New Direction, But Not Really
I have been interning for one of New York City’s top agencies (for about a month now)!
Already, it’s been an amazing ride.
As though a Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA isn’t enough, now I am learning so much more as a writer. While the writing program is focused almost exclusively on the craft and the hard work of being an artist (and I love that about it), my experience with the agency is completing my education from the biz side of the desk. My favorite parts of the job so far are treasure hunting through the slush pile, reading promising requested materials and working with the agency’s current clients in getting their manuscripts ready for submission. Oh, and the weekly meetings! It’s where a lot of the learning takes place.
A word of warning: I am limited in how much I can blog about my experience. I cannot talk about names, numbers or certain other specifics. But I will gladly pass along an occasional nugget of wisdom of a more general nature, whenever I can.
This experience is not just about the learning. It is a new beginning, a first step.
A few months ago, after I have decided it was time to start a new career to complement my writing and help support my family, I considered several options. I did not want to return to journalism or go back to school yet again. I am already in school! I looked for different possibilities that would allow me to capitalize on what I already know and on the things I can already do well.
Reflecting along those lines led me to the realization that I have been learning everything I could about the publishing industry for more than a decade now. To top it off, writer friends, published and unpublished have been telling me for years how much they have appreciated my feedback on their work. A couple of them said it straight out, “you should be an editor!” I brushed their comments off. More recently, the few editing clients I have taken on told me the same thing. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much I actually enjoy diving deep into a manuscript in search of its truth. Helping great books come to life and find their way to readers — especially young readers — this is an easy mission for me to believe in. It’s a mission I have already accepted a while ago.
So, this is my new life. The days when I take the commuter bus into the Serendipity office are now my favorite days. (Though I love returning home to my quiet town just as much). By the way, this may sound strange, but I LOVE the commuter bus. One hour plus of quiet with no distractions equals some quality writing time.
I love the city, my first American home, a busy nervous wondrous place where I fit right in. Its crazy energy feeds me with new ideas, while the new restrictions on my schedule actually seem to increase my productivity.
I realize building an editorial career in publishing, while continuing to raise my kids and writing is going to have its challenges. But, after months of careful research of potential other careers (what am I going to do when I grow up?) I realized, EVERY career has its challenges. The trick is to find one that would make me WANT to overcome them, maybe even embrace them And I am pretty sure this is it.
In my meandering train ride and plane sweep of a life I have learned not to commit to forever. Who knows what lies behind a distant bend? But I sure hope to spend the next long leg of the journey elbow deep in manuscripts, contracts, rights, P & L statements, and most of all, words, words, words.
Please wish me luck! Needless to say, I will keep you posted, as always. :)
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