We’re not going to be able to make the deadline, which is something that has me really bothered.
That’s not to say that there isn’t going to be a journal this year, because there is: It’s just going to come out later than expected. We’ve already emailed/notified the people who submitted and got in that their work was accepted, and we’re already sent out emails letting people who didn’t get in that we still want them to come to our launch event. There will be a journal available for online viewing on that day (as far as I can tell), but it’s very unlikely that we’ll have actual physical copies at the launch. So, that’s kind of a disappointment, and by kind of, I mean it’s a huge disappointment.
On the one hand, I could complain and point fingers and say that there’s a single source, but I don’t really think it comes down to that, and I don’t think it would be fair, either, because here’s what the situation is. We knew right off the bat that we were going to be shorthanded. We had a little more than half the amount of people we had last year in the fall semester. We didn’t have an art advisor until the end of November (which is honestly the fault of the school if I were to place blame on anybody, but the art advisor we do have now is wonderful and I’m so glad to have her). We lost at least three people at the beginning of the term because of time constraints. Our art team is extraordinarily small.
We also accepted a lot more work than we have in the past; the journal as it is right now is huge in both the layout size (I can’t give exact dimensions until the 25th, but trust me: It’s big and intimidating) and the fact that there are well over 130 pages. We had a lot of work to work with, we only had two actual art majors on the team, and while our managing editor has done some really fantastic work with the photos we have, it’s time consuming and painstaking and when we have the volume of art that we do, it’s understandably difficult to get everything done. I’m pretty sure David’s eyes are falling out of his head. The spreads too have gone through a lot of tweaking, and it really isn’t like this is the only thing any of us are working on: We have lives apart from this journal, and we have work—schoolwork—apart from it that should take priority. It bears mentioning that this is literally the biggest edition of the journal, and we’re doing a lot of interesting things (material and design-wise) that haven’t been seen before.
There’s the issue of front matter and back matter that my end—lit—really should have taken care of back in March. I think I can accept that responsibility: There was a lot that had to be done and should have been done back in the first full week of March that just…didn’t. It didn’t happen, partially because we were working on cleaning up a lot of issues within the lit we accepted, and partially because even during vacation it can take a lot to get everyone in a room at the same time. We should have gotten all of the information for the mission statement, the dedication, awards, the staff page, all set up way back on March 9th or 10th. We also should have probably taken more initiative in getting through copy, and double checking contributor names, and finishing contributor bios back then, but this stuff—the small details—was kind of put on the backburner.
There are a lot of could’ve, should’ve, would’ves bouncing around, and I’ve been thinking about them since last night. Admittedly, I’m a little burned out myself because I do a million other things. I’m feeling the wear of teaching everyday and being the EIC of two publications and trying to meet my own writing goals and making progress towards moving on top of coping with a mood disorder I’ve had most of my life and increasing physical health issues. I’ve been feeling worn out because I can’t hear half the time and my joints don’t work and I’m prone to respiratory health problems, and because even with going to bed at 9PM as often as possible, I still get up at 6AM and I still don’t sleep through the night and I still am tired. Things like what I should have done or could have done to make this journal happen on the day I wanted it to happen are obviously at the forefront of my mind, and it’s not fair to the team and it’s not fair to me. Worrying is my full-time job and everything else seems secondary.
That said, we still have to prepare for the launch party, physical copies of volume 13 available or not. I’d rather have a great journal than a bad one with errors going out. We’re a smaller team, we’ve faced a lot of issues, and we’re still taking a lot of really cool and really good risks—and I have faith that everything will turn out alright in the end. This might be the last volume of the journal for a while, too—so I’d rather make a big impression than flub it.