Lotus Magazine: Pilot Issue Release

By: Alyssa Chiang

In the Months Leading Up
In the 2 months leading up to this, we made quite the push, with Alexis working a part-time gig with Mainly Mozart and teaching piano, and my pursuing a doctoral degree in bioengineering. But our mission was important to us. We had discussion after discussion on what would go into the magazine and what we wanted to avoid. “Gossip?” “No - that’s not who we are.” “I don’t want a bunch of fluff.” “Quality over quantity.” We even opened the floor to ideas from our families and friends. We were anxious about delivering something others would be able to relate to on a personal level, no matter who was reading it. After all, the magazine isn’t a project for our own benefits - it’s a project for the people we are bringing it to. It’s for those whose stories haven’t yet been heard. 

What began as an idea with a few notes in my iPhone’s “Notes” app soon spun into something more challenging than either of us had anticipated. The details of the magazine itself were only the tip of the iceberg. Putting together content, picking out the aesthetics, and managing the Cover Girl were already a massive load in itself for 2 recent college grads who are also trying to balance our own lives. We also had to manage our online presence, from the website to our social media. Online presence is arguably as important as, if not more so than, the magazine itself. Without taking advantage of the platforms most of the world now turns to for its information intake, we wouldn’t stand a chance against the many other things that occupy modern attention spans. Furthermore, we faced the backend administrative work of the whole venture - we didn’t realize how crucial staying organized and aware was to moving us forward. 

The Night Of
On the night of November 30, 2020, I was so nervous. As the minutes ticked by, my friend Alexis and I scrambled to make our final edits on the pilot issue of our beloved magazine. This was a momentous occasion for us - we were about to put out the fruits of our labor for the world to see. There were so many points along the way when we were almost ready to say, “F*** it - it looks good enough, let’s just go for it.” But it meant too much for us and too much blood, sweat, and tears had gone into it for us to just let it go so insensitively. Discipline was important. We were making edits up until the last 15 minutes before our scheduled release. We let our inner perfectionist personalities loose and they were really taking the liberty to roam. High stakes rested on the pilot issue; as our debut, we were under immense pressure to deliver a product that would garner credibility and approval from those who were awaiting its release. 

The Release
When the clock finally struck midnight on November 30, 2020, we officially released the pilot issue of Lotus Magazine for December 2020. We both breathed a sigh of relief. We were satisfied. 

But what touched us most wasn’t the work that went into it on our end or what the magazine meant to us. It was the positive reception and encouragement from the people who found the issue in their inboxes and heard their own voices and saw their own stories, whether they had contributed themselves or identified with something they read. We have so much gratitude for all the incredible support that has been sent our way, and we are so, so excited for what is to come. We will continue to work hard to improve and bring to light the voices of the Asian-American community. 

To subscribe, go to lotus-mag.com/subscribe.html. Subscription is free and we don’t send any spam - we just drop the issue into your inbox! 

FAQ: Do I need to identify as “Asian-American” or a “womxn” to read or be a part of it? 
Absolutely not. Our purpose is to share, not to keep the stories within ourselves. We encourage you to keep an open mind and give it a chance - our hope is that you might find something you connect to, regardless of who you are. We truly believe that, as human beings, we all have more in common than we may think.

Read about how the journey began here

If you’re interested in keeping up with us, you can find us in various places: 
Website (subscribe here!): lotus-mag.com/subscribe.html 
Instagram: @lotus_mag
Facebook: facebook.com/lotusthemagazine

Reach us at info@lotus-mag.com if you have any ideas/suggestions/feedback! <3 

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