Changing My Mind

So you may have noticed: it’s been a long time since I posted! Part of this is a little bit of burnout: it seems everything there is to be said about publishing has already been said. Part of it is laziness: if I don’t have anything awesome to say, why say anything at all? But the main reason that I’ve been reluctant to post is that my life has changed direction, and I’m not sure how this blog will change with it.

I graduated college last December thinking I’d go into publishing. With the cheer and support of many people, I applied to lots and lots of positions and got a few interviews, but the months dragged on, and nothing panned out. Living in a state where I basically know no one other than my parents (whom I love and appreciate very much) started getting old. I could see that maybe it would be a good idea to apply to jobs outside of publishing just to get me started, but even the thought of it felt like giving up on my dream. So I questioned my assumption: why did I want to go into publishing in the first place?

Obviously, a huge part of that answer is my love for reading and for writing. I started my publishing career as an intern at a literary agency because I knew I wanted to be a creative writer, and publishing seemed like a great place to earn money doing that. But the last few months when my freelance editing and literary internships were all that I was doing, I got really burned out. I started resenting my pile of things to be read. I started resenting books and publishing and writers. So I allowed myself to admit that maybe publishing full-time wasn’t going to work out.

I also had been looking at the job descriptions for editorial assistants and other entry-level positions and seeing that, while I would be making a measly salary, for the next couple of years, I would have to be overworked, underpaid, and reading things I probably don’t really care about all with the hope of being promoted and not being in the next round of (inevitable) lay-offs. That translates to no time for reading or writing on my own, which is what fuels my passion for books in the first place.

Finally, I allowed myself to admit that I devoted myself to publishing partly because it was easier and less frightening to have a career path all picked out rather than to flounder while looking for where else I could really fit in. But this comes with a flip side: if I haven’t experimented at all, how do I know that publishing really is the best fit for me?

With that in mind, when I was confronted with the opportunity either to go to a summer-long publishing course or take a job in a non-publishing field (both of which would have gotten me to New York City), I decided to take a chance on life outside of the book world.

And so I am off for a new life in the Big Apple at a job that won’t have me reading hopeful writers’ manuscripts every day. To be honest, I am incredibly excited to have my reading list back under control and to have shed my identity as “industry insider” so that I can be a plain old “writer.”

The only question left is: what to post on my blog? I had a professor in college who always wanted to know what art we had taken in that week because whether it is painting, movies, books, or mimes, all art informs your writing. So I hope to share the forms of art that I take in as I waltz my way through New York. Hopefully I can continue to share writing insights; I might even have more as I return to writing more frequently. And maybe one day, I’ll also be able to make some exciting announcements about the publication of a novel. In the meantime, I hope you’ll keep reading!

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