By Nicole Raymond
Lindsay Patton-Carson is the assistant editor of Revue Magazine, published in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Lindsay entered the field after receiving her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Grand Valley State University, in Allendale, Michigan. Lindsay worked on both her writing skills and management skills during her years at Grand Valley after her interest in journalism was piqued while being a part of her high school yearbook.
She worked when studying at Grand Valley, writing album reviews for the school newspaper. She produced and wrote the monthly newsletter for a Holland-based non-profit organization, Latin Americans United for Progress.
“During college, I had two clerical positions: one at a fitness facility and one at GVSU’s advising center,” Lindsay said. Near the end of her college experience, Lindsay started to freelance for local publications.
At Revue Magazine, Lindsay contributes to the local entertainment magazine that reaches Grand Rapids, Big Rapids, and the surrounding communities of West Michigan. Her main tasks include writing articles, managing the “sounds” and “sights” section of the magazine, managing the monthly magazine distribution, providing content for the web in the form of blogs and online articles, and working with writers. Lindsay also manages the interns at Revue Magazine, affectionately known as “minions” to the staff.
Obstacles in Technical Communication
Lindsay does not consider herself a technical writer, but she does have to be up-to-date on AP style, common among journalistic writing. According to Lindsay, she must be able to catch grammatical nuances while editing copy. “Fact-checking is also something that is imperative to Revue’s processes,” Lindsay said. “It is a very tedious task, but must be done in order for us to be a credible news and entertainment source.”
Moments in Technical Communication
This summer, Lindsay was assigned to cover three major summer music festivals: Rothbury (Michigan), Pitchfork (Illinois), and Lollapalooza (Illinois). According to Lindsay, it was one of the most fun and difficult aspects of her job this summer. “Though it was a blast, and Rothbury and Lollapalooza were very kind in terms of media tenets, those were some of the most tiring weekends I have ever had,” Lindsay said.
The music festivals were so large-scale, which meant that Lindsay and the photographer had to carry all of their equipment with them, resulting in back and shoulder aches. Her coverage was shot at Pitchfork. “A musician [at Pitchfork] I was supposed to interview stood me up,” Lindsay said. And at Rothbury, Lindsay was surrounded by hippies. “Enough said,” Lindsay said. “However, all the festivals turned out to be a great time and amazing learning experiences.”
According to Lindsay, she received the best career advice from her father during Rothbury. “These things are marathons, not sprints. Don’t have too much fun on the first day, or you’ll pay for it,” her father said.
A Day in the Life
For Lindsay, her days at Revue Magazine, a monthly distributed magazine, are varied with schedules and tasks depending on the time of the month. “I could spend the entire day editing copy during one week, and then the next, spend an entire day writing articles, or three days out of the office distributing magazines,” Lindsay said. “We’re a small business, and a lot has to be done, so I am constantly multitasking.”
Advice for Aspiring Technical Communicators
“Constructive criticism is your best friend,” Lindsay said. “Don’t be sensitive with your work. There will always be someone better than you, so keep pushing to make each job you do better than the last.”