It's been eight months since I wrote about starting a magazine - an incredible eight months of fun, struggle, and, above all, connection - and so I thought it was time to write again. As I sit to blog today, Be For Change has launched an introductory issue in Summer (grab a free copy here) (oops! We've run out of print copies!!! email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a PDF) and our Issue 001 is going out in a couple of days (you can pre-order your copy now)!
As many a good journey, this one did not go as expected. I had plenty of ideas to start with, and I thought I had a clear vision of where I was going. But it didn't take long before I was scrambling for answers to questions I had forgotten to consider. Right at that time, my idea of what would become One Aware magazine started being shaped by the input of others - and I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I struggled with that. I hadn't expected to make it all happen by myself, but I am usually a bit of a lone wolf when it comes to my work. More than that, if eight months ago you had told me how comfortable I would be today relying on others for help, I would have raised an eyebrow (maybe even two). But here I am.
Nowadays I am incredibly happy about the small family that has gathered around One Aware. These are the people who act as a sounding board for ideas in their lunch breaks, call me when I send a sad text about something that went wrong, spell check the articles when they get home after work. Not a single person who helped bring this magazine to life works in publication, or for Be For Change; nope, everyone is elsewhere employed and worked on One Aware in their spare time. They deserve a big round of applause! (oh wait, this ain't a speech... Can you give them some love in the comments?).
These are not the only relationships which have resulted in the amazing feeling of connection I mentioned earlier. It might seem weird, but I feel like I am now connected with everyone who has put work forward to this publication. I get to read each story and see all artwork submissions as they come through our inbox. Most of the time, I open the company's email only to find there is nothing new, but in some awesome days there is an email or two titled 'Submission' - and I practically jump, and get wide grin in my face. It is honestly a privilege to see what our audience submits, even if not all work makes it to print. You are such a diverse bunch, pursuing so many different things in life! I do hope that the magazine does you justice, and I hope that you feel as inspired reading it as I feel when I first open those emails. By the way, I love replying to your emails, asking further questions about what you do and getting more details to edit into your texts. It is my absolute favourite thing when our contributors react to finding out that their work is going into One Aware! (Maybe for the next issue I'll ask to share a few of those emails, because you guys/girls have had some pretty awesome things to say!) (This is yet another reason why we'll keep working with artists and writers who are still establishing their names :)