In hindsight, I realise that all my hopes and dreams, all my excitement and inspiration… All of it combined was worthless in the face of my lack of experience and resources with which to complete this task. I should have had some expertise having just graduated from what should have been one of the most relevant postgraduate degrees in that field, but no. I found myself having to piece together some kind of strategy and many, many to-do lists from books and blog posts, using my opinions and intuition to hold together these ideas, and hoping that the sheer force of my will would make it happen.
In the weeks that followed the idea, I managed to enthuse some of the people with whom I was hoping to work on Threadbare Magazine about the concepts behind it, and some of these people agreed to work with me on my to-do list in the hope of getting a website and social media accounts up and running, and even some preliminary content in time for its launch. I contacted various individuals in press and PR, who were happy enough to give a little support to Threadbare Magazine by including details of its launch on their websites and in their newsletters when the time came. I even managed to raise a minuscule amount of money towards Threadbare Magazine’s set-up from people who were happy to support an independent, intelligent and intellectual fashion publication. The fact that this only came to £9.41 should have been an indication of the probability of its success.
As I worked full-time in a job I didn’t really want to pay back the ‘professional career and development loan’ I’d had to take out to pay for my master’s, I found that I didn’t have the time or the energy to dedicate to the development of Threadbare Magazine as I wanted or needed – nor did I have the money for it. As time went by, I realised that I wouldn’t be able to get things up and running either in the way I wanted or by when I wanted. My interest and enthusiasm remained at the same levels, but work on Threadbare Magazine stopped. Those who became involved in its development quickly moved on to other things as they became aware of, and discouraged by, both the lack of progress we were making and my capacity to be involved in the development of my own idea. For the five years following this, the idea languished.
For five years, I hoped that I’d be able to make it happen. I held onto a dream that was never going to come true, hopeful for something that never had a hope of happening. I ended up miserable, grieving the loss of what might have been if things had gone to plan, and thinking about how I’d let myself down and all those who’d become involved in this – all those I had involved. I ended up bitter and jealous of those who’d enjoyed similar successes in that period of time – why them? And then, all of a sudden, I let go. I don’t know why. I don’t know how. But I did. Suddenly, I didn’t care about someone else taking the idea, or its name, or anything else associated with it. I didn’t care if someone else made it work or if they came up with a version of that was also a failure. I knew Threadbare Magazine wasn’t mine any longer.
To those of you who got swept up along the way in those early stages – I’m sorry. I hope that what I’m writing here goes some way towards an apology for having caught you up in something that didn’t really come to anything. I hope that you’ll understand a little now about what’s happened and why it’s happened. I don’t really know what else I might say to you about this, except to thank you for having believed in the idea, even if it was so short-lived. Your support will always mean so much to me and I will never forget it.
I’ll not work any longer on Threadbare Magazine. They’re hard words to write, but it’s necessary for me to do so. As I’ve started to explore my creativity through The Five to Nine, I’ve realised that it’s essential to let go of creative projects that don’t work, either due to those involved or the circumstances in which they are trying to bring the project to life. It’s not fair on yourself, and it’s not fair on those you bring in to work with you. It also feels as if it’s not fair to the idea itself, in case else out there is able to make it work. I think it would be nice to see someone make a success of the ideas I have that don’t work for me.
The failure to launch Threadbare Magazine doesn’t mean that my interest in fashion has changed; perhaps I’ll find an opportunity this in some of the ways I’d planned for Threadbare Magazine as part of what I do on The Five to Nine. Perhaps I’ll find an opportunity to write on something I find interesting for someone else, and contribute to the success of their publication. But, for now, I feel liberated and satisfied as I allow Threadbare Magazine to become an idea that I once had rather than remain a dream that will never come true.