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TFW Takes a Winter Break - The Feminist Wire

TFW Takes a Winter Break

By Tamura A. Lomax, Darnell L. Moore, and Monica J. Casper

Y’all, we are tired. The Feminist Wire is successful beyond our imaginations and expectations. In 2012, we had over a million visitors to the site. In any given week, we have from 30,000 to more than 100,000 readers. And we absolutely love that you are reading what we publish, and commenting, sharing, and engaging with the authors and artists.

But this very success has translated into a significant amount of work, particularly for a core group of us who do the majority of the reading, copyediting, and uploading of the wonderful words and images that people send us. There isn’t a day that goes by that the three of us as Managing Editors, along with a handful of others, aren’t on email, Word Press, or Submittable making TFW happen.

Behind the scenes, we call this invisible feminist labor. Because it is: TFW is an invisible labor of love. We do it because we love it, and we care about the issues. We want to fill your inboxes and computer screens with feminist, anti-racist, anti-imperialist critiques. And yet, the work itself is invisible. Many readers think we operate with a huge team; that we are corporate. That we aren’t up until 2 AM copyediting. That we don’t send fifty emails in a day. That we don’t miss other deadlines because we’re working on TFW.

But y’all, we are tired.

The Feminist Wire is our baby. But some of us have human babies, too. And aging parents. And chosen family and friends who need us. And day jobs, paid employment, commitments. And unpaid activist work, also an invisible labor of love. And some of us have extensive institutional privilege, while others of us do not. Some of us are not tenured, or are on the job market, or live hand to mouth without health insurance and barely make our rent every month.

While we have made TFW successful, with a significant following and a high degree of credibility, we have done so at a cost to our home lives, our work lives, and our physical and emotional health. We haven’t yet figured out how to make what we do sustainable. And so, we’re giving ourselves a winter break. We’re taking off the month of December to focus on some other projects, to take a good hard look at our practices, and to make some changes in how we run TFW.

What will you see in December? On Wednesdays, we’re featuring some lovely poetry and fiction, with thanks to our dedicated Arts & Culture editors Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, TC Tolbert, and Mariko Nagai. But other than these offerings, we won’t be publishing. We probably won’t be Facebooking or Tweeting much, either. And while you are welcome to send your work to us via Submittable, we won’t be reading it until January. (And this is noted  on our submissions page and at Submittable.)

What will we be doing?  Collectively and individually, we’ll be resting. Regrouping. Finishing other projects. Planning. Loving. Living. Traveling. Writing. And resting some more.

Why? Because we plan to return in January, better than ever. And hopefully, more sustainably.

So what can you expect in 2014? Sustainable feminist writing and activism. The kinds of feminist, anti-racist critiques you’ve come to expect from TFW. More cutting-edge forums, including one in January on “Mumia and Mass Incarceration” and another in February on “Brown Feminisms.” As we break and plan throughout December, we’ll also be thinking of new ways to 1) make our invisible labor not only visible, but also compensated so that the work of TFW can continue, and 2) incorporate breaks for ourselves more regularly.

Happy Holidays!

 

13 Comments

  1. Women's Views on News

    November 18, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Hi – from another volunteer group, we hear you! Have a good, healthy sustaining break.

    WVoN 🙂

  2. Rebekah Levin

    November 18, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Dear FW Staff,

    Given the tremendous response that you are receiving and the level of readership, I would recommend adding a ‘donate’ button and asking for financial support to hire some staff and help get your work out into even more folks’ hands.

    Congratulations.

    • Tamura A. Lomax

      November 18, 2013 at 11:21 am

      Thanks for this!! We have one. We’re going to make it more visible.

  3. Cynthia

    November 18, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Over at the MOMocrats.com, we totally feel you! We’re now mostly three women who make it happen, day in and day out, since 2007! (We started with many more contributors, but our ranks have thinned.) Maybe we should talk? At any rate, love your work and good luck with your self-care.

  4. Alison Piepmeier

    November 18, 2013 at 10:42 am

    What an excellent plan. Enjoy your time to breathe and imagine.

  5. Tamura A. Lomax

    November 18, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Thanks everyone!!

  6. Sarah B.

    November 18, 2013 at 11:32 am

    At Verse Wisconsin we’re having the same conversation these days as we try to balance publishing, event planning and hosting, service, our own creative work, families and community activism! Maybe there could be a larger conversation around women, work, volunteer efforts, feminist activism, love and how to sustain and thrive in the midst of passion?

    I hope your break is restful and life-enriching.

  7. Fannie LeFlore

    November 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Thank you for this message from TFW editors. That was very thoughtful of you to take time to update readers on the status of things.

    I appreciate your work and send positive regards. Self-care for rest and renewal is deserved.

  8. Mary Pike

    November 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Thank you.

  9. Mohadesa Najumi

    November 18, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Dear writers,

    Thank you for all your hard work however strenuous, you make us all proud with your fortitude and persistence. Thank you for constant juggling and selfless contribution to working on this site. And lastly, thank you for allowing young writers like myself to have a venue to display work. It is the precedent that ya’ll have set that allows this to happen. Hoping that December balances out whatever imbalance that has been caused by the workload and looking forward to 2014 TFW!

    M

  10. Gcobani

    November 18, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Much thanks to TFW team,

    Sending you all good vibes all the way from South Africa. Your work is so important and although mostly U.S focused, it has really helped me think through some major issues.

    Have a happy holiday season worthy of the awesomeness Y’all are. 🙂

  11. Kristyl

    December 10, 2013 at 12:37 am

    A huge THANKS, TFW, for everything you do, have done, and will, hopefully, continue to do in the future. We all realize that your invisible labor of love is not “free.” It costs a lot, in time, dedication and energy. You have served your readers well, and we absolutely and certainly understand your need to take a much needed break. Enjoy yourselves during the month of December. You all deserve every bit of love, laughter, relaxation and, well, anything else you can muster. We aren’t mad atcha!

  12. Monica J. Casper

    December 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Thank you, everyone! We so appreciate all the kind words and support. Truly.