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Stubborn Perseverance

by - Sunday, September 01, 2019

the letter from the editor as featured on page 5 of the September 2019 issue of Blank Spaces

It seems like a lifetime ago I posted the blog that shared my vision to start a magazine. What began on a whim has become a living, breathing thing because of you—the ones who read and subscribe and contribute. Through this venture I’ve had the privilege of publishing the work of over 200 Canadian creatives, many of whom told me Blank Spaces was the first publication to accept them. I count this as a massive honour. It’s one thing to share a vision, it’s a whole other thing to see that vision come to light. And it’s only your involvement that has allowed that to happen.

It’s not always easy to do the work involved in such an endeavour. Every hour spent in these pages is an hour I don’t have to dedicate to my personal projects and I’m not going to pretend there aren’t days I’m not frustrated because of this.

I want to be real with you, and I feel like you’ve given me permission over these last three years to do just that: sometimes it’s really hard. Sometimes I want to quit. Even though I have a small team of volunteers I can sometimes feel very alone and even though you’ve proven time and time again that this is making a difference I feel like I fully understand why most independent publications don’t make it past their second year.

Why am I still here? Because I’m stubborn. Because I want to prove nay-sayers wrong. And because, no matter how frustrated I might be on a given day, there are more days that I am overwhelmed with gratitude at the opportunities this magazine has brought my way.

Back in June I led a seminar where I challenged attendees to set goals and reach them despite all the many reasons not to: money, time, fear. There are always reasons not to do something. It isn’t really until you’re in the thick of things that you understand why it’s important to persevere. By doing something bigger than yourself, you grow, you learn, and you prove that you’re capable of success: not success in the sense of money or notoriety, but success in the sense of facing something head on and not backing down. If you’re not willing to fail by trying, then you don’t really deserve any success at all.

Blank Spaces beats to the rhythm of my own heart, and that’s enough. I have a wall in my office where I keep your thank you notes. That is enough. Every time someone submits or subscribes, that is enough. Your partnership is fuel, and a reminder I can lean on when hard days hit me. When I’m complaining that I haven’t had a break for three years, a new email will pop up, thanking me for giving someone a place to start their publication journey. That’s enough.

I’m not going anywhere, friends. There are a hundred reasons to quit something. But there are a hundred and one reasons to keep pushing forward. And that’s enough.

—Alanna Rusnak, Editor in Chief 

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