Photo hunting leads to…

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Recently, I learned that I will be featured in the April edition of Editor & Publisher magazine. I won’t say why — yet — but the announcement forced me to confront some issues head on over the last few days.

First, I was sent questions regarding my thoughts on where the news industry is heading and advice I have for younger colleagues. Interviews are not foreign to me. I conduct quite a few of them on a regular basis and I always chuckle when the person with whom I’m speaking requests that I be kind to them. Many people fear appearing less smart than they really are. 

Many of the individuals I’ve interviewed over the years send emails or make phone calls with follow-up thoughts. It seems that once you’ve had time to rehash a conversation in your head, you always think of something else you wish you would have said.

Well, the questions I was asked to answer came in writing. I had about a week to craft my responses. Somehow, though, the fear of looking ridiculous still took hold. I wrote draft after draft of my thoughts and still, in the end, wasn’t completely satisfied with the advice I offered. 

In addition to the written responses to questions, I was asked to send a photograph of myself to the magazine for publication. Representatives from the magazine asked me to send a photo that shows “who I am” rather than my profession. 

I have a photo that runs each weekend beside this column. So, I figured an updated version of that would be great. Justin Sheely, our photojournalist, snapped a couple photos of me outside The Press, next to the statue of the young child reading. 

The photo, though, just didn’t feel like me. It was too formal. So, in a panic — of course, the day the materials were due to the magazine — I started searching through photographs of myself.

To my dismay, I hated all of them. Well, the ones from when I was 22 were OK.

Many of you know that I’ve been working with Caryn Moxey at PURENERGY for the last two months. The goal wasn’t necessarily to lose weight, but I wanted to feel better. This photo fiasco forced a tortuous internal dialogue. It will serve as motivation for months to come, I’m sure.

The entire experience was amplified by other emotions that have been running a little high lately. I am a thinker, not a feeler, so emotions are exhausting. Those who know me know I tend to take action based on what’s happening in my head, rather than my heart.

But, many things have been on my radar that have forced me to confront some demons. Self-image and confidence, yes. But, the trials and tribulations of those around me have also prompted a renewed sense of hope. A determination to remain optimistic. An inner drive to do better. A motivation to use my heart a little more than my head.


By |March 4th, 2017|

About the Author:

Kristen Czaban joined The Sheridan Press staff in 2008 and covered beats including local government, cops and courts and the energy industry. In 2012, she was promoted and now serves as the managing editor for The Press. Czaban has a journalism degree from Northwestern University.