A heartfelt thank you

“Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.” — Charles Bukowski

I couldn’t have put it better myself, as I stare at my computer screen with a mind as blank as the proverbial “paper” in front of me. 

Alas, the life of a writer.

This blog is one of the highlights of my month, as it allows me the room to ‘bleed’ into the page a bit and show my personality, thoughts, and opinions on topics we all find important and relevant.

That being said, after writing about the more technical aspects of hydropower the majority of my working hours (bearings, seals, and rotors, oh my!), I find that the creative side of my brain is a bit under stimulated when I sit down to type the most interesting blog you’ve ever read (or so I hope).

My rusty mental gears have shed a light today on just how much I appreciate all the work you all do, both in the technical and editorial senses. While my expertise is more in the editorial arena, you all bring your years of knowledge and experience to the plate each time you submit an article for Hydro Review and HRW-Hydro Review Worldwide.

In the past two years, I have learned so much about hydropower through my intensive work editing your feature articles. I have also learned a tremendous amount about the industry as a whole.

Perhaps my greatest challenge as an editor, but also my greatest joy, is figuring out how to pull the best possible article out of each author. I say challenge, because I’ve been met with the following responses:

“I’m an engineer. We don’t write. We really don’t.” 

“You’re going to make this sound good, right?”

“I hope you can work with this.”

 Working with the raw material you all send has been one of my greatest pleasures. The process has made for some great memories as well.

In one case, the article I was editing was particularly technical in its discussion of plant optimization. I sent it back to the author and suggested he rethink his delivery a bit. “Write it as if you are sitting and having a drink with me at HydroVision International, telling me about it over a beer. Write like that.”

What resulted is one of my favorite articles we have ever published – one that includes ‘drunken kangaroos’ in the title and text, and one that even gained me a nomination during our annual editorial awards.

What really sold the article was the conversational tone. It kept the reader’s attention while delivering high quality technical content that is relevant, timely, and useful.

Best of both worlds right there.

When articles like that one pass my desk, I have to pause, smile, and thank you all for the amazing work you do that keeps our magazines at such a high standard of excellence.

Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge, expertise, and ideas with the rest of the community.

It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a community to produce a magazine like Hydro Review or HRW-Hydro Review Worldwide.

So, please continue submitting your work to us. Tell us about your projects, your theories, your studies, and your failures. We want to hear it all. Enjoy the writing process and don’t be afraid to have a bit of fun!

To submit editorial content for North American-focused Hydro Review or internationally-focused HRW-Hydro Review Worldwide, please send your article, pitch, or abstract to me at bethanyd@pennwell.com.

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Bethany Duarte formerly was associate editor of Hydro Review and HRW-Hydro Review Worldwide magazines.

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