I’ve been a Mets fan since I could crawl, and my passion for writing has been flowing since elementary school. It took quite some time for those two forces to meet, though.
Once they did, a hobby turned into somewhat of a full-time thing, though the paycheck that comes with it belies the ‘full-time’ moniker.
I became the editor of Rising Apple in 2013, which meant transitioning from watching games and focusing only on the outcome. In addition, I was now focusing on storylines, poor managerial decisions, Twitter reactions, immediate news pieces that needed to be written and more.
That’s probably the most stressful part of running a site – the immediacy. If a story breaks and it’s not up on your site quickly, it’s basically useless.
And it’s that immediacy – and constant focus on being immersed in and writing about/overseeing the writing of every bit of news – that can be a bit draining.
One thing I didn’t think of when I first started writing about the Mets was the potential of losing the innocence of simply being a fan. But sometimes I feel that innocence slipping away.
When you live and breathe something just for the enjoyment of it, there’s a kind of purity that comes with it. When you add a professional element to the mix, the waters get a bit muddy.
I’ve covered games at Citi Field, and while it’s incredible to be in the dugout before the game, walk around foul territory while speaking with players and watch the game from the press box, part of me wishes I was in my regular seats instead. After all, there’s no cheering in the press box. It’s not really the place for a fan.
But whenever I find myself worrying about losing the purity of my fandom, it’s the social media engagement that brings it back.
Yes, Twitter – the place where people hiding behind egg avatars curse you out – is the place that reminds me how much of a die-hard fan I am.
Through @RisingAppleBlog, I engage with other fans – many knowledgeable and rational, many at the opposite end of the spectrum. But it keeps things fresh, offers perspective (even if it’s often twisted) and provides fodder for articles.
During my time at Rising Apple, I’ve overseen a rotating cast of writers, some who wrote just for a few months before life got in the way and others who have been there longer than I have.
It’s imperative to have other voices and ideas to break the monotony when you’re writing/editing on a daily basis. The writers have all been great, but here is where my co-editor, Michelle Ioannou, comes in.
Michelle came on as my co-editor earlier this year. She has brought new ideas and angles to our articles and editing process — a great touch to our interaction with our staff — and has given new life and a lighthearted element to our social media arms. Michelle is a serious writer, and a damn good one. But the way she often injects humor into her articles and responds to our followers on Twitter has given me a new perspective on how to operate Rising Apple moving forward.
And that takes us back to the point of worrying about losing the innocence of being a fan.
I take Rising Apple extremely seriously, but perhaps I had been taking it a bit too seriously, losing sight of the fact that I was writing about a team I’ve been in love with since I was a little kid.
That love is still there. Maybe it’s taken on a bit of a different form due to how invested I am in every piece of information about the team, but it’s there.
And with Rising Apple heading down a new, fresh path lately, I’m extremely excited to see where it’ll end up.