At BACP, we recently sent out a readers’ survey asking what you think and what you’d like to see us cover next in our divisional journals. Although, I can’t lie, it’s daunting to receive anonymous comments, I also delighted in getting the feedback.
As I type the word ‘feedback’, I find myself with the sensory impression that comes with the word in its auditory sense. Because it does feel a little like that. Every three months, I put out – emit, if you like – a dozen or so pieces that authors lovingly craft, then continue to relate to with great soul and care as we prepare the piece for publication.
As editor, I find myself in the midst of the writer’s relationship with their text and am often shaped by the process too. This is akin to therapy, where, as counsellor, I sit alongside a client’s relationship with self.
I’ve realised recently that I absorb traces of each article: a form of embodiment. Sentences or images from the articles rise up in me at the quietest times, sometimes many months later. And I think that is because of the heart that goes into it – the spirit, you might like to say.
So, yes, when I receive a list of things readers have liked, I experience it as a series of vibrations back from the original. Of equal interest was the list of things readers would like to see in the future. This is precious. The Thresholds readership is incredibly diverse. It’s something I came into this job aware of and it’s something I try to accommodate and gauge as best I can. It’s diverse because some of you are counsellors and some of you are chaplains, or spiritual accompaniers. Some of you have a longstanding faith and some of you are atheists. Some of you have a spirituality of your own. Hey, it’s a big old world. And it’s diverse because of the career stage that people are at. Some of you are starting out. Some of you are retiring. Some of you want practical tools. Some want contemplation. Others want to read the latest research.
So, this list, as I said, matters to me. I think I would have liked it even better if I could have had a conversation with each of the readers who took the time to respond. I would have liked to talk. I would have asked them if they would like to write the piece that they would like to see written (That’s what they say about writing a novel, isn’t it? Write the book you’d want to read). I would like to take that relationship I mentioned one more link down the chain to the final reader. You.
So, if you did respond and you would like to connect further, please do get in touch with me. I’d love to hear from you.
Amy McCormack, Editor