I’m not sure who coined that phrase, but it’s one of my favorites, along with “It’s not how you start but how you finish,” and “You never learn anything in life unless it costs you something.”
I thought about my personal marathon as I was sitting at the Edmonds City Council meeting last Tuesday night, watching the council debate several amendments to the Westgate rezoning proposal, trying not to mentally tack on two-and-a-half hours to whatever time the meeting ended.
When the issues are complicated and take a lot of explaining, that’s about how long it takes me to write a news story. When it comes to city council meetings, I’m committed to doing that before I go to bed, because I want our readers to have the news ready to read when they wake up each morning. (A tip: If you sign up for our daily newsletter, using the box on the right side of the home page, our daily news digest is delivered directly to you by 4 a.m. each morning via email!)
The marathon analogy is also a suitable metaphor for running any business start-up and especially an online news site. You have to pace yourself, or burnout is inevitable. That’s hard to do when you are covering a lively community of nearly 40,000, where more goes on than you’d expect. Don’t believe it? Read our coverage of the car thief who barricaded himself in an Edmonds home Thursday — it drew every TV and radio station from Seattle to our Edmonds Kind of Town.
Fortunately, we have a great team of reporters who usually can jump in at a moment’s notice, which is what happened Thursday. I was in downtown Edmonds when the event unfolded (ironic, as I actually live less than a mile from where the thief took refuge) but David Pan and Larry Vogel were on the scene quickly, feeding me photos, video and information so that I could update our readers via the website, Twitter and Facebook. When the day was done, I was proud of the work we did. We may not have been the very first on the scene — I am certain that honor belonged to at least one television station helicopter — but we produced a good product for our local audience. It’s not how you start, but how you finish…
My other favorite saying comes courtesy of my late father, Maurice “Mose” Wippel, a lifelong resident of Ellensburg, where he owned a grocery store, sold life insurance and even served a term as mayor. Growing up, every time I made a mistake, he would say, You never learn anything in life unless it costs you something. And he wasn’t always referring to money either. Mistakes can cost you a lot of things — especially your time.
I keep my dad’s advice in mind as I work to grow this news organization into a sustainable long-term venture. I am not afraid to make mistakes as sometimes that is the only way you learn — as my dad would tell me if he were here today. But you keep trying, and you keep learning.
That’s why I am so grateful to those readers who have signed up for a voluntary subscription. It helps us pay our reporters, designers and sales people along with our other expenses. I can’t thank them enough for their support.
And I hope you’ll consider joining them. All of us here appreciate WHATEVER you can give — $5, $10, $15 a month? $100 a year?
I’ll leave you with the first of several testimonials from our regular readers, Darrol Haug, about why they value My Edmonds News.
You’ll be seeing (and hearing) more of these in the coming weeks. Interested in submitting your own? Email me directly at email@example.com.
I’ll close with my new favorite saying:
Teresa Wippel, Publisher