Mindful Monday Roundup – 2024-03-18

anonymous female showing light bulb

Last week’s Mindful Monday Roundup was a bit of a travesty, highlighting only a single YouTube video. Albeit that was an important video in my opinion, but this week I’ve endeavored to share three things. I’m very picky, both because I have multiple other writing projects to tackle, and I don’t want to waste your time.

Without further ado, my Mindful Monday picks for this week:

I’m Not Cut Out To Be A Magazine Editor Because Of These Responsibilities – by Stuart Danker

Great post from the wonderful and humble Stuart Danker. He describes all of the issues that come with being a professional editor, responsibilities that take you away from the actual writing and editing you intend to do. But, I don’t agree that his issue is that he can’t “deal with people.” The responsibilities of a “professional editor” are more like being a professional babysitter of advertising agents, freelancers, and corporate sponsors. 

I did leave a comment which expands on my thoughts on the subject. Sadly, it got posted as “Anonymous” due to a bizarre glitch on Jetpacks’ part… but, anyway, here’s what I said, broken up in paragraphs for easier reading.

“Great post, Stuart. I don’t think that the actual issue is an inability to deal with people. It’s in the ways in which you’re expected to deal with them. I wanted so badly to be a big-time editor when I was younger; but once I realized that the job isn’t really about the writing or the quality thereof, I decided to just be a straight-up writer who was willing to do freelance work for people. 

But even then, I was not willing to compromise on my principles of quality and usefulness even in the face of advertiser demands. After a bit over a decade of having to deal with people who only cared about ROI on their balance sheets, and not about the quality of product that they wanted me to produce, I quit writing as a job and do it now purely for my own enjoyment.

 I’m fortunate enough that my words no longer need to put food on my table or a roof over my head. The best way to “make it” as a writer/editor/content creator these days is to find some niche somewhere where you at the top of that particular community. I’ve never been willing to do that myself because pigeonholing myself is something that I despise. 

I prefer to be a flexible generalist, something that’s frowned upon today in our hyper-specialized society. And I’m told that I’m bad at dealing with people, but the real issue is that I simply don’t stand for BS or corporate mandates that offer neutral or negative value to the consumer.”

The American Diary Project: Preserving American History One Diary at a Time” by Downsizing the Home

This idea is cool as hell, and I give lots of credit to the founder, Kate Zirkle, of the American Diary Project. This post is an interview with Kate, who I completely agree with when she says, “Every story, every experience, every life is worth preserving. Please consider donating your diaries rather than destroying them.”

I threw out most of my journals. That may have been a mistake. But I feel everything worth preserving was transcribed digitally, anyway. In any case, I do believe that the best way to preserve history really is through the works of everyday people. After all, that’s how most historians figure out a lot of hidden truths about our history.

In any case, this project gives me much more motivation and inspiration to share my writer’s notebooks I’ve been collecting digitally over the years. I only have a couple written notebooks still left that I keep stashed away, most of them are full of silly sketches. But, a lot of those became actual characters in stories, and were perhaps the only joy I had for certain periods of my life. So, those sketches are a testament to maintaining my imagination that allowed me to survive to this point. I’d say that’s important to preserve.

In any case, definitely check out The American Diary Project, a legit nonprofit organization. If you have diaries laying around you’d rather just throw out, and don’t mind giving up your copyright to them, I highly suggest contacting the Project.

Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to share with you a YouTube channel that has really given me new perspective on both a multibillion dollar fictional franchise and its author.

Jess of the Shire

Former theater student and current part-time hobbit Jess talks about the art of storytelling, primarily through the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Recently she has expanded into gothic fiction, science fiction, and the extremely trendy Dune. Jess covers pretty much every facet of storytelling, including the art of adapting novels into film.

I’m extremely impressed with the depth of research and attention to detail that Jess gives to her weekly videos. Her passion for both the arts of theater and storytelling is very clear, and her wit and humor bring these topics, often considered dry and academic, to life.

If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, or just have any interest at all in fantasy fiction, I highly recommend her channel. Her video topics have given me a brand new appreciation of the depth of the fantasy world Tolkien created, but also made me think about the development of my own fiction projects.

What have you read, watched, or heard this week that’s had an impact on you? Please share in the comments!

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy.

3 thoughts on “Mindful Monday Roundup – 2024-03-18

  1. Daww, so it’s you! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment! And am always honoured to ever be featured anywhere, so thanks for taking the time. Am not really an editor though. Am just the deputy editor. Which is the exact reason why I’m getting cold feet for the post above me. Because I don’t think I’ll ever hack it. Maybe I should make my own way in fiction somehow, lol.

    1. I think you’re a brilliant writer, Stuart. Just keep doing you and don’t worry about what other people expect from an “editor” or whatnot. If things don’t work out at your current job while you’re doing your best work, then it wasn’t going to be a long-term solution anyway. You’ll find your way to somewhere where YOU are appreciated for YOU and not what they “expect.”

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