EDITH updates, v11

Last weekend was a blizzardy, deep freeze weekend in New York, so we mostly stayed indoors, which given these last couple years of intermittent lockdowns and quarantines, felt like overkill. So we devoted a few hours to Kondo-ing the EDITH offices. The conversation during last Wednesday’s Office Hours proved inspiring. Talk turned to making space for new ideas and new prospects, and the possibility that one might have to make space mentally and literally—as in physically move actual stuff out of your way. So I opened the file cabinet in which I’ve stored papers pertaining to past client projects and upon sifting through a few folders, realized most of it could go. I no longer needed them for sentimental reasons or for ego reasons. And that was freeing. 

Which brings me to another conversation, this one held earlier today, in which Sofia (not her real name) mentioned casually that in freelancing years past she’d look at her bank statement and her calendar two months out and have no idea where the money would come from. No idea. No financial cushion. The point of this anecdote isn’t that a client always materialized, or that she made it through (though she did, and is now doing groundbreaking work that I believe will resonate with people, on the scale of, well, Marie Kondo), but simply this: It’s good to talk about economic anxiety without shame.

In some literary circles, an atmosphere so oriented toward celebrating success, admitting that you’ve suffered from intense money worries can be hard. We might know intellectually that being financially insecure is nothing to be embarrassed about. Feeling that is trickier. I hope that as the EDITH community grows, we encourage much more openness around these issues. 

Meanwhile:

  • Bookshop has announced its Golden Bookmark sweepstakes, and the Grand Prize winner will receive an annual gift card of $600 to spend on Bookshop, plus their bookstore of choice will receive a one-time, $500 donation. If you’re a resident of the U.S., you can enter by visiting this page
  • The people at Des Moines, Iowa-headquartered Moglea (pronounced Moh-glee), make beautiful hand-painted greeting cards, and we stockpile those cards for all occasions. Maybe you’ll like them too?
  • The Genre additions are nearly done! Thanks for your patience and suggestions.
  • A new slate of artistic works entered the public domain last month. Here’s a good list of the 2022 crop. This one from Duke Law School includes sound recordings that entered the public domain.
  • Want to join EDITH Office Hours? So far access is limited to those who’ve signed up for an account, But accounts are free. Just visit our home page and sign up.
  • This week’s image is of the Fisk University Jubilee Quartet, whose 1909 rendition of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” was one of the recordings just released into the public domain. Remarkable story about the song’s origins here.

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