Time flies when you’re making awful puns and sitting through 2 a.m. production nights. Seems like just yesterday we were tabling for fall open houses and then BAM it’s the beginning of April. While the year is by no means over, the Other Press enters a semi-stasis for the summer months, publishing only once a month with the occasional online update in-between. It’s a chance to give our team some time away so they can recharge their creative fuel cells and get some sunburns. Personally, it’s also a transition period as my year-long term as EIC is nearing its end.
Issue 30 will be my last as Editor-in-chief and it’s somewhat of a relief. Not surprisingly, being at the head of a publication is pretty stressful. What may be surprising though is where a chunk of that stress originates from: my weekly Lettitor. Sure, having the freedom to basically write about anything you want sounds great at first, but that kind of freedom can be suffocating. There’s no way to say this without sounding like an egomaniac, but the Lettitor’s a big part of the newspaper. Aside from the cover, it’s the first thing readers usually see. (The fact that you’re reading this sentence further proves it.) There are a lot of expectations placed on it, though most are self-induced. Should I focus on wittiness? Go for the heart strings? Past editors have used it to preview the issue, while others used it mostly to talk about hockey. I honestly couldn’t tell you what my thought processes have been, but they’re equal parts enjoyable and hair-pullingly frustrating.
Twenty-five Lettitors ago, I found myself dreading the months to come: how could I possibly come up with a new one of these every week? Now, with only four more to go, what once seemed like an impossible, infinite gap of creativity has closed to a meagre four issues’ worth of Lettitors. I have to be picky with what I write about from now on—but before that, I decided to compile a list of Lettitor ideas that just never took off. A couple of them even have 400-word drafts floating around on my desktop but I ultimately decided to forgo giving them their own byline.
“Twenty-three years later, I realize I suck at karaoke”: a to-date timeline of my tragic romance with karaoke. The first time I sang it, the moment I realized I wasn’t good at it, and why that last part doesn’t really matter. But as much as I’m sure you want to hear about the various ways I’ve murdered “American Pie,” I realized it was just an anecdote without a message.
Being tall at concerts: written haphazardly after I’d gotten home from a concert, this was to be my courageous last stand against short people complaining about being behind me at concerts. Basically an extended, “Sorry I’m so tall but not sorry.” When I went back to read what I’d written, it was so unbearably incoherent and full of swearing that I simply deleted it.
The return of pop music to my life: for a bit of context, I come from a jaded musical background where my favourite band for years was Evanescence. When I dropped the Top 40 and started to listen to more diverse music, the genre of pop became the Devil’s music. It wasn’t until recently that I began to accept pop music for its simplistic yet overproduced nature and enjoy aspects for what they are.
“Room on my head for two EIC hats”: I’ve spent the last seven months balancing school with two jobs: EIC for this here weekly publication and EIC for a monthly music magazine. I found out I got the two jobs a week apart and my feelings were, in chronological order, overjoyed, proud, and terrified. Physically, it’s been draining; creatively, even more so. The reality was I needed both jobs to be able to pay my bills and live comfortably, but I had an even more powerful motivator: I loved what I was doing. I still do and I’ll positively miss things about having to check two work email addresses throughout the day, but it’ll also be nice to take a load off.
I’ve had a million other Lettitor ideas come and go, but these were the top failures. I promise it’s all quips and life knowledge from here, so go kick ass on your exams and I’ll meet you all back here in May.
So it goes,