I Am, and So Are You

sylvia plath bell jar flowers

 

I never thought I would do anything like this. Starting a magazine seems like it would fall under the category of “things I want to do one day when I feel like a more established and adequate human being.” Now, I have to see it as, “What better way to become established, to feel adequate, than to just do the thing you want to do?” I agonized in my idleness, waiting for the site to be setup. I didn’t know what to do with myself and could feel the lusting tendrils of apathy curling back around me. So, imagine my relief when I received an email saying everything was ready to go. Now we only wait for the design, which we’re hoping we’ll be able to launch alongside our debut issue in April.

What I’ve come to realize in the months since Ashley and I decided to start Loveliest is that taking yourself seriously as a creative and professional and creative professional, doesn’t just happen. It’s something you have to decide. I am an avid believer in the idea that you have to take yourself seriously for others to take you seriously, as well. In fact, I have not once squealed, that I can remember, over the fact that this is all happening, more or less, as I envisioned it in my many fantasies of starting a magazine. This isn’t because I despise squealing or do not think this is a venture capable of inspiring excitement, only that I feel it will help me to focus better if I don’t look at this as an interesting new hobby, but instead as a potential career-maker. I want to have fun, and I am having fun in what little I’ve gotten to do so far as a Creative Director this early in the business, but it’s also important for me to approach this as work, a job, something that I am responsible for, and if it doesn’t get done then I’ve failed as an employee to this magazine.

It can be overwhelming to think of all I want to do with Loveliest. I constantly have to remind myself that, in order for me to properly build this magazine, I must peel each goal off in layers. And carefully. This is a learning process for me as much as it is a job I’m trying to establish myself in, and it’s essential that I find just the right people who understand what I’m trying to create and can execute their duties according to that vision. I included the above quote from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, because  it is a special moment in the book that inspired incredible empathy in me. I don’t like to think of jobs as defining who we are as people–Margot Fonteyn was more than a performer, Henri Matisse was more than a painter, Madeleine L’Engle was more than a writer–but I do feel a stronger inclination of applying myself to work than I’ve ever felt. As artists, whether we’re writers, photographers, painters, pianists, muralists, etc., there is a strong sense of purpose and obligation we feel to our work and our audience, but as an editor there is a different texture in the work, one that I don’t feel I’ve really had a chance to flex myself in since college.

So, there is a keenness to starting the magazine now, in all facets of this new job. I want the fabric and design of each issue, and especially when we get to our print editions, to invoke intimacy, immediacy, and enlightenment. We want you to find your way with us and to feel stronger in yourself through the pieces we publish, and to maybe even be inspired to create your own body of work. I guess because I am so desperate to never feel the intense apathy I felt two years ago that it is important for me to evoke the community of storytelling in this journal, even in the art and photography we accept. I want you to feel the old brag of your heart the way Sylvia felt it, the way her likeminded Esther felt it, the way I feel it now. I am, I am, I am. And so are you.

5 Responses to I Am, and So Are You

  1. I will be following loveliest for a very long time to come. I hope to send you some of my work and I hope one day to have something published in your magazine. Good luck with everything

  2. Thank you for writing this post. It’s so inspiring. I’ve wanted to start my own magazine for well over a year now and I just haven’t because, as you so rightly said, I didn’t feel like “an established and adequate human being”. Isn’t it such a silly state of mind? I’m so looking forward to reading more from this magazine, well done to you for just doing it. I need take a leaf out of your digital magazine!

    • Thank you, Suzy! We’re so glad you’re behind what we’re trying to do here. I’ve learned that you just have to make yourself get on with things. I was in the same position as you with the book I’m writing. You just have to make the decision and do it. It’s really that simple. I know it doesn’t seem like it. It can seem like a mountainous effort. But making yourself do things you’re afraid of doing will challenge you and be much more enjoyable than fearing them. Not to mention, you’ll be sharpening your skill set and building willpower, which will be invaluable to you in the long run. Keep at it and thank you for reading. —Wren

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