namesake

A little over a year ago, I quit my perfectly good job at a perfectly good publishing company.  My paycheck was perfectly fine. My boss was perfectly fine. I worked with perfectly fine people. There was no reason to quit, other than that it was time.

Since then, I began working from home for an office-less, fund-less, and staff-less organization called New Pilgrim Press, which had a nameless magazine. Lauren Geoffrion (the editor) and I started a housecleaning business to make ends meet, and forged ahead toward the goal of publishing a magazine that would illustrate facets of our Christian faith through art.

Friends and family would ask what I was doing lately, and at first my answer was, “I’m with a fledgling organization called New Pilgrim Press. We’re going to publish a magazine, and I write and handle submissions. I work from home, so I do that and keep house, which I love. A friend and I also have a green housecleaning business that I do on the side.”

The response was almost always, “Oh, I’ve heard housecleaning is good money. How did you get that started?” It’s not too tough, I wanted to say, Did you catch that I’m a writer and editor?

The hang-up is money, and that is the hard truth. And I am certainly not saying that the money, or lack thereof, was only a stumbling block for others and never for me. In fact, it was probably a bigger stumbling block for me than others. The truth is that after a few times of answering as above, and fielding embarrassing questions about whether my position with New Pilgrim Press was paid, I stopped mentioning it as anything other than a side note. Even though it was where the majority of my time was happily dedicated, scrubbing toilets was what brought the dough. And the dough makes it real.

But this endeavor was real, even though it was only real in New Pilgrim Press staff’s imaginations. Our efforts felt a bit like a pregnancy, with kicks and heartbeats evident only to those who were close to us. Sometimes I wasn’t sure–is this a pregnancy, I wondered, or are we just fat?

Turns out it was real. On Saturday, August 1, we gathered around Ken Geoffrion’s laptop and pushed the “Go Live” button to publish the first edition of namesake magazine. We clinked our glasses and squealed. Months of hard work had finally come to fruition.

I cannot put words to the sense of accomplishment I feel. Every article in that magazine was orchestrated. Every word was special to me, and I had the privilege of working with writers, to make their words sing. It was real, what I was doing, this work for which I quit my perfectly good job a year ago. All along, it was real. Finally, finally, finally, I have something to show for it!

This is what I do. This is what I have been doing. My name is Megan Moore, and I am a writer and editor for namesake magazine, which is part of the organization New Pilgrim Press. I really love my work.

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