I used to write, I really did. I had a blog, I loved a good turn of phrase, I had an obligatory column in my college newspaper senior year as the editor. I thought I was going to pursue editing, or writing, or something with both. I was a print media major. I took words-focused classes. I read, constantly.
What I didn't even really see for a long time is that I was also designing. In my senior year of high school, or maybe before, I started a 1-2 page newsletter for my class. Half of the thing was just mini profiles for them, and sometimes the other half was just a chance for our class President (hey, Tim!) to write a little letter to the class. I designed it in Publisher. It wasn't beautiful, but it was adequate.
What my class actually thought about it, I was never totally sure. Did they just humor it? Did they like it? Just how much of a dork was I, actually? But the thing is, apparently people like attention. Being focused on. Given a tiny, tiny platform. Seeing their faces and their friends faces on even an informal publication. They encouraged it -- and whether that was teasing that totally went over my head or genuine enthusiasm? Who knows. My best guess is that is was a little of both. And looking back, who cares? I enjoyed making it.
The summer before senior year I considered starting a school newspaper, but realized that making that happen would be way too big of commitment on top of every other commitment I had going on senior year. But at least I had the Jouster.
I didn't think too hard about it, but I eventually picked a graphic design elective as a college upperclassmen, and I loved that too. When I was editor of the paper, I would stay up even later (aka never slept) helping my managing editor with layouts. When proofs came back, I often sat and helped with the final InDesign changes.
And after I graduated and started a project-managing focused role in publishing, I found myself taking little design projects, web graphics and newsletters, for my old high school. Looking back at those pieces, it is extremely clear that I had not been design major, and was definitely learning as I went. But I liked it. And I kept making, self-teaching, and eventually trying out classes until I was able to pivot into a design job at my current company.
So here I am—mostly designing, but maybe it's time to write again too.