I recently read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s a book about being a writer, yes, but even more, it’s a book about living your best creative life–via words, music, paint, clay, stage, or anything else that makes your heart flutter.
But surely something wonderful is sheltered inside you. I say this with all confidence, because I happen to believe we are all walking repositories of buried treasure. I believe this is one of the oldest and most generous tricks the universe plays on us human beings, both for its own amusement and for ours: The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.
The hunt to uncover those jewels–that’s creative living.
At Literary Mama, we have always prided ourselves on working with writers to dig up those strange jewels. Editors look for a rough diamond and when they find it, they spend time sanding, smoothing, and polishing so that it becomes nothing less than the reflection of the brightest star. Look back through our nearly 20 years of pages, and you’ll find many, many gorgeous, glittering gems.
I agree with Gilbert that something beautiful is sheltered inside each of us. And for nearly ten years, I’ve reveled in the pursuit of others’ buried treasure by serving as a blog editor, creative nonfiction editor, senior editor, and editor-in-chief at Literary Mama, as well as turning the organization into a 501c3 nonprofit. Now, I’ve decided it is time to step away as editor-in-chief and give others a chance to step up. It’s time for me to refocus on the hunt for my own buried treasure and reinvigorate my personal creative life.
It has been a privilege to work with the dedicated staff here, to read submissions and work with writers, to keep alive the legacy of publishing the very best writing for and by mothers. I’ve learned an incredible amount about publishing, built strong friendships, and connected with many talented writers. Most of all, I have remained dedicated to Literary Mama because I believe in the importance of supporting mother writers.
What I know after nearly ten years is that Literary Mama is in itself a gem. As you spin it slowly in the sunshine, it sparkles and shifts, and some new facet is revealed with each new poem, essay, story, review, or profile we publish, with each new editor who shines their own light upon it. The journal is not the same entity it was in 2003 when a handful of women in Berkeley joined forces to publish their writing about motherhood. It’s not the same as it was through four other editors-in-chief before me. And it won’t be the same when I, and other current editors, move on. But what it is, what it always will be, is a treasure that shimmers with life, and I feel honored to have been a part of it for the time I was given.
Wishing you each a deeply creative life,