Can you believe we’re here? It’s amazing! On Halloween just gone we celebrated 1 year since we launched Lucent Dreaming online. Since then, we’ve printed 2 fantastic issues, published 24 incredible contributors, held a launch event, hosted three contests, changed websites, opened an Etsy shop and, most recently, started a Patreon page. We’ve learnt so much over the past year; and since we’re all about offering advice and guidance to new and emerging authors and artists, we’re going to share the five biggest things we’ve learnt over the last year:
1. Go for it.
When we launched our website last year, we’d very little idea what we were doing. In a good way. We knew we wanted to create an environment that was more inclusive and supportive than the other publishing environments we’d previously experienced. We weren’t quite sure who we were, but we knew what we stood for, so we went for it. No matter how obvious it is, I will make a point of saying that you have to start if you want to finish. If you’re questioning whether or not to start your next big project, we say do it!
2. Stick to it.
We all know the struggle and we all know it’s worth it. But it’s not just sticking to an idea and seeing it through that’s important. Sticking to your standards is also vital. Sticking to our standards when it comes to submissions, design and platform has made us who we are. When we came into some seed funding to cover the cost of our first print run, we made sure our magazine was a thing of quality, inside and out. We know what magazines are supposed to look and feel like: flimsy, kind of insubstantial, easy to throw away. But we didn’t want ours to be like that. Our magazine (if you’ve got one, you’ll know) feels much more like a book. We made it full-colour, illustrated, with ample space given to each original piece of creative work we publish. And you know, sticking to your standards goes for everything. Your writing, your friendships, your relationships. If you’ve got a certain standard you’ll regret letting slide, don’t let it slide! Stick to it. It matters.
3. Get help.
Humanity is at its best and strongest when we’re helping each other. Lucent Dreaming has its own team working together to create an awesome magazine. But outside our team, it’s our supporters and mentors who help us improve, point us to new opportunities, shout about us, motivate us and remind us we’re doing ok. If you can’t find support locally, look for wonderful people online. People are ready to help! (Us included.)
4. Take chances to make opportunities.
We are brimming every day with brilliant ideas, come across what could be day-changing, week-changing and life-changing opportunities through our lives, but resist going for them. Take a chance! Apply. Create. Make a phone call. Send an email. Whatever your assumptions about the outcome of reaching out, you never really know what it might yield until it happens. Sometimes it’s the littlest things that hold us back. Don’t let that be the case. We took a chance with the magazine and it’s brought us surprising opportunities. You have to trust yourself enough to try something to find out whether it’s right for you.
5. Discover your purpose.
Once you’ve done all the above, you’ll figure out the important thing that drives you: your purpose. This ties into how motivated you feel. Sometimes your purpose needs to be affirmed by others. The people around you will notice what makes you tick even if you might not. What makes your heart sing? Integrate that into all the parts of your life you can. For us, it’s helping people reach their potential, giving them a platform where they can be published.
We’ve spent the past year figuring ourselves out, finding our feet. In that time, there’s been one vital thing that has helped us thrive above all else: you, our supporters, our readers and our contributors. Your support, your trust and your engagement are the most valuable thing we have and we’re so grateful. Thank you for supporting us for the past year, friends! We’re super excited to see what the future brings. 🙂