Alanna Rusnak, editor of Blank Spaces Magazine

Our Editor in Chief, Alanna Rusnak, is a dreamer and a doer. She has a love for words that has been with her since the moment she could hold a pencil. With some self-publishing under her belt, more than 10 years of design and layout experience, and a whopping get-er-done attitude, she's excited to take on the challenge of a literary magazine.

She published a 'Why Not' manifesto on her personal blog when she decided to launch Blank Spaces. You can read the words of her heart below:


When I was a child, we swam at a place called The Varney Hole—though we more lovingly called it The Beach. It was a sludgy, brown-watered pond, fed by a little stream that ran behind. There was a high wooden dock, painted to match the colour of the water, and I would watch 'the big kids' launch themselves from that platform—legs kicking, screams echoing—into the slimy depths below.

I remember thinking, 'if only I was that brave...'

I would ease into the water slowly, sucking in my stomach and walking on my tiptoes as if that would save me from the cold water lapping against my belly. If only I was brave enough to jump off that dock and get it over with quickly...

I would get in. Eventually. But so much time was wasted testing the waters that I limited the time I had to enjoy it. I lessened my fun by rejecting bravery.

Bravery, however, is a funny thing; because, in some instances, it can be associated with stupidity.

Why would you jump off a dock? There could be sharp rocks at the bottom! You could slip at the end and hit your head! What if someone jumps at the same time and pins you to the bottom?! YOU COULD DROWN!

But let me tell you this: you can't drown if you're not living.

Months ago, an idea took root in my head. I wrote some things down. I spent hours researching and I even designed a logo — only to shake my head in despair and say: who in the world do I think I am? I am nobody. There's no way I could pull this off!

How small and sad fear makes us.

I let my idea drop.

But, instead of landing on the ground beside me so I could walk away from it, it landed in my shoe—a painful annoyance that ground at my sole (and my soul) and though I fought and fought to pretend it wasn't there I still felt the scab of its presence, digging itself deeper, repeating the frustrating mantra of TRY. TRY. TRY. TRY.

And I was all like, GET AWAY FROM ME!

And it was all like, TRY, YOU SISSY!

On the May long weekend, I pulled up my leadership socks and went with a group of our church youth to a retreat. (Yes, I was pretending to be 16 again and yes, even grownups can find richness in an event geared towards high school kids.) One of the speakers drilled her words straight to my core.

I came away with this:

My ideas are beautiful and sacred. My dreams are worth chasing after. The only failure there is, is in not trying. No one ever changed the world by listening to their fear.

And so, that idea? It is in motion and already gaining momentum and I really really really want your support in it. Are you ready?

drum roll please...

I am starting a magazine!

And yes, it's insane and crazy and stupid BUT every good idea EVER was insane and crazy and stupid on some level.

I'm following the stirrings of my heart and my heart is telling me to create something that champions other creatives like me who feel stuck and unheard. My heart wants to be the voice of the fearful, to coax out the closet writers, artists, dreamers; to build something from the ground up that will put a little beauty into the world.

Am I scared? Yes.

Will that stop me? No.

What if I fail? Who cares! Living is in the trying.

So watch out. I'm jumping off the dock and I plan to make a splash, so either back up or come join me. And I do hope you'll join me! Swimming is no fun alone.
  —May, 2016

why did we name our magazine blank spaces?

Are you interested in the story behind the name Blank Spaces?

You can read all about it in this quirky little post [Taylor Swift Who? (or What's in a Name?)]


Thanks for visiting!

© Alanna Rusnak Publishing est. 2016 and Blank Spaces Magazine