What Drives You: Lisa Guimond
November 28, 2013
We got a chance to ask editor of 360° AIR CANADA Lisa Guimond a few questions on the fly, pardon the pun. Here are her responses…
What inspired you to become a writer/editor?
A love affair with stories and storytelling. That and I’ve always had a knack for asking a lot of questions – my grade three teacher even gave me a question limit for the day, which eventually taught me to be judicious with my inquiries. Now, I have permission to ask a (mostly) limitless number of questions every day, whether it’s during an interview, while I’m doing research, editing, writing or solving a problem.
What’s most challenging about your role?
As a writer, the biggest challenge is finding the right voice, no matter the form or subject matter.
What’s most rewarding?
To hear from readers that we’ve inspired them to travel to a destination that wasn’t on their radar or that we’ve made them think about a place, trend or experience differently.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I read everything, from newspapers and product packaging, to books, blogs and magazines. (I have enough print subscriptions to run my own newsstand.) I even read the digital versions of the print magazines I love. Knowing what’s out there helps me figure out what’s missing, where there’s a gap and room to innovate.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in business?
You’ll learn more from your mistakes than you will from your triumphs.
Try hard. Then try harder.
What do you love most about what you do?
Making good sentences better. But also: collaborating with a fantastic team of people who teach me how to be a better thinker, writer and editor. And of course, there’s the travel, which lets you discover so many great finds, like the dirty gin martini at Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, Alabama (they stuff the olives with blue cheese).
What is your definition of success?
Any tips for young up-and-comers breaking into the industry?
Say yes more than you say no. (But know when to say no.) Take chances. (But trust your gut.) Be meticulous, no matter what the task. (Others will always notice if you’ve done your very best.) Negotiate. (Yes, you can get what you want.) Have fun.
Dream dinner date with anyone, from past or present and why?
I’m pretty sure that most of the folks I’d like to meet (Vladimir Nabokov, Herbert List) would be terrible dinner companions – they’d likely have strange food habits or not want to eat at all. That said, I’d like to think that enRoute contributor and one of the best food writers around, Alan Richman, and I would get along well – he’s also a stickler for manners and as obsessed with detail as I am. I’d let him pick the restaurant, though.
What are you passionate about?
What motivates you?
The quest to find the story that no one else thought to go after.
What is your staple fashion item right now? Favourite Designer?
I just bought a Burberry London wool and cashmere coat that I’m very excited about. I much prefer a well-tailored, classic piece to a shock-and-awe item. However, my imaginary sartorial double wears sequins on a daily basis. For menswear: Tom Ford for suits, hands down.
Motto to live by: Less is more.