For some reason, this page has been the hardest of all to write. Perhaps that’s because I’m in transition at the moment. Until last summer, I worked full-time as senior editor of The Juilliard Journal, a position I held for 15 years and one that defined much about who I am. Somewhere out there, there’s another position that will build upon and expand the core of my identity. I just haven’t snagged it yet.
I’ve been a writer and editor for more than 25 years. Upon hearing what I do for a living, people often used to ask, “Are you working on a book?” Sometimes they seemed a bit disappointed when I said no, I wasn’t toiling for long hours after coming home from my day job, working on the next great American novel; writing was my day job, and it felt creative and rewarding enough in itself that I didn’t need an “outlet.” I got paid to learn new things and share them, shaping what I shared so that it made sense and enlightened people. I wrote about how two women turned a character doodled on a napkin into a multimillion-dollar, internationally licensed phenomenon; how Steinway builds their world-famous pianos; how alcoholics can be helped by intervention; how handmade paper can inspire graphic designers; how a chamber ensemble goes about commissioning a new work. I trekked through factories, lofts, schools, construction sites. When many magazines folded and clients took projects in-house during the recession of the late 80s and early 90s, I supplemented my work with proofreading and transcribing.
In 1994 I became the first professional editor of The Juilliard Journal, bringing all of my varied experience to bear on one full-time job: developing an eight- to twelve-page in-house newspaper into a widely read and respected publication that fairly vibrated with the vitality and mission of a fabulous and multifaceted place. By the time the newspaper had doubled in size, I was assigning and working with more than a dozen writers and photographers each month, but finding little time to write myself in between “holding hands, pulling teeth, and kicking butts” (as I had once described my job to my parents). Not that I was complaining, mind you. I’m very much a people person.
One of the cool things about being a writer is that, even if your job suddenly goes missing, you can still “do what you do.” And with the growth of blogging, you can even have an audience—without having to submit query letters, suffer rejections, or chase after assignments. I began this blog when I felt I had turned a corner in my job search—when there seemed to be more positive signposts along the road than negative ones, and I didn’t want to let them pass unobserved. I no longer fretted that I didn’t know exactly where I was headed; I was starting to enjoy the journey.
A fair amount of my writing is archived online, but it’s mostly about the arts, so one of the purposes of this blog is to demonstrate a greater range. If you like what you read here and want to talk about hiring me (or reprinting one of my blog posts), please contact me at email@example.com. You can also visit my LinkedIn profile at www.linkedin.com/in/janerubinsky.