Monday was the first day of the rest of my life. More specifically, it was the first day of the rest of my life after the newspaper business.
After graduating from Stephen F. Austin State University (#AxeEm) with a journalism degree 20 years ago, I spent the majority of my career as a sports writer attending high school athletic events, furiously recording statistics, talking to players and coaches after games, running my poor vehicles to death and writing stories under strict deadlines.
And while having your name in the paper all of the time, meeting lots of cool people and getting into events for free are all nice perks, it’s not nearly as glamorous as it sounds. Plus, the concession stand diet eventually catches up with you.
The luster of being a newspaper journalist wore off over the last decade, as the business began to die a slow and painful death. I don’t think actual printed newspapers will every completely go away, but many have already withered into shells of their former selves. The internet makes ad sales awfully tricky. The tanking industry tried to take me down with it in the form of a layoff late last year, the first one of my career.
That’s where Imaginuity comes in. I worked a 30-day contract before landing a full-time job with the company. And even though I’m still basically writing, it’s a whole different world working for a digital marketing agency. At newspapers, editorial and advertising are two entirely separate entities that were usually battling each other as much as working with one another. Getting to see things from a different perspective has already been really interesting.
I’m really looking forward to the challenges of writing in new ways about different things. And once high school football rolls around in August, I won’t know what to do with myself on Friday nights. But I’m sure I’ll figure something out.