What a Difference a Year Makes

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It’s hard to believe that the Newport Beach Independent – the “Indy” – will celebrate its one-year anniversary next week – June 4 to be exact.

What a year it’s been, if nothing else but a whirlwind!

As I sat down to write my column for this week, I pulled out a copy of our first issue with the bold greeting emblazoned across the cover “Hello , Newport!” The sight of it still makes me proud and brings back fond memories of our humble beginnings. I meant to frame it 12 months ago!

For the first few months of the Indy’s existence, before the office in Corona del Mar was ready to be occupied, we held our editorial staff meetings here in the living room of Chez Selich. Each week over coffee and bagels, editor Roger Bloom would guide us through our questions and nutty story ideas and Tom Johnson would drop in to share with us his keen sense of the newspaper business and importance of connection with the community. There was a lot of laughing and great rapport among the Indy team from the get-go. Those meetings were filled with a lot of camaraderie. I thought I would burst with the happiness of being part of something that felt so special.

In my very first column for the Indy, “Musings and Metamorphosis as the Indy Takes Wing,” I made reference to a refrigerator magnet that I have owned, and which has reminded me for more than 10 years, that “In a world full of caterpillars, it takes balls to be a butterfly.”  In the case of the Indy, it reminded me that despite the fact that all of us were joining a new media company and starting a brand new newspaper that nothing ventured would be nothing gained. How true.

Our tagline is “By Locals, for Locals” and the team at the Indy has worked tirelessly for the past year to make the paper a good read, maybe even a great read at times.  But we wouldn’t be anything without the community that we reflect.  We’ve worked to garner your trust and create a community paper that we hope you look forward to receiving each Friday. I like to think that our readers are left with the feeling that the Indy is a paper that belongs to and reflects this community we all love so dearly.

Besides our wonderful community, there are a few people I especially want to thank for seeing me, and the Indy through this first year.

First, Tom Johnson, who hired me on the spot the first time I met him, originally to write for the Newport-Mesa Daily Voice website. Six months later, he invited me to become part of the original team he assembled when the Indy took flight. I am honored to call him a friend, as well as a mentor.

Then there’s Rog – our editor extraordinaire who puts up with the occasional “I swear, the dog really ate my column!” He still supplies the bagels without fail and has the most level head on the planet.

I would like to take this anniversary opportunity to thank my family and friends, who began reading my columns in the Newport-Mesa Daily Voice online, and still indulge me to this day. Your constructive criticism and cheerleading is an incredible gift of generosity, something I treasure and respect.

Special thanks to my dear parents who are without a doubt my biggest fans, even when I write the most boring drivel ever.

A heap of gratitude goes to my husband who has encouraged me every step of the way to do what he knows I love best – writing – and for helping me move through those pesky “writer’s block” moments – usually by cracking me up by pointing out the obvious or just giving me one of those “don’t worry, you’ll figure it out” hugs.

And mostly a thousand thanks to you, Newport!  It’s been a great year of doing what I love, meeting some of the nicest people, interviewing fascinating personalities, humble leaders and generous philanthropists.  I’ve learned lots of lessons along the way, some harder than others, but all that have provided me with drops of wisdom.

I’ll keep on trying my best to write columns that are interesting and reflect the heart and soul of our community. I may not always hit the mark, but as I promised from the start, I will continue trying my best!

Lynn Selich is a freelance writer, editor and PR professional residing in Newport Beach.  She can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Facebook at LynnSelich-Columnist or www.twitter.com/LynnSelich.

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