WILL KITSON is Managing Editor of Seymour Magazine.
Will holds a Masters in English Literature from King’s College London, prior to which he earned a BA in Creative Writing (with Honours) from the University of Greenwich. Previous to his post at Seymour Magazine, Will has worked as a Reviewer, Copy Editor and Editorial Assistant/Arts Administrator at A Younger Theatre, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency and Brand Literary Magazine, respectively.
As Seymour magazine approaches its annual summer break, I also approach my one year anniversary as managing editor. Last August I took on the position knowing relatively little about Seymour and, while I instantly found the initiative immensely intriguing, my enthusiasm and motivation has continued to grow and I’m now more excited about Seymour’s future than ever before.
Part of the joy I get from working for Seymour is the opportunity to work closely with our amazing and inspiring contributors – a wealth of talented and interesting individuals who are kind enough to share their insights and experiences with our community.
Not only have I found their essays and interviews creatively stimulating, but I feel their wisdom has been enriching in a more general sense; while their disciplines differ – from quantum physicists to abstract sketchers – and their approaches vary, they invariably share some common ground – that is a sense of self-belief and a lasting, resolute commitment to their passions.
These factors, I’m sure, are key to their success; and yet our society seems to be perpetually obsessed with circumnavigating these hardships and instead finding ‘quick-fix’ solutions. Adverts such as ‘Become a master guitarist in 5 short steps’ and ‘Learn the secret to great writing’ are becoming ubiquitous and, whether we pay heed to them or not, their presence has certainly encroached itself upon our culture.
Of course, tackling adversity and overcoming challenges is no easy task, it can be exhausting and even demoralising; however, it is what we lose from engaging in these ‘quick-fix’ solutions that is most worrying.
When I first started working for Seymour, Melissa Unger (Seymour’s founder, plus an incredibly inspiring person in her own right) told me that Seymour likes to show its scars – that is that we’re proud of our history and all the steps that we’ve taken in order to get where we are today. Not only are scars a testament to what one has overcome, they are also a reminder that one has the tools necessary in order to take on new challenges in the future.
It is, after all, these learning curves that make up who we are. While quotes and parables can be inspirational and invaluable devices, life cannot be boiled down to a series of maxims; it is, instead, a learning curve, a nexus of experiences which make up who we are.
It is certainly my own greatest struggle, to continually apply myself to my passions, to dedicate myself day after day to my projects, to ‘Fail. Fail better’ as Samuel Beckett wrote. It is those who have done and continue to do this who I find the most fascinating and inspiring; and I have certainly drawn an immense amount of strength and confidence from hearing their stories.
Those who push themselves and face adversity will always come up against struggles, but I like to believe that, regardless of the outcome, they will always end up stronger as a result.
Published: July 31st, 2014