Cindi Leive, Editor-In-Chief of Glamour Magazine shares her insights into what it takes to become an Editor-In-Chief.
What advice do you have for aspiring editors?
Do EVERYTHING—print, digital, social-media; learn how to crop your own pictures and edit your own video—don't wait for anyone to give you permission. If you want to be a writer, or an editor, start a blog, show me your Pinterest page—all the tools are yours without anyone in a corner office having to give them to you. That's a blessing, so use it!
What are some characteristics you feel an Editor-in-Chief needs to have?
A thick skin and the ability to read in a moving vehicle.
What do you feel is the future of the magazine industry?
Bright, fun, and impossible to predict. I think digital will obviously grow, but I love print and think it will never die—though it will certainly become a different part of our overall picture.
What has kept you motivated throughout your time in the Publishing industry?
The constant change. More has happened over the last three years than in decades. The shift to digital, the shift to being a brand, the huge changes in our audience of women—it's amazing. I don't think anyone could be bored or unmotivated right now.
What was your first internship?
After a series of random jobs (including giving $5 haircuts in my dorm room in college), I got an internship at the Saturday Review, I got to do practically everything I asked for—write, edit…, it was a thrill. I remember staying late, unasked, one night, to read proofs of a story and thinking, "I can't believe people actually get paid for this."
What is a typical day for a Glamour editor?
There is no one typical day—but if there were it would include print issue planning, digital strategy meetings, writing, editing, social media, representing the magazine on TV, wrangling our resources and, oh yeah, there's also fashion shows, openings, events and trying to keep up with the zillion things our readers are doing, saying, pinning and thinking. Sorry, I have to go lie down after typing all that.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Talking about ideas with our edit and art staff. There's a saying about newspapers: 26 letters, 10 digits and a miracle every day. Magazines and now websites are the same way—every day, week, month and now minute with social media, you get to reinvent how you talk to your readers. That creative work is addictive, and any time I get to do it, it's the best part of my day.
How do you prepare for your day?
I'm one of those annoying morning people. I get up psycho early (around 5) so I can have peace and quiet to exercise, answer emails, edit and generally hear my own thoughts before the chaos of my day begins (and my kids get up). I used to try to keep myself from emailing anyone at that hour, for fear of looking like a crazy workaholic, but a few years ago I just gave up. The flip side is that in the evening, I don't usually answer emails. That's family hangout time, or out-at-events time, or catchup with Breaking Bad time.