What's to Come at Atticus Review

A note from our Publisher

Dear Atticus Review Friends,

This is David Olimpio, former (and now again current) Publisher of Atticus Review. As you may know if you've been keeping up with our missives, Keene Short has stepped down as Editor-in-Chief. He's done an amazing job over the last few years steering Atticus Review and I urge everybody to check out Issue 7 as the most recent example of the great work and dedication made by him and the rest of the editorial staff.

I wanted to send a note to let you all know what to expect here at Atticus Review over the coming months as we transition…

…but first, I wanted to talk about a piece of advice I heard from a voice on a YouTube video last week as I was driving through Texas from my home in Denver to visit my sister and see the eclipse in its totality.

Colander Partial-Eclipse View

(YouTube videos being the primary way I receive most of my important life advice these days. )

(The “voice” being that of Wayne Dyer, who was an author and motivational speaker.)

(The advice being this: that in order to keep moving forward in life, particularly after a life-changing event, "You must give up your personal history.")

This really resonated with me. Maybe it does for you too? The giving up of personal history. The letting go of a prior self. It seems freeing, doesn't it?

I used to think very highly of my personal history. I used to think my personal history was me. I don't mean just the traumas or sadnesses, but the happinesses too. All of it — the good, the bad, the people, the places, the events.

What happens to me now if they have disappeared?

If I no longer have the things, the people, the places in my life, what do I actually have?

If I am no longer the person who does such-and-such, then who am I? Who indeed.

Dyer says you can't just put your personal history aside like you would a hat or an old pair of shoes, because it will always still be there for you to look at out of the corner of your eye. Instead, you have to embrace it, understand it, accept it.

And then you have to toss it.

I think it's a hard idea to accept for many writers. We love to hold on to our personal histories and make stories out of them, don't we? I mean, speaking for myself, that's what I like to do. Maybe you do, too? Some of us do it with fiction, others nonfiction, others poetry. But it all amounts to the same thing.

(And by the way, if you’d like to tell us how you like to make your stories, click on our survey below.)

I used to like to put in my "writer bio" that I believed "we create ourselves through the stories we tell." I used to think that was an empowering thought to have as a writer. But it really isn't. Now, I find it limiting. And maybe a little egotistical. I mean, we DO tend to create ourselves through the stories we tell, but that isn't necessarily a good thing, especially if we believe those stories. Because we aren't those stories. That's only what our ego would like to think.

We are nothing but this present moment and that's all we've ever been. The rest is memory (rumination) and forethought (worry). The rest is basically just our thoughts, and our thoughts are not us. Our thoughts aren’t necessarily “true.” Realizing that can be a painful experience, maybe the most painful experience. But once you internalize it, it’s freeing. I think I’ve only been able to do this recently. But who knows. Maybe I still haven’t truly internalized it.

I guess what I would say now is it's good to write the stories down as a way to process them. But then we have to understand that they may or may not be "true." That "true" isn't even the point. Then we have to toss them.

All of this has been stuff I've been thinking about in my own life, but it's also something I've been thinking about in terms of Atticus Review and how to proceed after this new staff transition. This magazine has its own "personal history" to process — the iterations and past editors (including my past self) that have been part of it and shaped its “identity.”

And who and what should it be now?

What I keep coming back to is the idea of sustainability. That feels very important to me when it comes to Atticus Review. Longevity. The magazine has been around in some form for 15 years and I want to help it to be here for another 15 to come. Too many magazines are passion projects, in my opinion. And the problem with that is that when the people driving the passion project lose their passion and fold the magazine, then they take with it all the writing that has been collected.

In order to survive, the magazine has to be treated like a business. Also, it can’t remain the same. It needs to grow, and evolve, and change.

So Atticus Review will be changing. I won’t go into details on that now. There will be a different editorial schedule and process. A new look. We will have a focus on making it beautiful and relevant, yes. But we will also have a focus on making it sustainable.

One thing I knew when Keene told me he was leaving was that in order to make the change I felt was necessary, I couldn’t be Editor-in-Chief again. It needed somebody with a fresh perspective and vision to create something new while still honoring what Atticus Review has been. I feel fortunate to have found that person. She is somebody with a lot of experience and creative energy and she has great editorial ideas for moving forward. We will be announcing who that person is next month.

But first, before that happens, we’re going to take a short break from publishing anything new. Submissions will remain closed.

Let's embrace what the magazine is now and what it has been.

Let's pause and appreciate the beautiful work Keene Short and the prior editorial team did on Issue 7.

More to come.

Thanks for being a part of this.



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