It’s coming up on 11 p.m. and I just ate my second meal of the day — my first being a fried egg and some sausage at lunch. It’s been a busy day. It’s been a busy week. I’m not quite sure what’s going on, but I think I accidentally did something?
A little over three years ago, my friend Diana asked me if I would help her start a literary journal, District Lit, and of course, I said yes. We had no idea what we were doing, but we fumbled about in the dark until we’d made something people seemed to enjoy.
But it’s Di’s baby, and it’s made in her image, and for the past few months, I’ve been wanting a baby of my own, somewhere I could do exactly what I wanted. So six days ago, I told Di I’d be leaving District whenever she could find someone to replace me. I told my officemate, Jenny Brown, that I was doing so, and I think that’s when we accidentally excreted what’s turning into The Mondegreen. In six days, we’ve put something together that really feels like it could be a meaningful part of my life. We dragged our friend Matt Sailor into it, and now we have a little staff: me at managing editor, Jenny at poetry editor, and Matt at fiction editor.
Until yesterday, we’d mostly been speaking of it in the vague future — something to be thinking about months down the road. But then I got bored and put together a website. And then it looked alright, and then I wrote a call for submissions that I think actually expressed what I want to see in magazine form, and then, in a fugue state, I’d made a Twitter page and a Facebook page and started promoting the damn thing, and now I feel like it’s snowballed and I feel completely out of control. Good, but completely out of control.
It’s been a strange range of moods. At one point last night, I felt exactly as I did years ago, when I was a Sad Person. Most of yesterday was spent in basically a manic state, buI at the end of the night, as I sat there watching our Facebook likes grow far more quickly than I’d expected, I was exhausted and overwhelmed and vacant. After a day’s excitement, I was just a void sitting there on my couch, staring at Facebook notifications.
And that’s a bit how I feel again today. All day — about 14 straight hours — I worked and worked and spent too much money I don’t have this close to the end of month (when did Submittable become so extortive???) and put out a dozen random little fires that I wasn’t expecting, and now, I swear to god, I’m watching Notting Hill because my brain, she just can’t do this anymore. She needs to just tuuuuuurn ooooofffffff. My spine hurts from sitting at my laptop all day. My eyes hurt, and even though I just plowed through a late dinner, I still feel dizzy from not having eaten all day. I almost fell over trying to stand up in the shower.
So. Not doing great, in some ways. But doing really great in other ways that I think are more important. The thing is, I would put in 14 hour days every week if it meant I could do something like this for a living. I’ve always thought I was a person who just pretended she wanted to be in charge, but who secretly wanted someone to assign her tasks and measure out her day. But I think I really do like being in charge of my own day. I mean, I’ll do this for free or, more likely, for a loss, but Jesus, there are people who just do this for a LIVING. They actually support themselves doing something they want to do. How strange and impossible. Ah well.
I have to figure out what I’m going to teach tomorrow. I assigned a reading on sonnets I haven’t read since I was studying for comps, and lord knows I’ve already forgotten everything I learned for that. Or, I could watch Notting Hill. I’m probably gonna watch Notting Hill. Yup.