You Can't Be All Things to All People

I've been thinking a lot about a conversation that took place on a panel that I hosted last month at Blissdom Canada: the "To Publish or Not To Publish" panel. The session - which featured Jen Reynolds (editor-in-chief of Canadian Family), Nadine Silverthorne (online editor, and and Theresa Albert ( - talked about taking writing beyond the blog.

At one point during the discussion, Jen Reynolds made what I think was a very important point: writers can't be all things to all people.

If, for example, you want to pursue the corporate spokesperson side of things (a very lucrative way to make a living as a mom blogger), you can't expect to be an editorial contributor to publications such as hers. You have to decide which part of the content creation business has the greatest appeal for you: the advertising side or the editorial side.

It was the first time in a long time I'd heard an editor speak publicly about the once clearly defined boundaries between church (editorial) and state (advertising). And, frankly, it was pretty inspiring. Jen Reynolds is clearly an editor who values the quality of the content that ends up in her magazine and who is willing to safeguard that turf.

That discussion has had me reflecting a lot on my own career as a writer: who I would like to work with and the types of projects I would most like to undertake. One thing I know for sure is that I'll continue to seek out editors like Jen Reynolds who are passionate about the content that finds its way on to the pages of their magazines.