You know those journals, those journals with quotes in them, those journals with prompts and affirmations and sparkly flowery hard covers, spiral or perfect-bound, that clutter up the racks of stationary sections at B&N, those journals your mom keeps giving you for Christmas that encourage you with psychopathic insistence to Dream, Create, and Imagine? Those journals "created" by authors who've had an inspirational gift book or two do well in those stores?
Those journals are actually vomited up in the dead of 1-in-the-afternoon from the bellies of those authors' editors, and when that fails, those authors' editors' interns. Here is how a mass-market B & N Inspirational Journal comes into the world:
Step 1: Author writes quote-heavy inspirational/self-helpy book. It generally has pictures of sunsets and women-tribes dancing on beaches, and lots of soul-massaging bits about love and abundance.
Step 2: Book does OK at sinister big box stores.
Step 3: Publisher and sinister big box store make a deal to make an Inspirational Journal based on the book, for sale exclusively at that chain, and according to said chain's I.J. specifications.
Step 4: Time passes. Due date for said I.J. approaches.
Step 5: Editor goes through the original book, ripping out quotes and passages that could conceivably be reprinted in pale pink type on the pages of the Journal.
Step 6: Editor thinks up 4-5 sections for the journal to have, each with a different focus: "Giving", "Living with Spirit", etc.
Step 7: Editor comes up with an "exercise" or prompt for each section, culled from the original book.
Step 7: Editor gets busy with something else and chucks the whole shebang to intern. "Make it into a journal."
Step 8: Intern reads through material and finds it rife with surrealist, non-linear inspirationese littered at random throughout the sections:
e.g. "When you accentuate the operational, a whole world of grateful bliss unwinds." (no further explanation)
e.g. "We must continue to seek our soul, even when your [sic] caught up in the wirlwind [sic] of the work-a-day."
e.g. "Exercise: List your most treasured childhood possessions. How did these precious possessions weave a safety net of nurturing solace?"
e.g. "An occupation of confidence must be developed." (no further explanation)
e.g. "I support myself by deleting rage." (no further explanation)
Step 9: Intern runs to editor. "This Journal is completely incomprehensible! We have to start again."
Editor: (rolling eyes) "Just make sure the margins are OK."
Step 10: Intern goes back to desk and rewrites Journal until it is at least semi-OK-10% readable. And fixes page breaks and margins.
Step 11: Publisher waves magic wand and produces Journal with original book's author's name on it, it goes to B&N, mothers everywhere buy it for their daughters for x-mas. Or more likely, the day after x-mas at 50% off. Cheap!
Step 12: Mass inspiration ensues.
In other news, the Head Ed got offered free access to some sort of writing retreat this weekend, doesn't want to go, and is passing the buck on to a curious INTERN in the name of professional development. Yippee! This will be INTERN's first time at any sort of writing retreat/seminar/conference/anything, and she is looking forward to (cough *thefreefood*) all the Inspirational experiences she will be sure to have. Full report anon!