Like many kids, I discovered pretty early on that I enjoyed writing and had a real talent for it. I was fortunate enough to have some teachers who saw potential in me and knew — because they were full-grown adults — that there were only a few select industries where talented writers could actually earn a living, and one of those was journalism.
My eighth-grade teacher was the first to introduce me to the notion of working for a newspaper, and after a couple of semesters on my high school paper, I knew there was no other place for me. I spent four years on the high school paper and three after that on the staff of my college newspaper.
I don’t remember my first professionally published byline, but I do remember the first event I had to cover as a young reporter — a county council meeting where the main agenda item was whether the clerk’s office should buy a new printer. (They did.)
I’ve been a reporter, a photographer, a page designer, a graphic designer, a manager, a copy editor, a programmer and, I’m sure, tons of jobs that while I may not remember the actual circumstances, you can bet I retain the muscle memory. It all comes back once I sit at the keyboard.
Today, my life revolves less around helping reporters write and rewrite deadline stories or crafting the perfect headline for a breaking news story. But at the core of everything I conceptualize, write or design is, I hope, some truth.