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A Day in the Life… of a Community Newspaper Editor

Day-in-the-Life-EventEarlier this month, Trish (Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity) invited book bloggers to participate in A Day in the Life, a snapshot of life at the moment tracked throughout a single day. I decided to track my day on Monday, March 23 — a day that ended up being a pretty average, if rather long, day in the life of a small town newspaper editor.

A Day in the Life… of a Community Newspaper Editor

6:00 a.m. | First alarm. Turn off and go back to sleep.

6:30 a.m. | I’m finally awake! I try to get up between 6 and 6:30 a.m. to have some quiet time to myself in the morning to read blogs, eat breakfast and watch television. I’d like to have a more productive morning routine – less social media, more reading or meditating – but I haven’t gotten there yet.

7:45 a.m. | Hop in the shower and start getting ready for work. Watch Book Riot videos while getting dressed. I switched out my closet for spring this weekend, right before Minnesota went back to a cold streak, so I have to dig a little bit for something to wear.

day in the life 1

8:30 a.m. | Out the door! Snow. Ugh.

8:40 a.m. | Arrive at work a little earlier than usual. Learn that the photo I thought I needed to take today is actually next Monday… boo.

9:00-ish | Start digging into my e-mail. I let it slide near the end of last week so I’ve got some catching up to do. Since our newspaper comes out on Saturdays, Monday is often a catch up/plan for the week day.

9:30 a.m. | Get a call from someone asking why a story didn’t get into the paper last week. Because I forgot… oops. I’m really better at my job than this!

10:20 a.m. | Done with all the easy e-mails, digging into the more difficult ones. Normally on Mondays at about this time we do a news planning meeting, but our associate editor is out so that will get bumped to tomorrow or Wednesday.

day in the life 2

11:45 a.m. | Leave the office for a meeting on campus.

12 p.m. | Meeting! I’m on the planning committee for a college literary festival that’s happening this fall. Today we talked about some of the authors we’re trying to bring.

12:45 p.m. | Head home for lunch. I’m often bring my lunch to work, but since I was out around noon I just decided to eat at home. In the process of making lunch, I managed to knock a (nearly empty) wine bottle off the top of fridge, glass everywhere… damn! Today I watched some Parks and Recreation on Netflix while eating spaghetti squash with hamburger and marinara sauce.

1:30 p.m. | Stop at the library on the way back to work to drop of a book. I was hoping they’d have Hausfrau, but no luck. Grabbed Florence Gordon off the new books shelves instead.

1:40 p.m. | Back at work. Discover none of my notes from Day in the Life this morning were saved. Try to recreate them from memory. This has NOT been my day.

2:15 p.m. | Spent the last 15 minutes trying to put a story on our website, being foiled by the fact that I can’t add a picture. Why???

2:50 p.m. | Changed focuses and started working on a short story about some new bilingual books in our school library. It didn’t take too long – not much real reporting – but it’s nice to get some of these small, nagging projects off my plate today.

3:30 p.m. | Caffeine (cranberry blood orange black tea) and snack (Cheeze-Its and Trader Joe’s Raisin mix) break to troll around on Twitter and check some other news sites.

4:00 p.m. | It it taking me a stupid long amount of time to make some small changes to our website. It’s being buggy today. Whatever. I need to do some prep for our school board meeting tonight.

4:45 p.m. | Heading home!

Work Evening in the Life

Monday happened to be a day where I also needed to work at night, so this is what a typical work evening looks like. 

day in the life 3

5:10 p.m. | Nevermind! I spent some time chatting with a coworker, then came home. Since I have to go to a meeting, I made some rice and wontons to eat with some leftover Chinese food. The boyfriend and I watched part of The Last Man on Earth while eating.

5:50 p.m. | Rush out the door to get to a school board meeting. I regularly cover our school board, city council and county commissioners. School board is probably the toughest of the three, for me, because the meetings are long and school financing is really hard to understand.

6:00 to 8:50 p.m. | A long, long meeting, full of discussion about transportation, technology, the school calendar, and hiring a new superintendent.

9:00 p.m. | Whew, I’m finally home. I switch into pjs immediately, edit and schedule my blog post for tomorrow, make some tea and find a spot on the couch to read for just a little while before bed.

10:15 p.m. | Lights out!

Home Evening in the Life

I don’t spend every evening working, so I decided to also track some time on an evening at spent at home (Wednesday, March 25).

5:30 p.m. | Home from work. Check the mail, empty out my purse. Talk dinner plans with the boyfriend before he hops in the shower. Change into clothes for the gym. Check schedule and see the class I want to go to is cancelled! Now what?

5:45 p.m. | Decide to go to the gym to walk after dinner. I hate that it got cold again this week and it’s too unpleasant to walk outside. Turn on Spotify’s Mood Booster playlist and get some meat cooked. Clean the kitchen. Break plate. Blech.

6:30 p.m. | Dinner and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

day in the life 4

7:00 p.m. | Head to the gym to walk on the track.

7:50 p.m. | Hit my step goal (8,000), so heading home.

8:00 p.m. | Change into my pjs then spend some time on blog projects – scheduling my post for tomorrow, responding to comments, addressing some review copy requests. Comments are, I think, the limiting factor in my blogging. It takes me a long time to respond and to try and visit back.

8:45 p.m. | Calling it a night on computer stuff. Grabbing a cup of tea and trying to settle in with a book until bedtime.

day in the life 5

9:00 p.m. | Alarm goes off reminding me to wash my face and brush my teeth. This is supposed to be the start of an evening routine where I get off my computer and my phone an hour before bed to ease into sleep better… but I’m a smartphone addict and that doesn’t always happen!

10:05 p.m. | The boyfriend is off to bed, but I’m still fully absorbed in An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. More reading!

10:38 p.m. | Stayed up way too late reading. And now the boyfriend is snoring like a monster. This will be fun…

Thanks for reading about my day — if you have any questions about work or home, leave them in the comments!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Beth F March 27, 2015, 7:03 am

    Waaaay more exciting than my day. 🙂

  • Beth @ Too Fond March 27, 2015, 7:05 am

    Love it! Even if it’s just an ordinary day, I find reading about the details of other people’s lives interesting. It sounds like you have a job that is really connected to your community, which is cool.

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 8:30 pm

      That is one of the things I love about my job, feeling connected to my community and many of the institutions in it.

  • Wendy @ Wensend March 27, 2015, 7:08 am

    So fun to see how your days/nights look. 🙂 Do you work often at night? I think it’s great you set an alarm when you want to put out the computer/smartphone. I always stay up much too late to work. Maybe I should try to do as you do. 🙂

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 8:33 pm

      I probably end up working, on average, one night per week. Plus an occasional Saturday or Sunday. It evens out though, since I generally only work from 9 to 5 with an hour lunch break.

      I started doing the alarm because I get lazy at night, and then avoid going to bed because I know that I have to do all that bedtime routine stuff (put on pjs, brush teeth, wash face, etc.). If I do that a little earlier, then it’s easier for me to get to sleep when I’m supposed to. It’s kind of silly, but seems to work.

  • Athira March 27, 2015, 7:20 am

    I love that you have an alarm for your evening before bed routine. That sounds just like me, except it doesn’t work for me either because I am still pounding away on my computer or browsing through my phone. Great post – I’m enjoying reading this event on many blogs today.

  • Michelle March 27, 2015, 7:43 am


    I need to do that no-smart-phone-after-9 (or maybe 10) thing. I’m terrible about staying up until 11:30 gchatting or pinteresting.

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 8:34 pm

      I’m usually on Twitter late at night, which is silly because it’s usually just drama or boring… nothing I need to lose sleep over.

  • Meg March 27, 2015, 8:01 am

    Really enjoyed reading about your day, especially because we’re in a similar line of work! I’m pretty much a 9-to-5 at-my-desk editor, but I appreciate how much you get out and about during the day. 🙂

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 8:35 pm

      It’s nice to get outside during the day, when it’s nice outside anyway. I sometimes wish I were a 9 to 5 editor, but I also think I’d eventually get bored 🙂

  • Jeanne March 27, 2015, 8:27 am

    This is fun! I like your alternate endings to the day.

  • Kay March 27, 2015, 8:33 am

    What a busy day! I found it quite interesting and enjoyed the pictures. Although I might have trouble staying awake through a school board meeting. Now, is that just green peas with that hamburger meat? It looks pretty good and simple. Thanks for sharing your long work day and shorter work day with us. And here’s to spring coming soon for you!

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 8:38 pm

      Frozen peas and ground turkey with some butter (or ghee) and Trade Joe’s garlic salt seasoning. I discovered that meal during my Whole30 and still really love it. Simple but really delicious.

  • BermudaOnion(Kathy) March 27, 2015, 8:49 am

    Sitting through those meetings would be really tough for me!

  • CaroG March 27, 2015, 9:28 am

    Wow, you get so much done! I love how everyone has a hard time waking up…well, getting out of bed :). I also watch BR videos or catch up with the podcasts when I am alone at home. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 8:38 pm

      Hitting the snooze button a couple of times has been a recurring theme in these posts 🙂

  • Katie @ Words For Worms March 27, 2015, 9:52 am

    Oh man, your day makes me tired. Vicariously tired. And angry on your behalf, because PiYo is a great class that should never be cancelled! Way more fun than walking.

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 8:39 pm

      It is more fun than walking! And it’s normally a class I can get to because there are rarely evening meetings on Wednesdays.

  • Tanya Patrice March 27, 2015, 11:15 am

    I love seeing a peek into your life. And thanks for the tip about setting alarm for just regular life things. I think I’m going to try an evening alarm too to see how if it works for me. I need an alarm to tell me when to go to bed.

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 8:41 pm

      I’m so easily distracted in the evening, having it is a nice reminder that I need to be sure to get to bed on time. I’m cranky without enough sleep.

  • Andi March 27, 2015, 11:26 am

    I love that you gave us working night and a non-working night examples! I definitely don’t envy the working nights. My brain is just about done around 4:30. I’ve definitely morphed into a morning person since having G.

  • jenn aka the picky girl March 27, 2015, 11:27 am

    You’re out and about so much! I love it!

    But that school board meeting..ugh.

  • Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library March 27, 2015, 12:01 pm

    I try to have more reading time in the morning as well but so far either I oversleep or my brain just doesn’t function well enough to read. Sounds like a busy day! I don’t envy you having to cover school board meetings. I’ve had to attend a few here and there and they’re never fun! I stay up too late reading most nights as well but I love that you have an alarm set to remind you to start your evening routine.

  • Belle Wong March 27, 2015, 12:27 pm

    Love reading about your alternate nights! That school board meeting sounds like quite a challenge. I’ve been trying to read from a print book before I go to bed, to get myself into sleepy mode, and your alarm idea is just brilliant.

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 8:42 pm

      I need to make sure I do that. I was reading an ebook on my tablet for a few weeks, but even having the electronic device before bed keeps me awake. Print or old school Nook seems to be the way to go for me.

  • Cindi @UtahMomsLife March 27, 2015, 12:37 pm

    Such an exciting day. I love that you included both the work evening and the home evening. Glad you get to relax a little sometimes.

  • Lisa March 27, 2015, 4:45 pm

    I need to know more about emptying your purse. Why?

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 8:44 pm

      I have a couple of different bags I carry around, depending on whether I’ll be at the office all day or whether I need to be out reporting and carrying my camera. So sometimes at night I need to switch bags. Or, I just have to empty out the stuff I need to put away (containers from lunch, books from the library, water bottle, etc.) It’s usually not a complete emptying out, but more a clearing out from the day and getting set for the next morning.

  • Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll) March 27, 2015, 6:30 pm

    Wow! That’s a long day when there’s an evening meeting to cover. As a reader of news stories about city council and school board meetings, I appreciate this sort of work!

    It does take an amazing amount of time to do comments on blogs — that’s how I spent much of the day that I recorded. And, it’s taking more time than I intended, right now, to comment on Day in the Life posts!

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 8:45 pm

      I try to make comments a priority, but it does take a lot of time to respond and then to visit blogs and try to leave a comment. I don’t always do that, but I try. Limiting the number of days per week I post has really helped with that.

  • Florinda March 27, 2015, 9:02 pm

    This was a VERY comprehensive account of a day (and a couple of evenings) that seemed to bring you more than your their fair share of frustrations–thanks for making them so entertaining to read about, though!

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 8:46 pm

      I did seem particularly clumsy and forgetful over these few days 🙂 Really, all of last week was a little scattered in some way.

  • Teresa March 27, 2015, 9:15 pm

    I said almost the same thing about wanting to meditate in the morning, rather than check all my social media. I’ve been telling myself that I’ll start after Easter. We’ll see. I went through a period where I was pretty good about it, but haven’t kept it up at all.

    I used to cover school board meetings when I worked at a community newspaper. (Education was my main beat.) They were pretty deadly sometimes, but I was glad not to have to go to council meetings as well.

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 8:47 pm

      It’s a bit rough having to do all of the beats, but I do like the perspective it gives on how different institutions function and the ways that they play off each other. I feel more well-rounded, which has advantages and disadvantages.

  • jilllora March 27, 2015, 9:55 pm

    It’s so nice to know that none of us are leaping out of bed in the morning, ready to leap tall buildings and conquer the world. Instead, it sounds like we all pretty much crawl out of bed at the last possible minute. Too much late night reading? 😀

  • Bryan G. Robinson March 28, 2015, 10:05 am

    I know I’ve mentioned this more than once (like only a million times) but I used to be a weekly newspaper editor too, so that said (again and again, sorry), I understand what you’re going through. I’ve been there and like others, I like what you’re doing with your evening, attempting to be off phone at the end of the day. I know it has helped me sleep better when I’m not on it at the end of the day, but like you, it’s not always easy.

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 8:48 pm

      It’s so tempting! I get in this weird loop where I just jump from site to site… Twitter, Feedly, Instagram, Facebook then back to Twitter, email, Twitter, Instagram… it’s kind of awful, but hard to stop once I start doing it.

  • Heidi'sbooks March 28, 2015, 10:18 am

    Exciting! Well, except for the broken plate and the forgotten article–but it’s nice to know we all have those little frustrations. Thanks for including those too!

  • Trish March 28, 2015, 10:23 am

    I love that you included two different evenings. Goodness when you have to cover meetings in the evening that makes for a LONG day!! And I love your little pull-out cutting board.

    I keep meaning to get up earlier in the mornings. YEARS ago I used to wake up early and read/blog around 6 am and it was nice to have that quiet time. You would think I would need that more now that I rarely have quiet time but I guess sleep wins. Funny to see how many people snooze repeatedly in the morning.

    And responding to comments. I HATE that I had to let this go, but I had to let this go. Between writing my own posts and responding to comments and reading other posts, something had to go. It’s amazing how much time it really does take up. 🙁

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 8:55 pm

      I wouldn’t stress too much about not responding to comments… things have to give, at some point, and if I were going to make more cuts to blogging it’s where I’d focus. For now, posting less seems to be an ok balance, but who knows how things will keep changing 🙂

  • Chrisbookarama March 28, 2015, 12:56 pm

    Love the photos! Really enjoyed seeing your Day in the life!

  • Jennine G. March 28, 2015, 1:06 pm

    whether Trish knows it or not, this is a very bookish type of post to start. The narrator in Our Town states: “So—people a thousand years from now…This is the way we were: in our growing up and in our marrying and in our living and in our dying.”

    The whole purpose of that play is to show the beauty in every day life and all that it brings. I’m loving these posts.

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 8:56 pm

      I love that quote! Thanks for sharing.

  • Ciska @ Ciska's Book Chest March 28, 2015, 2:29 pm

    Snoring partners are the worst. That is why I always try to sleep before he does even when I would have liked to read more.
    Websites that do not cooperate are the worst!

  • Mysterious Bibliophile March 28, 2015, 3:35 pm

    Terrific post! It sounds like a productive albeit tiring day. And I am married to a snorer, so I feel your pain. 🙂

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 8:57 pm

      I’ve started wearing ear plugs, but they’re not always enough… I’m investigating other options 🙂

  • Literary Feline March 28, 2015, 5:00 pm

    Your day brings back memories of when I worked at a small newspaper. 🙂 Oh, helping to plan a literary festival! How fun!

    I’m a bit of a smartphone addict too and can appreciate your effort to try to break the habit. I’ve been trying to do that in the mornings–meaning not check my phone right when I get out of bed, to wait until after my work out so my mind has time to wake up without starting the busy right away. It’s an ongoing battle.

    Thank you for sharing your day!

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 8:58 pm

      I’d like to start my day without my phone as well, but at this point I like having time to catch up on blog reading, etc, before the day really gets started. It’s an ongoing challenge to find some balance with it all.

  • Care March 28, 2015, 6:45 pm

    Awesome. I love seeing a glimpse into your day. A lot seemed to go wrong? but you always show so competent professional and take-on-the-world capable. I still remember that day when you checked your back account for your first real paycheck. I think that is what it was… Anyway, it is a cool fond memory of you.

    • Care March 28, 2015, 6:45 pm

      “bank” account….

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 8:59 pm

      I think there were just lots of little things that went awry… my whole week seemed to go like that though, so who knows. Some weeks are more competent and professional than others 🙂

      I remember that too! That first trip to BEA was just like three weeks after I started my first job after grad school — it was such an exciting time!

  • Julie S. March 28, 2015, 8:17 pm

    Oh your 10 minute commute sounds awesome. Also, KITTY!:)

  • Erin March 29, 2015, 9:16 am

    So fun to read about your day. I’m loving these posts! I, too, did the “screens off” reminder on my phone for a while, but it got to the point where I’d turn it off without even registering what it was. Soooo, I think I need a new approach, heh. I’m envious of your “you time” in the mornings! I get up with my husband to make breakfast and see him off to work, and then (even though I work from home and for myself) I tend to feel obligated to jump right into the work day. Maybe I’ll see if I can institute some “me time” in between 🙂

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 9:02 pm

      Alone time in the morning is key for my sanity. The boyfriend and I are good at giving each other space, but I still need time without any other humans around.

  • Trisha March 29, 2015, 10:12 am

    I am twitching thinking about the horror of night meetings. Past 4:30pm, I lose my ability to be positive and happy for meetings.

  • Sheila (Book Journey) March 29, 2015, 10:34 am

    I love the variety in your day and you incorporated books and TV!

  • Esme March 29, 2015, 2:38 pm

    sounds like a busy day-you are like me-I love changing into PJ’s early.

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 9:02 pm

      I am in pjs (or at least sweatpants) as early as possible. Life is better that way 🙂

  • Michelle March 29, 2015, 9:26 pm

    I love the idea of setting an alarm to force you to get ready for bed. In fact, I might be trying that myself this week.

    Can I just say how much I am loving these glimpses into everyone’s lives? I feel like I’m getting to know everyone so much better now!

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 9:03 pm

      I feel the same way. It’s so awesome to get a little taste of what everyone else does when they’re not being super book nerds on the Internet 🙂

  • Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy March 30, 2015, 12:19 am

    It’s so great to read your post – I think working for a newspaper is a very interesting job. It’s also so great to be able to go home for lunch sometimes – I remember loving being able to do that when I was in college. Thank you for sharing!

  • Lindsey March 30, 2015, 12:25 pm

    I love that you showed an evening at home and one where you were working. I think that’s part of the problem with an evening routine. It’s hard to fall into a similar rhythm each night when the hours before are so different!!

    • Kim Ukura March 30, 2015, 9:04 pm

      That’s very true. I have a much more consistent morning routine than evening routine because every night seems to be a little different.

  • Elizabeth March 30, 2015, 3:47 pm

    Sounds like you get a leisurely start to the mornings… I have always liked to take some time to myself when I first wake up to read or internet or just enjoy the quiet or whatever, but those days don’t happen as much any more, as I am all about the sleep any more.

  • susan April 3, 2015, 6:18 pm

    Love the glimpse into your Day in the Life. I recall many glitches in newspaper life. Why why why is right?! Cheers Kim