Financial security then is a great help as it keeps you from worrying. Worry destroys the ability to write. — Ernest Hemingway, The Art of Fiction, No. 21
As Hemingway tells it, he used to drink dry sherry with James Joyce at Deux Margot, a famous old cafe in Paris where the cultured used to hang– Sartre, Camus, de Beauvoir, to name a few low hanging fruits. Deux Margot was a place where writers, philosophers, thinkers, could land, kick up their feet, gather with like-minded individuals, discuss projects, gossip, or brood silently in corners observing, scribbling, and drinking, of course.
They were able to do this in part, because people were willing to pay for stories. People were more than willing in fact; stories were what they craved. During his Paris years, Hemingway was paid for lifestyle pieces, those covering fishing, bullfighting, social life in Europe, skiing, and even bobsledding. Payment kept his well stocked with words, and not worry.
That was then.
Increasingly stories published online are unpaid, and whittled down into lists to account for click-through attention spans. In many cases they lose their “story” essence.
Which is why when a project comes along that brings emerging talents and creatives together –reporters, writers, editors, illustrators, photographers– with the intention of, “housing writing that doesn’t have to necessarily be timely or up to the minute…that’s just really fascinating, interesting, funny, heartbreaking…that will stick no matter if you read it when the issue comes out or you read it 6 months later on your coffee table,” our ears naturally perk. That is the goal of The Landing, a themed magazine that has been publishing literary non-fiction, a little fiction, illustration, and photography for the past three years.
Talia Ralph, Editor-in-Chief, explains further:
The Landing was founded to give emerging talent a place to publish and share timeless, beautiful, portfolio-worthy work. As our writers and artists have grown in their careers, however, there has also been a growing dialogue about the value of creativity in our society. For too long, a disturbing trend that favors lightning-quick, surface-level writing and quick, snap-judgement photography has been taking shape. This has signaled that we are collectively devaluing long-form storytelling. We at The Landing have worked long and hard to do our small part to reverse that trend: we believe that artists deserve to be paid for their work just as much as doctors or lawyers. Stories are a bedrock of our society, and if we don’t pay for them adequately and allow creatives to make a living wage, we send a disturbing signal that they are not important. Imagine a world with no magazines? With no stories, no photos, no drawings? That’s not a world I’m interested in.
Nor are we.
We want a world where stories about bobsledding and pleasant rooms, the topography of place, and loves lost and won, are lauded, but we aren’t so naive to think these come without a cost.
For their third issue, Truth or Dare, The Landing decided launched their first Kickstarter, with a very modest goal in order to assure its continued success.