The publication of this third issue was briefly delayed because we stopped “running” for a bit. We reminded ourselves that “It’s okay to pause. There’s no need to run without knowing the reason.”1
But we do have a reason to run. And that reason is that there are stories needing and waiting to be shared – some in the form of art or poetry, some via analysis or essay, others in personal narrative.
These stories exist because of one thing – seven men, collectively known BTS, and their art. This journal exists to archive their impact – not only on society, culture, or the economy, but on living, breathing, unique human beings. Therefore, as long as there are creators writing and making art about how BTS has affected their lives, we will continue to run towards creating a space that is worthy of housing their work.
Thus far, for various practical (and boring) reasons, we have not produced thematic issues, but if we had to label this issue with a theme, it might be Courage. All of our contributors have demonstrated courage (and its underlying element of strength) by choosing to share their work with you.
Those who created our Supplemental Stories and Creative Collections allowed us a look into some very personal aspects of their own stories – their sense of being lost or alone or othered or searching – which required them to make a leap of faith. Faith that we are all loved despite our flaws; that it is not only OK to “Speak Yourself,” but that there is value in doing so. We can’t thank those individuals enough for having the courage to share the most tender and vulnerable sides of themselves.
Because the peer review process is quite arduous, writing and submitting an Academic Article takes another kind of courage. Each article is examined, line by line, by two or three peer reviewers as well as by an internal team. Each reviewer looks for a clear thesis statement, solid and relevant evidence, factual correctness, and soundness of methodology. The author(s) then revise (often multiple times) the article to meet those requirements, with most manuscripts going through at least two or more rounds of peer-review. And then, as if that’s not enough, a copy editor re-examines the article to make sure it’s correct in regard to spelling, punctuation, and grammar and that it complies with APA guidelines, in addition to checking that the language used does not create a barrier for non-experts.
We also owe special thanks to the artists who created the header art for each textual piece. We needed a lot of last-minute help with these, so thanks very much for your stunning illustrations that perfectly capture the essence of the textual pieces.
All of us, both the publishers and the published (and you, the readers), get a lot of this courage from BTS. We’ve seen how these seven beautiful humans have navigated the pandemic and other difficulties with grace and humor and kindness and humility. They have been such solid role models for us through hard times. We hope you enjoy finding those moments of grace, humor, kindness, and humility in the work of all of our Issue 3 contributors.
We will now take this courage we’ve been gifted, and use it to keep taking steps towards being a little better than we were yesterday. Sometimes we will run, sometimes we will need to stop and walk, but we will do our best to keep moving forward. We ask for your patience and participation as we continue to learn how to develop and grow the first multidisciplinary journal focused on the art and impact of BTS. If you want to join us on this journey, our submissions will be opening again in February of 2022, and you can reach out to us at any time by emailing us at [email protected].
1 Translation by @doolset_bangtan, https://doolsetbangtan.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/paradise/