Devoted readers of this blog may have noticed my recent silence. There is an exciting reason for it: I’ve given notice at my job. My last day on the staff of Arizona Wildlife Views magazine is May 5.
Soon, I will be devoting more time to my freelance editing business. My engagement with writers, words, and wildlife won’t end—not at all. I’m already copyediting one book about Arizona’s snakes, and am under contract to assist with the development of a book about Arizona birding. Who knows what other fun projects I might get to work on?
Embracing the fact that I run a small business has shifted my perspective. I’ve been developing a website, working with a graphic designer to create a logo, designing my own business cards, and deciding how to describe the services I can provide. I feel a powerful sense of ownership. A dream is coming true. I also feel creative, hopeful, and curious to see what the future holds.
At the same time, I look back at more than 11 years on the magazine staff and realize how lucky I was. I worked with hundreds of biologists, wildlife managers, and communications specialists at the Arizona Game and Fish Department who have devoted themselves to the conservation of wildlife. It’s been a privilege to work beside them and learn from them.
As an editor, I tackled about 74 issues of Arizona’s award-winning wildlife magazine and two books. As a staff writer, I watched California condors soar, photographed a herd of bison, interviewed Arizona’s first state herpetologist, wrote about my outdoor adventures (everything from birding by bike to learning to flyfish), and saw my byline on nearly 50 feature articles.
How many writers, photographers, and illustrators have shared their creative work with me across all these years? I feel a strong connection to these artists who love wildlife. It’s a small state … maybe we will cross paths again. I like to think so.
The future of this blog is to be determined as we see how this new adventure unfolds. I guess we’ll all find out. In the meantime, come visit me at juliehammonds.com.