This may appear a humdrum setting of desk work, or some high-schooler’s last-minute research-paper cram session. Nothing terribly captivating or particularly interesting. But to me, this morning’s scene from our dining table encapsulates one of the highlights of the editorial year at M&T: It’s article-writing time.
Every six months, Joshua, our authors, and me buckle down and gather our thoughts and sources for an intensely focused time of capturing concepts on paper. We try to maintain a conscious balance in each issue of the practical, the historical, and the philosophical, and in our advance planning we look to fill perceived holes with ideas that have been in the waiting. These genres require radically different approaches to research and writing – for example, in Issue Ten, I wrote about cattail-rush seat weaving, while Joshua wrote a deeply reflective piece to his sons about skill, agency, and the appropriate use of technology. All I had to do was take pictures of myself weaving a seat and detail the steps of the process, but his article was (according to him) among the most challenging things he’s ever written, and certainly one of the most time-consuming per word. But variety is a fine thing – I imagine that being locked into one mode would quickly get boring.
So for Issue Eleven, I’m going historical/philosophical. We try to be pretty tight-lipped about upcoming articles until it’s time to reveal the Table of Contents, but suffice it to say that this next article of mine has been years in the making, has required many hours of research, as well as a nearly 3,000-mile road trip to dig deeper. I hope that I can somehow do the subject matter justice, as it is a fascinating and difficult story to tell. It’s reassuring to me that our in-house editorial process is pretty rigorous – I know that Joshua and Megan will be able to turn a rough draft into something good.
If you haven’t already, you can order a subscription (which will include Issue Eleven) here.