The Stress of Publishing

Publishing is sometimes a stressful job. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, as stress levels go, publishing is probably down in the low levels of ‘high stress’ professions. However, dealing with the stress of time management is real. The stress of dealing with errors and staff is real. The stress of worrying that you are going to fail is real. The fact is all of us have stress of some kind in our lives. The need to manage it is the key. I think sometimes, writers and publishers experience a real deep sense of imposter syndrome. We feel we are not great, not even good at writing. We feel that we are never going to be good enough, and this feeling is expressed in a number of ways. Artists are more prone to these thoughts for whatever reason, why many authors write and talk about depression.

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We are not alone in feeling the pressure of writing, the push of the creative, and counter creative voices that swirl around in our heads. As a publisher, this becomes more real as I feel almost like a caretaker of work. We hold the manuscript in our hands as it were, and we manipulate it, edit it, put it inside frames, force it to comply with its binding. We are in a way, holding the art of someone’s soul, and I think that as the caretakers it’s our responsibility to make the books the best we can. Are we perfect? Absolutely not. But every day we dedicate ourselves to crafting and creating art. It’s hard to imagine doing anything else with my life. I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I would do if not this. Yet, this job is not just a job for me, its a passion, a love for art, a love for history, a love for narratives that sweep me away too long lost places. It’s holding the precious thoughts of others, it’s reading those thoughts, and getting to know them. It’s a privilege and an honor for us to do what we do.

The stress will always be there, but we can mitigate it by knowing why we do this. We do this because it is our passion, it is our calling, it is a profound connection to others. Take time off to treat yourself, to recoup and recover, and take the next day full of the idea and knowledge that you are important, you matter, you make a difference.

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