Three months ago I started a new job.
I’ve always worked in boring publishing. Fresh out of uni, many of my classmates wrangled their way into the big names: Random House, Harper Collins, Bloomsbury, and so on. They jumped headfirst into the dream we’d all wanted.
Me? I met a guy on a night bus and ended up in legal publishing.
I told myself it didn’t matter. I was paid more than my classmates, given more responsibility, and had my writing to satisfy my personal interests.
Eventually I needed a new challenge, and moved into financial publishing. (I did warn you: boring.) My career progressed even more as I ultimately ran all print operations.
But something wasn’t right.
I didn’t believe in the work I was delivering. I didn’t care. I didn’t want to read it.
So I started job hunting again, determined to recapture the dream.
The problem was that now all the traditional publishers took one look at my CV and said no. I hadn’t worked in fiction or books before, hadn’t slogged my way up the chain. Some publishers offered me an entry-level salary as if my last six years’ experience counted for nothing.
I started to question what I was worth, whether I’d been deluded all along. I started to wonder whether I’d be stuck in boring publishing forever, because I couldn’t afford to take a cut.
And you know what that feeling reminded me of? That sliver of doubt whenever a negative review hits too close to home. When I start wondering why I bother writing, when I’m never going to be good enough anyway. When I’ll never reach my dreams.
It’s so hard to remain enthused about writing when so many other commitments have to come first. It’s even harder when those other commitments – like my job – aren’t going the way I want.
If I can’t get the job I want despite years of hard work, how can I succeed at anything else?
Then, one morning six months ago, I had an email in my inbox. A job alert from a more modern publishing house. The role was right. The salary was good.
First thought: I’m never going to get it.
Second thought: What do I have to lose?
Two months and several interviews later, I was in. A part of me still can’t believe it. It’s been a whirlwind (hence my silence on the blog front), but each night I come home energised. At last I’m working in fiction.
And you know what?
Now that I’m working so closely with books and editors, the dream of being a full time author has never seemed closer.
I’ve just got to keep working.