My desk came with a lumbering old Royal typewriter and a stack of unbleached newsprint paper. I was ready to get to work, writing wedding announcements and social club notes for the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern in Wisconsin.
In that early phase of my writing career, the mechanics of cut and paste editing were quite literal. News stories took shape on strips of newsprint Scotch-taped together. Shift return was manual then. Strike-overs required a blob of white-out.
Now, those revisions and second thoughts are so much easier with the agility of computers and word processing programs. But the technical skills required in today's communication process is a lot more challenging than applying Scotch-tape.
For the past month I've been updating my technical talents with a crash course in website management. My patient coach, Jan Weir of Jan Weir Creative Studio, has been teaching me how to go behind the scenes on my website. I'm learning to make changes and additions by myself instead of requiring the assistance of a web master for every update or revision.
It's been exciting, and empowering. Like memorizing enough phrases in a foreign language to be a bit more engaged and participatory on a trip to Mexico or Japan. Or learning to ride a bike! There's a tingle of liberation in this process. And pride. Even so, I'm still gripping the handlebars firmly.
The result of my dive into the thicket of web work is a revamped site that acknowledges the part of me that is definitely "Not the Retiring Type." A year ago, when I started writing a column on aging for Eugene's Register-Guard newspaper, I wasn't sure where the adventure would lead. As it turns out, I've accumulated an archive of "Not the Retiring Type" column that are now available for anyone to read on www.spiritedwalker.com
Challenges and rewards alike seem to accompany the learning process for me. I burrow through impatience, frustration and questions about the value of all this time and effort. But just a glimmer of understanding keeps me going, enduring the awkwardness of being a beginner for the satisfying rush that emerges with each breakthrough.
Take a look at my progress and read a column or two with a visit to the updated and expanded content on www.spiritedwalker.com If you signed up for email delivery of blog entries, you will continue to receive new posts via email but can access old posts on the website.