By: Amie Chadwick
Stress. Lots of it. But when you are a college student, that's something you become greatly accustomed to, right? Wrong.
Well, not wrong. Personally, I know stress well. It is my regrettable best friend, the one who always shows up to special events drunk and salty toward living creatures. You know, like the overly involved mother figure who doesn't even know how to support her own breasts, let alone you. It's the guy who smells so bad that you'd rather suffocate to death than risk catching his sent but, because you're a nice person, he is constantly and consistently jumping out from behind corners to talk to you. And, because you're a nice person, you teach yourself how to speak audibly without breathing in or out.
You get the overly metaphorical idea. I'm well acquainted with stress, it's symptoms and the effect it has on my work and life. However, I find that it has a tendency to show up with different personas each time (see above for examples).
This first publication has introduced me to a new side of stress. For example, today is the final day for submissions. As expected, we have had quite a few last minute entries. However, I did not expect the number of entries to feel so over whelming. My cohorts, I mean colleagues, and I now have ten days to read, evaluate, edit, format and publish these pieces. That's a lot of work for ten days. Particularly when you have multiple papers, projects and performances (in case you haven't read my sparkling bio yet, I am a musician) during the same ten days.
The worst/most stressful part? Figuring out the standards, what we should reject, and how to reject them. This is someone's art. This is their baby, made of the deepest parts of their being. In the words of Don Richmond, we are "working with their heart and soul." There are very few feelings that are worse than rejection, especially when it is something so personal and beautiful as writing.
Honestly, we have had so many good submissions that this isn't a huge problem... this time. However, our goal is to create an opportunity for writer's to become better at their craft. For some authors, being published right away is not the best to do that. That's where our Third Chance program steps in.
Figuring out what to publish or not publish will be an ongoing process throughout our lives. I'm just hoping that this first publication will prove be the most stressful and beneficial.
Honestly, this is the most wonderful and welcomed stress I have had to endure yet. I would gladly take on this exciting project even with the crazy uncle, the one who gets high at a bar mitzvah, hanging out on my living room couch. At least this stress persona will benefit me as a writer, editor, and human being. Plus, he probably has some good stories to tell. I know I will when this is all over.