The SHOUT bulb has gone out and the world feels dimmer
I don't think it is an exaggeration when I claim that I would have given up writing had it not been for SHOUT. As I explored other creative outlets, writing just happened to fizzle out of practice. I'd re-visit it every now and then, only to leave projects incomplete and refuse to read through the abomination of a first draft I weaved together. Even when I first started contributing for SHOUT, I wasn't necessarily a regular. In fact, I am fairly certain I managed to enrage the editors multiple times thanks in part to my inability to meet deadlines. Regardless of how it might have seemed on the surface, contributing for SHOUT was a treat. I'd pitch ideas about all the things I was obsessed about – some of which were approved, while most got rejected.
Not only was contributing an outlet for me to practice writing, but it also subconsciously instilled this stronger sense of who I was. Yes, as comical as it sounds, writing about movie posters and bizarre satire ideas did that. And this wasn't something I was aware of until very recent developments. Currently, I am at a very delirious point in my life. Everything feels a little wobbly and transient. I don't know how things will shape out in the next couple of months. My closest friends are leaving the country and I am stuck studying something that drains the life out of me. Amidst all that, SHOUT has shut down. And that is truly sad. It was one of the very few things that were constant in my life, and that felt comfortable.
It has been around ten months since I have been appointed as a sub-editor, and throughout that time, I did not realise how much I'd turn to this one thing to grasp my sense of self. As hectic and stressful as this job may be at times, it is rewarding and has helped me be a little more confident in my abilities. That same sense of self-assurance has its pitfalls of course. Anytime things go haywire or I mess something up, my sense of self begins to crumble. The mere idea that people are somehow emotionally attached to their jobs used to sound absurd to me. Yet, here I am.
Planning photoshoots, posing for those very same pictures, illustrating, editing, and curating Fable Factory has been an incredibly gratifying experience because of how holistic it was. I will miss it dearly. And while the time has come to bid adieu to this wonderful part of my life, I will carry forward all the things it has taught me.
I am not good at goodbyes because I am bad at keeping in touch which is why I am nervous about how the next few months will unravel. Every time someone leaves I think of how different things will be. It's that uncertainty that drives me crazy. But perhaps I can rest easy knowing that with SHOUT, how I feel about it is unlikely to ever change. What I won't ever be able to make peace with, however, are all the articles I never got to write.
Abir Hossain is a sub-editor at SHOUT.