Preface: I have never written about my job, and I don’t intend on starting today; however, the last three months of my life have been consumed by my, ahem, attempt at making a magazine, so I think it’s okay if I write about a work project – just this once!
If you and I haven’t personally spoken since before July, that’s because I’ve been up to my eyeballs with making a magazine. Yes, a real magazine. Well, it was for work, but still…
So, fast forward to today. I sent my finished magazine to the printers! And in just a few days, I’ll have a shiny, glossy, custom-made-by-Bmac, original magazine! But believe me – I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way. So, I thought I would share with you how NOT to make a magazine!
Step 1: Unabashedly say ‘yes’ to everything
“You want a magazine? Sure, I can make a magazine.”
Oh my gosh, I have no fucking clue how to make a magazine. I know how to read a magazine. Hell, I have stacks and piles and mountains of magazines – everywhere. But make a magazine? You’ve got to be kidding me.
One of my largest character flaws – it must be a missing or mutated chromosome in my DNA – is that I say ‘yes’ to everything. I can’t stand to disappoint people, and I’m also insanely competitive and stubborn. So, saying ‘no’ just isn’t an option.
Step 2: Google can teach you how to do anything
Yeah, I know people go to school for this stuff. I mean, making a magazine is a lot of full-time positions: editing, writing, designing, photographing, and so much more. But, sure, I got this shit. No problem – I have Google.
I Google everything. From colonics to knitting, I have become an expert in just about any random topic you could imagine. And making a magazine is no exception.
Step 3: Have a team who will follow you blindly
I have a fiercely loyal team who know I am a hot mess, but they also know I can pretty much do anything I set my mind on. We may not sleep much, and my perfectionist bitchy side will most definitely come out, but, by god, we’ll make a magazine.
Step 4: Half-ass your way through Photoshop & InDesign
I took so many classes online to teach me these incredibly difficult Abobe products, but let’s face it – to really learn them the right way, I should have taken semesters of school solely dedicated to correcting photos and creating magazine layouts.
In fact, my friend, Tara, told me that she spent an entire quarter at school on learning how to make a magazine cover. A cover! After I heard that, I stopped taking the dinky online classes, and I just started stumbling through that shit. I’m pretty sure I missed a major part of both programs; I kept reading about layers. Layers? What the fuck are those? Ah, who cares…
Step 5: Get friends who know what the hell they’re doing
If you’re friends with me, you will absolutely be asked to help with one of my crazy-ass projects that I was too stubborn to admit that I didn’t know how to do. Don’t worry – if you haven’t been asked yet, you will be.
I file all your talents away in the back of my mind like a rolodex (oh geez, that makes me sound old – who uses a rolodex?!), and you could get called for help at any moment. Day or night. Usually at night. Hell, usually at 2 am.
Step 6: Drink a lot
This magazine has seen my Summer of Sangria, my Manhattan phase, and an entire bottle of Tessora Limone.
I’m not sure if it makes me more creative, but it certainly makes me more tolerable to others. Okay, so maybe it just makes me pass out. Whatever.
Step 7: Stay up the entire weekend before your magazine is due
When you have 30 hours of work left to do on your magazine and only one weekend to do it in, just stay up! Seriously, who needs sleep anyway? But be sure you skip Step 6 if you plan on staying awake. Drinking alcohol is not good for pulling all-nighters.
Just drink lots of coffee, lock yourself up in a room, and put on the Shania Twain station on Pandora. Trust me on that one. Nothing says ‘awake’ like 90s country.
In the end…
What’s sad is that I really could have picked any project in my life for this blog topic. Making a magazine just happened to be the panic-of-the-minute. These steps are honestly how I approach everything in life. I’m not saying it’s right, but it’s who I am.
Geez, no wonder I have anxiety issues.