As some of you know, I was promoted to art director here at the TJ a few months ago, so I have been spending a lot of time behind my desk lately.

I love my new position and thank God every morning on my way to work for the opportunities it gives me, but I desperately miss the reporter-related duties I once had.

I miss getting out in the community and having a reason to be nosy. When I was a staff writer, I felt like I always had the scoop on things.

I could tell you what the county commission discussed at their meetings, who got arrested over the weekend, what the Rainsville City Council was going to purchase for the city, and which lucky kid got their drawing of the weather printed on the front page. Now, I can only tell you how many pages we have and how many ads are on those pages.

I am no longer responsible for the paper’s content; I’m responsible for the way it looks, which can sometimes be more stressful for me than what misspelling a last name was.

This new position has thrown a lot of learning curves at me, but the TJ crew has been behind me the whole way. I’ve learned a lot about the mechanics of the paper and I have gotten pretty savvy with Adobe Photoshop. I have more responsibilities now, so the days pass by quickly. I’m not completely Adobe InDesign illiterate anymore, and I’m more confident with a camera.

It is a job, but it is so much fun. However, for me, nothing compares to getting to write. I loved asking a million questions, I loved having my phone ring at least five times a day and I loved interacting with people in the community.

Hearing that one good quote was what I looked forward to each day, but now I look forward to capturing, or trying to capture, that one good photo.

As far as the writing goes, Bradley made my day Thursday when he told me I could write a column for the paper. Writing a column doesn’t require reliable sources, asking hard questions, or even leaving the office to get the facts straight, but it’s writing nonetheless and I’m thankful for the opportunity to do it again.

I hope to get my feet underneath me enough in this new position to where I can manage both writing for the paper and designing it one day, but for now, the content is in the hands of Bradley, Cody, Hannah and Emily, and they all do an incredible job. I watch them each day as they interview people, type 90 words per minute and stress over getting the facts right the first time.

They genuinely care about the pieces they write and they always strive to do the story’s subject justice. As much as I miss getting to do those things, I know that the content of the Times-Journal is in good hands with them. Now, all I have to do is make sure it all fits on the page so you guys can get the scoop on things, too.

Kayla Beaty is the art director at the Times-Journal. Her email is

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