Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Bethany Helwig
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Pleasing the masses and Art in the Park

From the Editor


I’m what you would call a “people pleaser.” I have a constant fear while writing (both my own books and this newspaper) that people aren’t going to like what I have to say. There’s also a nagging fear that I missed a typo, made a blatant mistake, or something else incredibly dramatic and terrible. I hate being at odds with people.

And yet I’ve managed to land myself in two professions (book author and newspaper editor) where it is impossible to please everybody. There will always be at least one person who does not like what I write or put out. I still stress about it. I stress about a lot of things, actually. If stress could generate electricity, I could probably power a city.

Despite that, I really enjoy my job as both writer and editor.

The same stress/love relationship can be said about tackling art and vendor shows where I go out to promote my books. I’m an introvert by nature so it’s a challenge. The more I do it, the better I get at it (I hope), but it’s still nerve-racking every time I put myself out there and hope I don’t say something stupid to the strangers walking up to my booth.

At the same time, I find something deeply satisfying by connecting with real, live people. It gets even better when a fan of my books approaches me. I can’t adequately express the joy it gives me when someone compliments my writing. It’s validation, excitement, and happiness all rolled into one.

One of the best events I go to each year is Art in the Park during Agate Days. Despite the sweltering heat that usually accompanies the day, I get to meet a bunch of enthusiastic readers. I also get the opportunity to meet other local authors and artists from the community.

Putting myself out there will never be easy for me, and there will always be that person who has an unpleasant opinion to share. What makes it worth it in the end is a reader coming up to tell me just how much they love my stories.


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