Norton of Morton

Read a new instalment of Norton of Morton every Saturday at 4 o'clock

Saturday 28 October 2017

Why I've resigned from In Retrospect magazine

In which G.M. Norton explains why he's stepped down as magazine editor.

A couple of weeks ago, I made the decision to leave my position as Editor-at-Large at In Retrospect magazine.

I've mentioned the magazine on this periodical before. In fact, I've dedicated entries centred completely on the printed publication.

Before being asked to join the editorial team, I was a contributor from the very beginning going back to when it started out in digital format back in Spring 2014. Since then, there was a successful Kickstarter campaign to get the magazine into print and then in February 2015 I picked up the editorial reins alongside Mat and Ava.

It's took a lot to walk away from something that I still have a deep fondness for, so I should really explain how my stint in the editor's chair is now over.

In truth, if you delve beneath the jolly exterior that I like to present, I've been out of sorts for the last 18 months or so.

It's only recently that I've come to realise this "out of sorts" feeling was depression.

I touched on feeling like this in July last year. By October of the same year, I breezily announced that I'd found my 'mojo'. As I now know, that was my first bout of depression.

I wanted to hide away. I stopped caring about things. I felt numb. Life had stopped feeling fun, stopped being a lark.

So it was a huge relief when I started to feel like my normal self again. But it didn't last for long before that numb feeling returned, but for a much longer period.

I had a bad spell only recently, intensified when a chap at the office committed suicide.

After much mulling over, I decided that the time was right to resign from In Retrospect.

I'd had enough. And as bad as it sounds, like a lot of other things, I stopped caring about it. This blog started a little over five years ago and although I only publish once a week and cherish this place dearly, it is a commitment. But add writing for Vintage Dancer (which I've not done anything for since April) and trying to build and grow a published magazine, and I was a busy fellow. That's not to add a full-time office position and family life.

So I decided for my sanity that I needed to stop carrying some of the weight.

I'm hoping that this will help me, I already feel much better. I need time to recover, time to not have deadlines looming over me like a dark shadow. Recently, there's been a big enough shadow to contend with.

So my plan is to continue with my weekly periodical posts here which I love, and have a little more time for myself and importantly, to spend it with my little family.

Perhaps one day I will return to writing for a magazine, as writing is a passion, but not today or tomorrow. 

G.M. Norton
Protagonist of 'Norton of Morton'

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  1. I've only recently discovered your blog and I have to say I am a huge fan. Your writing brings me great joy every week. I'm sorry to hear that you've been afflicted by the "black dog." I do hope you will realize that it is neurological in nature and not all mental, and I hope you are in a doctor's care. Take care of yourself, and feel better soon, my chumrade.

    1. Thanks for your very kind words, good Sir. Writing about it has helped immensely.

  2. Good call. It's a rotten thing, depression. Have steered clear myself for years but have had deep dark patches in the past. Lifting the load in other ways is going to help. Focusing on what else gives pleasure may help, too, like it helped with me, whether it's tweed or 1600s brewing history.

    Alan McLeod

    1. It is absolutely rotten, and incredibly common. I'm pleased to read that you've managed to evade depression for so long and will heed your advice. Many thanks!

  3. I'm sorry that you've not been feeling your best, I do hope that you start to feel better soon. It sounds like you were spreading yourself too thinly, and some family time might be just the ticket. I also applaud you for being open about this - I know it's not always easy to talk about mental health. You'll be missed at In Retrospect, but I will look forward to your blog posts here as always. Do take extra care of yourself x

    1. Thank you! I'm already feeling much better, thankfully but know it may not last. I'm probably a little too open but that's just what I'm like. And with a bit of luck, if somebody suffering dark moods should read this, then I hope they can take some comfort from it.

  4. I'm sorry to hear you've not been feeling yourself, but I applaud you for recognising it and making sure you take some time for yourself. I understand the need to step back from things that seem more of a chore than something you enjoy and I've kind of been going through that with my blog. As much as I love it, I just don't have the time to focus on it and so I'm trying to learn how to just accept that I can't post every single week.
    Anyway, I hope you're feeling a little better now. xx

    1. Thanks awfully, Cate. At the moment, I'm feeling more and more like my normal self. Alas, I think we put far too much pressure and guilt on ourselves. But at least we know it and can try to put the brakes on a bit.

  5. Hi Norty,

    I'm sorry I missed this post - as you know, I had to drop out of contributing to IR earlier this year, mainly due to work pressures (I'm back on the stress meds myself) and I felt that if I couldn't do the thing properly, it was best not to do it at all. Letting go of something can be hard, but it's absolutely the right thing to do, you have to put your own health first. Making magazines is a creative process, and even the most creative person doesn't have an inexhaustible well of ideas and energy - we all need time to draw back and recuperate. I hope your depression eases with the break.

    1. Thanks Mim! At the moment, I'm feeling marvellous. Although I know this upturn in mood won't last forever, I'm very grateful and can't help notice that it's happened after stepping away from the magazine. As you did, you've got to put yourself first. I hope the day job gets easier for you. Work pressure is horrid.


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