Thursday, July 4, 2013

I was a teenage copy editor

Uber geek being uber geeky.

First, let me point out that I am not only wearing a Callisto shirt but chakram earrings. I was that hardcore a Xenite. If you don't even know what any of that means, we might not be able to virtually hang out anymore, and I'm sorry that you aren't more cultured. Second, the picture above shows me in my junior year of high school hard at work putting a floppy disk into a super old Mac so that I could use PageMaker to do some layout work.

Newspaper - and especially my journalism teacher Ms. Warren - was formative for me in a lot of ways. I started doing UIL competitions in journalism during my freshman year while I was still in the intro class. The next year I joined the staff as a writer, then I moved up to Copy Editor, and I was Editor my senior year. For the first time in my life, not only was I writing but people were reading my writing on a regular basis. Okay, not a LOT of people since it was a small school and not a well-loved paper, but it was still a boost for me. I did well at UIL too and even went to state for my headline writing skills. No snarky comments about my generally lame titles here, please. I got confident about my ability to write, to get things out on a deadline, and even to polish the writing of others.

Oddly enough it also inadvertently led me to the thing that superceded writing as my primary creative outlet - graphic design. As Editor, I laid out the paper, made plenty of the ads, and made sure the text flowed well. It makes my eyes bleed now to see the things I did, but I glowed with pride over every issue at the time. While sometimes I do miss putting more time into my writing, I don't regret the odd, twisted path my journey is taking. I own my own business, Wilde Designs, selling my art; I work full time as a graphic designer; I have a beautiful toddler, a wonderful husband, gorgeous puppies; and I'm finally putting time back into my writing too. So those of you out there who are still young enough to feel weird about being a newspaper (or UIL or yearbook or whatever) geek, don't. It's part of your experience. It will hep you grow. And, hey, at least it's cooler than chess club.*

*Note: We did not have a chess club at my school. Also? I'm not even sophisticated enough to know how to play chess.
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