Reflecting on Ourselves

Dear Readers,

Welcome to our September/October 2019 issue!  We’re delighted to feature two returning contributors as well as a new contributor and a new interviewee in this issue. The thread that ties all their stories together is that of reflecting: that essential process through which we come to understand ourselves better, thereby experiencing growth.

In Can You Tell You Are Wrong About You, Benita Jeanelle returns to Third Factor with a reflection on how she came to misdiagnose herself with autism and dyscalculia and how she managed to correct her course.  As her story suggests, sometimes you need someone with more knowledge and experience to hold up an undistorted mirror and show you what they see in you.

In Love and Leveling Up: Attachment Theory and Positive Disintegration, Merrill Miller makes her Third Factor debut with an exploration of attachment theory and how it reflected her own struggles with relationships. When that theory seemed to lead to a dead end, however, another theory made her think there might be a way out after all. (It will not surprise you readers that this was the theory of positive disintegration!)

In Regulate Overexcitability to Empower Your Voice – Part I: Emotions, voice coach Laura Stavnioha continues her discussion of overexcitability (OE) and the voice.  This time, she shares some practical tips that will help you reflect on what’s really happening when intense people speak and how you can better shape the way you sound. In the first installment of a two-part series, she focuses on emotions and their interactions with various forms of OE.  (Part II, in our next issue, will offer tips that focus on the mind.)

And in A Winding Path to Artisanship, I sat down to talk with Pierre Miller of the Desiderata Pen Company about how he ended up in a career as an artisan and an entrepreneur and the process of self-reflection he undertook to get where he is. His story will be of particular interest to anyone trying to figure out a path using STEM skills—or any other talents—in some way that departs from the typical path. (I especially hope this piece makes its way to some kids who are trying to sort out what they could do with their lives other than accrue expensive academic credentials.)  As a bonus, he also touches on what makes relationships interesting for the intellectually excitable, in his experience.

Positive Disintegration Fiction Contest Now Open

I’m also delighted to announce that the Positive Disintegration Fiction Contest is officially open to submissions.  If you’ve got your entry ready to go, you can head right over to submit it here.  For a recap on what we’re looking for, head over to our contest page. A panel of four judges will review all the entries; I’m one of them, but the others will remain anonymous for the time being. (I’ll leave it to them to reveal their identities after the contest ends if they so choose.)

If you’re not a writer yourself but have friends who are, please send them our way!  There’s a $100 prize for the best story and $25 for any honorable mentions.  Entries must be received by January 19, 2020.

We Now Pay Our Contributors—Can You Help?

Finally, I’m proud to announce that we’ve hit an important milestone: we’re now paying our contributors.  As a writer myself, this is something I think is tremendously important.  All of the writers in this issue put a lot of time and energy into writing, revising, and polishing their pieces based on our editorial feedback.  Our rates are not great, but at least they’re no longer nothing.

If you agree that these stories are worth the time and energy our authors and editors put into them, would you consider supporting us financially?

Per your preference, you can make a one-time or recurring contribution via PayPal or become a monthly contributor via Patreon.

To those of you who already support us, thank you! You’ve made it possible for us to live up to our ideal of valuing writer’s hard work.

Upcoming Themes

Would you like to be one of our paid contributors?  We are interested in any proposed article that addresses themes of overcoming psychological hurdles, giftedness over the lifespan, the experience of intensity or creativity, or positive disintegration whether or not it fits a theme.  If you need some inspiration, however, check out our upcoming themes.  We’d love for you to join the conversation.  Read up on how to submit an article and when you’re ready, contact us!

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the new issue!

All the best,
Jessie Mannisto
Editor in Chief

Editor in Chief at Third Factor jessie@thirdfactor.org Web Posts

A divergent thinker who can't abide an echo chamber, Jessie has served as assistant to the Consul General of Japan, Google Policy Fellow, and CIA leadership analyst. She is now an independent writer and analyst.