What I Learned in One Year As Editor of EpicPew

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One year? Man it’s gone by so quick. Here’s a few notables I’ve realized as Editor at EpicPew.

And before I begin – HUGE thanks to this wonderful group of people.

It wasn’t a job I did alone

Since May 2015 when I deployed to Afghanistan, Ryan Mayer had been the heavy lifter in editing, scheduling, and David Rummelhoff has been the go-to guy on issues with the site and other undertakings. Other team members have also filled rolls in social media endeavors. This site really has been on their shoulders and my hope is that they all understand my appreciation and thanks for the time and initiative they’re giving every week.

It’s not about me or even the site

It was never about me, but the last year has more than proved that fact. Developing younger writers, some with more credentials than me, others that never wrote a single article; the team grows together and helps to shine Christ’s light on people in many parts of the world.

EpicPew has a seriously diverse team

Over 40 writers have called EpicPew home in the last year. Some have come and gone, others contribute when they can, and others have been there since the idea was conceived. Among all of these, over 70% have an advanced degree in Theology, while just about everyone else is earning an undergraduate degree in religious studies. Apart from that, the team is made up of some from California, Arizona, South Dakota, North Dakota Nebraska, a coupl in Ohio, Kansas, Georgia, Missouri, Indiana, and numerous other states. We have some writers who are not even in college yet, and others whose kids are all graduated. Men, women, some seeking religious lives, others already established in their profession. This group is diverse and we love it!

It really touches people

I’ve received numerous emails about how our humor mixed with teaching, or maybe one specific post, really touched someone. A special moment to me was when a young man emailed me about a post at EpicPew that really challenged him as a Protestant; he wanted to inquire more about Catholic beliefs. It was time consuming to answer all of his question, but he is now a peer Catholic blogger and in full communion with the Church. That’s where this site gets really Epic!

Communication is an invaluable tool

As editor and general leader of this bunch, I’ve had to really refine and reassess, and then refine again and re-reassess the way I approach and talk to people. It has never amounted to barking orders or anything like that, but I have more than once had to remind myself that the good people writing are not writing for me – they are writing for the site and the readers whose lives they are touching.

People come and go, but they all stay with me

Each time I get that email from a new writer, I’m excited to see what new talent and perspective might come from the inquiry. Over time I like to think I’ve become very good friends with all the writers – some were complete strangers, others were lesser known friends of friends. When the day comes that they can no longer contribute, it’s not the end of our relationship, just the end this segment of our relationship and that’s comforting to me. Of course, these writers are my friends, but I consider them my duty to evangelize as well, so when they go on to other things, I like to step back and realize God is putting them on the next level – and that’s Epic!

Choose which issues are battles and which are preferences

Something as simple as our little secret Facebook group was an item I had to let take on a life of its own. At first, my idea for it was to be the place where special announcements were made, the weekly schedule could be posted, and we could toss around ideas. I remember the first time someone posted something other than this agenda in there and I was like ——- . I didn’t know what to do. I did nothing. My conscience told me to see what comes of it. It was a great decision cause now this little group of writers is not a machine – it’s a family. We post prayers, good news about children, job opportunities, degree matriculation, and much more. It’s been things like that were I’ve realize, as editor, I have to choose what’s important and what can be really special if I just let it be what it is.

Funding is seriously needed

This. Whole. Site. Was funded from my pocket. We have adds, yes, but they are meager and almost meaningless. I’ve never once asked for a donation, but I’m giving a lot of thought to opening up an apparel and gift shop in the summer. Running a website is not free and required a significant investment, monthly, and I’ve always wanted to compensate the writers. If you would like to make a donation, please use my Paypal email and I promise to put the money in the right spot: shaunmc04(at)gmail(dot)com

The best is yet to come

^^^ the truth ^^^

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