper.)
From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate the welcoming nature of the community, the friendliness of its people and the wealth of knowledge they have to share. My time as staff writer is unforgettable.
But, like I said, I’m not leaving town. I’ll see you around.
After my resignation, I can be reached at KateLPerkins@gmail.com.