Change is good — and tough

I don’t like writing about myself too often. I like to keep my values and ideas inside, because many times personal thoughts and insights mean the most to one individual.

In this case, I feel this best explains why I am leaving. I’m not a journalist.

I’m a writer, sure, and I think I can be as good as I want, but I’ve learned there are things to being a good journalist that aren’t part of my mindset.

In this field you have to be comfortable being curious when it comes to other people’s business, good or bad. You have to relentlessly pursue a myriad of ways to get information people often times people are reluctant, guarded, or “don’t have the time” to give.

Sometimes you don’t get the whole story, sometimes you get great stories, and other times you don’t get anything.

That being said, the detective aspect of it can be fun, but there are times I picture myself on the other side of the phone line, and I’ve realized it’s not me.

I learned how to be a journalist nonetheless. If there were any place to learn that, it was in Marion. The staff here at the Record is awesome, and they care about what they do.

To advertiser Debbie Steele, designer Melvin Honeyfield, and Jane Johnson taking over multiple front-office duties, thank you for your kindness.

To fellow reporters Rowena Plett, Olivia Haselwood, an absolute go-getter; and Oliver Good, a talented photographer and good friend, I’m not sure if I would have made it this long without you.

To my editors, thank you. Adam Stewart always was there to help right me when I needed it, and even though we’ve only been afforded a handful of weeks together, David Colburn has been a valuable mentor and friend.

To Joan and Eric Meyer, I wouldn’t be here without you believing in me, and that’s the biggest thank-you I can give. Eric is probably the best journalist I’ve met thus far, and I couldn’t possibly have learned what I have — in business and writing — without the hours of meetings we’ve had.

Finally, thank you to the community of Marion County.

I’ve seen a lot of things over this year alone, and I’ve gone from not knowing a soul to seeing a friendly face every time I leave my apartment. I honestly couldn’t list everybody. As our time together fades to memory, we may forget each other personally, but I’ll never forget living here. It’s a place I’ve called home.

I grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, and I haven’t lived there for five years now. I miss it. I don’t really know what I’ll end up doing, but I’m going the direction I feel I need to go.

I won’t end this saying goodbye, but I’ll see you all soon.

— JOEL WRIGHT

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