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Well folks, I seem to have survived writing and editing The Weekender for a year.

My work anniversary occurred on July 27, and from the beginning, I had no clue if I'd be able to make it this long. But I have.

Over the course of the last year, my name has been tied to 433 copy assets (stories, SUX 6s, questions of the week and such) and 590 photos (shot and painstakingly edited).

I have written 39 artist spotlights on different local artists, many of whom previously had no exposure and subsequently started selling works and getting featured gallery shows after their respective articles came out. This makes me immensely proud and I believe is the most important part of my job. The way this came about is that before I became the writer, the magazine was very music heavy (which I think was great), but I was told to stray away from the music. I found my own niche in the world of visual art. I will continue searching for artists and giving them exposure as long as I can.

There have been highs and lows along the way, including knocking heads with the higher-ups about content and the laughs we sometimes have afterwards. 

It has been an intense work experience for me. Most of the time I'm working seven days a week (some days longer than others). It is a salaried job, so I just eat the extra hours I work since there is no possibility for overtime pay. So far I have taken only four work days off this last year...so I'm very ready for a vacation! Until then I'll be typing away and interviewing the movers and shakers around Siouxland.

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While there may be downsides like the amount of hours worked, there are also perks to this job. The thanks I get from people around town who read my stories are always welcome and appreciated. Even if I can't remember everybody's name who comes up to me to talk about my stories, I still appreciate them.

I've had the opportunity to emcee events since I am now in the public eye. I've gotten to introduce bands at Saturday in the Park, judge karaoke and comedy competitions and I even got to introduce one of my favorite television characters at "Randy's Cheeseburger Picnic." I was once surprisingly harassed by a certain watermelon-smashing comedian. Another perk is getting to attend most entertainment options in town for free. I've also been lucky enough to interview some of my favorite musicians (one of whom asked me to personally write his bio for promoters), actors and comedians. Although I may work a ton of hours, it pays off through the perks.

There are many terrible days where I feel I am in over my head and don't know what I'm doing, and there are the great days where I feel I'm on top of the world. This job is a constant adventure. No two weeks are ever the same. 

While certain aspects of the job have gotten easier for me as I've learned much throughout the past year, other aspects are bound to get harder while I re-visit events I've already written about, only this time hopefully in a different/new light.

I am thankful for the support of my readers and the great community here in Sioux City. Opposite from what I thought growing up in this town, this is an amazing place to live with great entertainment options. I only foresee it getting better in the future.

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