Puzzles that Fuel My Passions

Why I Love Publishing a Magazine

Lisa Anderson
4 min readFeb 10, 2021
Artwork by jemastock/DepositPhotos.com

It was the lightning moment you always wait for — that choir of angles. I had been talking with my boyfriend about trying to find my passion so I could create a Facebook group. I was feeling lost as to what type of group I should create that wouldn’t get boring too fast. “I have so many passing passions, but I can’t really see my way to my true passion,” I told him.

He looked right at me without blinking an eye and said, “You know what your real passion is? It’s puzzles. That’s why you love graphic design and publishing a magazine. You see it like a puzzle.”

I just started laughing because I had been saying as much a lot lately. “Editorial layouts are like puzzles and publishing a magazine is just a larger puzzle.”

In fact, I had just finished a podcast interview where I said that very thing. The funny part, my boyfriend hadn’t been privy to any of my statements about puzzles. He just knows me better than I know myself sometimes.

I Love a Good Brain Teaser

I started looking back at all my so-called passions over the years and I realized they were all a good brain teaser. I mean if you look at the list of things I would call a passion it stands out pretty clearly:

  • Cooking/Vegan Diet
  • Crocheting
  • Graphic Design/Editorial Layouts
  • Photography/Food Styling
  • Massage Therapy
  • And so much more.

The list really could go on and on. The common thread is that they require a good amount of thinking and puzzling things out. Take photography for example; I don’t just like it in general. I focused on studio lighting. It was the biggest brain teaser of all to me, and it is still the reason I keep coming back to it.

Massage therapy is another good example. I was a massage therapist for seven years. Every time I worked on somebody, it was the excitement of trying to figure out what was causing their pain and how I could help them that I enjoyed. It was the puzzle — the brain teaser.

Creating Custom Puzzles

I used to work on puzzles with my grandma growing up. We also played a lot of games like cribbage, Skip-Bo, dominos, and Yahtzee. I can see now how I tried to fill that void in my adult life. It was probably one of the things that pushed me into returning to school for graphic design at the age of 30.

Graphic design has been one of the passions I have not given up. Sometimes it feels like I am giving up because I don’t like to design a lot of things, like logos for instance. Now I understand I love editorial layouts because it is like creating custom puzzles. No story is the same and while there are clear rules to follow, it is the act of trying to figure out how to construct beautiful designs within those rules that thrills me.

Hello Magazine World!

About halfway through my degree, I began to imagine publishing a magazine. Self-doubt kept me from doing so for nearly five years, but the pandemic is what finally pushed me into it. While I had worked as a graphic designer and marketing assistant in the magazine industry, I had never acted as a creative director, publisher, or editor in chief. The joy I felt was astounding when I started putting together the first issue of The Chews Letter, a digital and print on demand magazine about food. It was the biggest brain teaser and custom puzzle I had ever worked on in my life. I was hooked.

Small Business Puzzles

Coupled with the fact that publishing a magazine allows me to piece together a puzzle with every issue, owning a small business just fuels the fire. There are so many puzzles in a small business that you often find yourself feeling perplexed, but I quite enjoy that feeling.

Discovering my passion was a lightbulb moment. My entire driving force behind most of what I do clicked into place, just like pieces in a puzzle. All that is left to discover is how I should use this information to create a compelling Facebook group.

Interested in learning more about The Chews Letter? Click here to visit the website.

Lisa Anderson is the publisher of The Chews Letter magazine. Her mission is to bring people together by starting a conversation that highlights our humanity. Her editorial, design, and photography work has been featured in In Fitness and In Health, The Chews Letter, Designer Original, and several community publications. If you would like to receive delicious recipes from her magazine in your inbox, be sure to sign up here.



Lisa Anderson

Lisa is the Publisher & CEO at Lisa Anderson Media. For publishing opportunities visit lisaandersonmedia.com.