All the editors on Writer’s Digest staff aren’t just 9-5 editors, we are also writers and storytellers—which is why we are so passionate about writing and publishing. “WD Editors Are Writers Too” is a column on this blog to give you a sneak peek at the folks who lead the WD community—including their quirks, what inspires them and what they are writing outside of the Writer’s Digest world. Today’s pick is Writer’s Digest Assistant Editor Baihley Grandison, who is the newest member of the WD team. (She may be the nicest person I’ve ever met. Or, secretly, a vampire. The jury is still out.)
Assistant Editor, Writer’s Digest
I joined Writer’s Digest in: March 2015
I knew I wanted to be an editor when: When I was little, my grandma used to send me birthday cards written backwards and upside down—a talent I have yet to master—and I’d have to look at them in a mirror to read them, all the while searching fervently for misspellings (of which there were very, very few. Kudos to you, Grammi.) I honestly don’t remember not wanting to be a writer/editor—which is totally cliché but absolutely true.
The book that inspires me most is: The first author 8-year-old me connected with was Laura Ingalls Wilder, but really, she just introduced me to a love of creative nonfiction. From there, there’s been a flood of other memoirs and memoir-y-ish novels: Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Beverly Cleary’s A Girl From Yamhill, the All Creatures Great and Small series by James Herriot. Right now I’m devouring anything and everything written by Bill Bryson. I have no shame in saying I’m seriously considering naming at least one of my future children Bryson (maybe 2-3 of them, who knows.)
Favorite moment as a writer/editor: When you’re talking with someone, and suddenly something they say triggers the perfect potential story idea. I’ve been known to halt mid-conversation and be like, hold on, hold on, gotta write this down. (Sorry to anyone I’ve done this to.) It’s those ideas that, once you let them run, arms flung wide, across the pages, make you lose three hours of time without even realizing it.
Worst moment as a writer/editor: I was speaking at writer’s workshop about a piece I’d written, and I started by making a joke that you’d only get if you had read the piece. Of course, no one had read it yet, so I got blank stares from literally the entire audience. (Rule #1: Never assume you’re as famous as you think you are.)
Any background info you’d like to share: I’m the oldest of five. I’m exceptionally good at falling down/running into things (Is this a talent? I have no idea. But it keeps life interesting.) Post-it notes hold my world together—which says a lot about my world. But it also says a lot about Post-its, if you ask me. Also, if I could wear a baseball cap every day for the rest of my life, I would.
Personal writing project I’m currently working on: I freelance regularly, and right now I’m up to my ears (er, neck) in a blog-umentary about growing out a pixie cut (245 days and counting!).
Welcome Baihley to our staff by following her on Twitter (@BaihleyG) and saying hello!
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Brian A. Klems is the editor of this blog, online editor of Writer’s Digest and author of the popular gift book Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters.