500. It’s a pretty big number. Nearly ten years’ worth of weekly columns under the moniker “In Step,” a title suggested by my dear friend, co-worker and “agent” of sorts, since passed, Peter Schleifer. It was meant to be a take off on my - at that point - 13 years of dancing and the idea that, somehow, I could find a way to engage our weekly readership with my random ramblings and musings on life. 

It sounded like a pretty tall order then (and remains so), but, having had a passion for writing since the days of poetry units and short story exercises in elementary school, I felt I was up for the challenge. To be given the opportunity to write for a living, to do something I loved and reach an audience… well, that’s pretty special any way you slice it.

Suddenly, all those years of working on the high school newspaper, of fine tuning profiles and features in college, and even piecing together my 50-page Honors thesis, came rushing back. The topics may have been varied, the styles quite diverse, but at the root of it all was that feeling that this was something I could do. 

Sure, there have been weeks when coming up with an original idea, any idea, was somewhat tedious. Scanning through the archive, there have been plenty of recycled concepts, even a few exact re-runs of “classics.” (Classics? Really? Who do you think you are, Ed Lowe?) But through it all, that same passion has always remained. This is why I studied journalism. This was the reason for my career choice, in spite of all those detractors who warned that it was impossible to make a living in this field.

Ultimately, though, it was exactly that “reality” that served as added inspiration for me to go after my dreams. After all, who’s to say what’s profitable, what’s a guarantee for a success? And what is success, if you’re not doing something you love? 

Ten years. 500 columns. Such a long time; such a lofty milestone. So much has changed since July of 2005, much of which has been reflected in those columns. They serve as a public diary of sorts, documenting the highs and lows, and a showcase for my efforts to somehow encapsulate them into words. 

Thank you to all those readers who have supported me along the way. Without you, there would be no “In Step.” 


{Published: March 11th, 2015}


{Published: March 11th, 2015}

Jamie Lynn RyanComment