What Happened?

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From commenter “Sam”:

what happened to this site? isn’t it supposed to be a monthly (or was it weekly) magazine?  you haven’t updated the stories in months.

Thanks for your interest, Sam. You’re right. Something has happened here. Or rather, not happened. I left the rudder for a little while. Here’s the explanation. But first lemme start by saying that I hate blog posts that start “Sorry I haven’t updated in a while,” or “I feel really bad I haven’t posted on this blog in a while.” My philosophy with blogging is if you have something good to share, great. If you don’t, then don’t. The last thing the internet needs is content for the sake of content. So I’ve been sparing myself the dirge of churning out blog posts and updates if my heart isn’t in it. I don’t want to make excuses,  you don’t want to hear excuses, we’re all better off. But it’s a different situation when someone asks for an explanation like Sam here. So. On to the explanation…

I got a new job. I’m managing a chocolate factory. Seriously. I helped a buddy start a chocolate factory cause he’s good at it and I had access to investors who’d be interested in such a thing. I believed in the business so I decided to devote my time and resources to it.

But this new job was acquired after I had a mild nervous breakdown/existential/identity crisis at the end of 2010 that caused me to drastically reassess and change the course of my life. I’m not ready to write about that yet. But it is one of the reasons why this site has been slowing down on posts.

I also got involved doing organizing and volunteer work with a group called Resource Generation. It’s timely, relevant work work I believe in. This has also been taking time away from me reading submissions and posting new stories and essays on the site.

So much has changed from the days I was able to devote hours upon hours of my time to doing this magazine, a rad thing I started with what seemed like a limitless surplus of energy and focus. Now it seems like I’ve reached capacity. So what’s all this mean for the future?

For submitters: I’m really sorry we’re so backed up with submissions. Some of you haven’t had your submissions read in a year. That sucks, I know the feeling. If it’s any consolation, it’s not personal. I don’t think you’re undeserving of eyes on your words. If anything, I’ve broken my end of the bargain and I apologize for that. I’m trying to find a situation where you’ll get your submission read and I have time to do the things I need to do.

For print subscribers: I’m also trying to find the time in my schedule for putting together two print issues a year. Things may undergo a restructuring regarding subscriptions and when/if they do, you’ll be the first to know.

For the India Issue: It’s 80% done and should be of to the printers by the end of May at the latest.

For Annalemma Magazine in general: I honestly don’t know right now. I want to keep it going but it’s a lot of work for very little reward. I love connecting with readers, I love being involved in the editorial process, I love working with artists. But making this thing sustainable financially has and always will be hard and will never be easy. And with all the responsibilities listed above I’m struggling to find the time to make it work. The good news is I want to and desire is the root of action.

Thanks for your patience and support through all this. I know it’s going to make an interesting story one day if I can ever wrap my head around it.

15 Comments

  1. Eliza says:

    Thanks for all you do (& all you’ve done)! Best of luck with the new jobs. Chocolate Factory = Awesome!

  2. Duffer says:

    Need readers? Annalemma’s too valuable to let go; perhaps you can steer and others will row/man the rudder?

  3. Matt says:

    Annalemma is a tremendous online and print publication. I agree with those who say it’s too valuable to let go, though I don’t get the impression that’s the plan, exactly, at this point. Possibly worth your while to get readers who could filter the wheat from the chaff, as the saying fairly dismissively goes. Realistically it should be the stuff that’s a good fit for our journal and we’re really excited about from the works that didn’t do that, from our sensory standpoint.

  4. Dan says:

    Hi Chris,

    I was really sad to read your post. Annalemma is and remains of the most gorgeously designed journals out there. You are an invaluable contributor to the lit scene. It would be really tragic to see Annalemma fold. Can you reduce the mag’s print schedule and/or delegate web duties to someone else a la Hobart?

    Best,
    Dan

  5. eric says:

    DELEGATE! thats one thing all managers must learn– I’m sure you can have tons of volunteer readers willing to help you. let others help- trust them.

    thanks for letting us know whats going on.

    good luck with whatever you decide

    E

  6. fromm says:

    ” Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself.”

    And it aint always easy.

    But you have talent. I think your website and your magazine are great.

  7. christopher. says:

    Good sir,

    I echo everyone else in saying I hope Annalemma doesn’t go the buffalo way, but of course, all things must come to an end, and if you push to keep Anna alive for others even though your heart’s not in it, it’ll suffer. I’m glad to hear the desire is still there, though, despite energy and time not being so readily available.

    I can completely relate. I was heavy-footed with Vouched back in Jan/Feb., struggling with some very similar things it seems. In the end, I’ve learned that delegating is awesome, and I’m super thankful that Laura in ATL has taken some of the load from me, and I’m learning to rely more on my contributors at the site. Delegation is key, and may help lessen the load.

    I wish you all the best, and as always, Vouched is here to support you however we can.

  8. austere says:

    Don’t go.

  9. Ah…It would be sad if Annalemma was to fold. I sincerely hope it won’t.

    Many thanks to Chris for all the excellence.

  10. Jennifer says:

    I’d volunteer to be a reader. . .

  11. I agree with you 100% that making useless blog posts just for the sake of posting something makes no sense.. I live in Finland and have been following your blog for quite a while and Hopefully we’ll be seeing many more useful and interesting posts from you in the future.

  12. jason says:

    just man up already and sent all the stories back with a form letter explaining the situation.

  13. chris says:

    @jason: what’s your definition of a man?

  14. Rebecca says:

    Well, for a start, I would say – fulfilling the responsibilities you have willingly taken on.
    Espescially when others are depending on you.

    Not flitting about and changing your mind all the time. Commitment.

  15. chris says:

    @jason: point taken.
    @Rebecca: Depending on me for what?

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